istanbulogy / MUSIC / June 6, 2012

Jazz and Cymbals


The second annual Samatya Jazz Festival was held in tribute to the Armenian Zildjian family, which produced high quality cymbals in the 17th century to be used by the Janissaries, the military marching army of the Ottomans. The surname, Zildjian, which translates as the son of the cymbal maker, was bestowed by the Sultan Osman II  to Avedis Zildjian. The festival is held in Samatya, where Zildjian established his store centuries ago and the family continued the business here for 15 generations. Now relocated in the US, Zildjian is still considered to be one of the best cymbal producers in the world.


This year, the festival hosted the world renowned ney player and composer Mercan Dede, aka Arkin Allen on the first day. His music is, as he puts it, the marriage of the old and the new. Sounds so cliché, I know but he is an exceptionally talented composer; and Sufi music combined with electronica takes my breath away.


The first video is one of the pieces he played at the festival; it is my favorite one.

The second video covers  the same piece, Ab-ı Hayat, elixir of life with a short but moving performance by Mira Burque, a visual artist and a Sufi whirling dervish.








Tags:  Armenian heritage cymbal festival janisseries jazz Mercan Dede Mira Burque music old town Ottoman sultans Samatya Sufi Sultan Osman II video whirling dervishes Zildjian family

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