Turkish Virtuoso, Ensemble to Perform at Hartwick

October 6, 2009

World-renowned peacemaker and virtuoso Omar Faruk Tekbilek will perform with his ensemble at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 14 in the Anderson Center for the Arts Theatre. The performance is free for Hartwick College students and $12 for the general public. To reserve tickets, call 607-431-4800.

Tekbilek's music is rooted in tradition, but has been influenced by contemporary sounds. He views his approach as "cosmic" and his commitment to music runs deep. The four corners of his creativity emanate mysticism, folklore, romance, and imagination. Like Omar Faruk himself, his music symbolizes diversity-in-unity.

A musical prodigy, Tekbilek was born in Adana, Turkey to a musical family who nurtured his precocious talents. At the age of eight, he began his musical career by developing proficiency on the kaval, a small diatonic flute.

Tekbilek has since established himself as one of the world's foremost exponents of Middle Eastern music. A multi-instrumentalist par excellence, he has collaborated with a number of leading musicians of international repute such as jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, keyboard player Karl Berger, ex-Cream rock drummer Ginger Baker, Youssou N'Dour, Ofra Haza, Simon Shaheen, Hossam Ramzy, Glen Velez, Bill Laswell, Mike Mainieri, Peter Erskine, Trilok Gurtu, Jai Uttal, and Steve Shehan, among others.

His accomplished ensemble includes Chris Rosser (keyboards), Anthony Mazzella (guitar), River Guerguerian (percussion), Murat Tekbilek (percussion), Hasan Isakkut (kanun), and Chris Wabich (percussion). Videos of a recent performance and interview are available online.

Tekbilek has contributed to numerous film and TV scores and to many recordings including world sacred music albums, and has been touring extensively throughout the Middle East, Europe, Australia, and North and South America. He received the "Best Artist" Turkish Music Award in 2003, and was nominated for a BBC World Music Award in the Middle East category that same year. He is a two-time winner (1998 and 1999) of the People's Choice U.S. Golden Belly "Musician of the Year" award.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick’s expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030