İlhan Erşahin brings his Istanbul Sessions live to The Jazz Cafe on Monday

At once a saxophone player, composer, music producer, club owner, jazz festival curator, and proprietor of his own record label. İlhan Erşahin wears many hats, but ultimately it’s the music that best defines him.

Growing up in Stockholm to a Swedish mother and Turkish father, Erşahin’s musical ear was immersed in the coolest of sounds: popular bands like Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones, and various Brazilian artists of the time, as well as music from his father’s homeland. In his teens Erşahin also discovered the worlds of ska, funk, punk and reggae, and eventually picked up a sax to begin a journey that would lead him deep into the realms of jazz greats like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Thelonious Monk.

Erşahin moved to New York, founded the club Nublu, recorded with multiple artists, collaborated with spoken word performers, directed Nublu jazz festivals in Istanbul, New York and Sao Paolo, and opened a second Nublu club in Istanbul.  He’s worked with the likes of Bebel Gilberto, Norah Jones, U-Roy, Eddie Henderson, Erik Truffaz, Saul Williams, Ndea Davenport, Mamelo Soundsytem, Nina Becker, and Turkey’s Nil Karaibrahimgil and Hüsnü Şenlendirci.

Since opening in East Village in 2002, Nublu New York has become a haven for musicians getting their careers started, as well as for famous ones such as Moby, Herbie Hancock, Norah Jones, Sun Ra and David Byrne, who come to perform secret shows or take in the latest sounds.

Along the way, Erşahin created his own brand of intercultural, cross-genre jazz that electrified the New York scene, bringing the disparate crowds of bebop and hip-hop to the same dance floor.


A regular visitor to London, on Monday night Erşahin makes his debut at the Jazz Cafe. He’ll be bringing the sounds of Istanbul with him – a city that culturally remains close to his heart. What started as a jam with some of Turkey’s finest musicians (Turgut Alp Bekoğlu, İzzet Kızıl, Alp Ersönmez) has morphed into a far bigger dance-rock project with several releases under their belt. No electronics, just pure instrumentation.

Joining him is fast-rising Turkish DJ Debora İpekel, who provides records behind the counter at the legendary Sounds of The Universe and hosts regular shows at Worldwide FM.

Concert details

Gig: İlhan Erşahin – Istanbul Sessions

Date: Monday 24 April 2017

Doors open: Doors open 7pm. Event runs until 11pm.

Venue: The Jazz Café, 5 Parkway, Camden, London, NW1 7PG

Admission: £20 + bf.

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