Diaa Bekheet | Washington, DC – Emre Kartari is a young jazz musician with a mission. He wants to musically bridge two cultures. The 35-year-old drummer feels there’s a shortage of information on Jazz in Turkey. He sought and got help from his music teachers in New York and Virginia, in the United States, to start teaching jazz at a Turkish university.
With the support of the American Embassy in Ankara and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Kartari invited his former jazz teachers to Turkey to join him in a special performance. He says it sounded like a dream.
The jazz group included an all star cast featuring: Saxophonist Skip Gailes, Rex Richardson on trumpet, pianist Bob Hallahan, guitarist Adam Larrabee, bassist Mike Richmond, percussionist Tim Collins, and drummer Howard Curtis.
Teacher, and former director of the jazz studies at VCU, Doug Richards, arranged the Turkish folk song “Ben seni sevdigimi dunyalara bildirdim” for the Hacettepe Ankara State Conservatory Orchestra, and Kanun soloist Ahmet Baran.
Kartari, who released three personal albums and working on a fourth CD, is adding orient-influenced beats and musical styles to jazz music, thus bridging the gap between the American and Turkish cultures.
For more on jazz music, listen to VOA’s Jazz America