Percussion virtuoso Burhan Öçal has made it his life mission to build bridges between different musical traditions. A native of Kırklareli, Western Turkiye, Öçal effortlessly plays Turkish folk music. Roma beats, jazz and Western classical music, as can be heard on his Groove Alla Turca, Oriental Ensemble, and the Trakya All-Stars projects and performances.
The multi-instrumentalist is most regularly seen performing with a darbuka (a vase-shaped drum played with the fingers) yet is equally at home playing other types of drum, including a kös (kettle drum), kudüm (pair of small, hemispherical drums, often used for devotional music) and bendir (frame drum).
Öçal is also a skilled player of stringed instruments, such as the divan-saz, tanbur and oud, while his expressive voice adds to the spectrum of musical elements at his command.
On 18 April, he will share the Jazz Café stage with Gökhan Demirdöğmez one of Turkiye’s most impressive clarinet players, whose versatile, emotive style has captivated audiences in his home country and now abroad.
The G-clarinet player moved from Istanbul to London, releasing his third album, Biraz Sesini Açar Mısın [Can you turn up the volume a little] in 2020. Two years later, Demirdöğmez released a 4-track EP, Variance, that had a funkier edge – no doubt in part inspired by his new hometown.
Gökhan Demirdöğmez Project
The Gökhan Demirdöğmez Project brings together diverse musicians from the capital who can lace their broad repertoire encompassing traditional Anatolian/Turkish sounds with jazz, global beats and electronic dance rhythms, to create original contemporary music. The band comprises of Jomy Jai, Burak Ersöz, and Jamie Benzies.
Jomy Jai (Keys)
Jomy Jai is a London based musician-arranger with a unique touch that is inspired from the vibrations of sub-cultures and nature itself. He makes genre-blending jazz, electronic, and world music with avant-garde influences reflecting his own cultural roots. As a multi-instrumentalist, Jomy has collaborated with numerous artists and shared the stage with many famous names.
Burak Ersöz (Drums)
A London-based versatile drummer with an ear for all sounds and styles, Burak Ersöz has performed with many renowned international artists from around the world and on stage at major music festivals.
Jamie Benzies (Double Bass / Electric Bass)
A London-based Devonian multi-instrumentalist, Jamie Benzies has made a name for himself performing with bands and musical projects that that shines in the sound of both East and West.
The support act for the concert is Sezin Angelova, a singer-songwriter who blends beautiful lyrics with diverse soundscapes derived from her experiences in London and Istanbul.
Title: Gökhan Demirdöğmez Project
Date: Tuesday 18 April
Doors: 7pm to 10.30pm
Venue: Jazz Café, 5 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PG
Admission: Standing tickets are £23 (plus £3.25 fees). Alternatively, enjoy a meal and watch the concert from the balcony. Restaurant tickets: £23 + meal