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Burhan Öçal + Istanbul Oriental Ensemble

Burhan Öçal + Istanbul Oriental Ensemble / Gypsy RumBurhan Öçal + Istanbul Oriental Ensemble / Gypsy Rum

Gypsy Rum

In the Istanbul Oriental Ensemble, the world famous percussionist Burhan Öcal has brought together some of the finest Rom musicians of Turkey, and has brought new life to the all but forgotten treasures of 18th and 19th century Gypsy music from Thrace and Istanbul. Öçal grew up surrounded by music and even as a child, in the cafes owned by his father, he heard some of the best regional musicians performing. At the age of six, he performed publicly on the darbuka for the first time. Network invited this supreme percussionist to put together a new ensemble to present the music of the Gypsies and the Seraglio. The line-up itself -- ud lute, kanun zither, clarinet, violin and another percussionist -- indicates the importance he places on authenticity. The concept works beautifully, as evidenced not only by the recordings on this CD, but also by the resounding success of the ensemble's two-week tour of Austria and Germany. The tour culminated in a performance at the 40th Dance & Folk Festival at Rudolstadt, where the Istanbul Oriental Ensemble was the clear favourite of audience and critics alike, and was celebrated with frenzied applause. No wonder - after all they simply capture the hearts of even the most critical listener with their blend of finely honed taksim (instrumental improvisations) and lively dance music. The sheer virtuosity of their performance speaks for itself.

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