Omar Faruk Tekbilek
Turkish classical music, refined in the Ottoman Empire from the 16th through 18th centuries, reflects profound spiritual influences, most notably those of the mystic Sufi Mevlevi or "whirling dervishes." Multi-instrumentalist and singer Omar Faruk Tekbilek forges a compelling eclectic approach to this Islamic devotional tradition. His virtuoso technique and uninhibited approach to composition and sacred musical interpretation blends a sweeping array of Levantine percussion, wind and stringed instruments with bongos, keyboards, toy piano, electric and acoustic six- and twelve-stringed steel and classical guitars, flamenco guitar and palmas, violin and cello. Faruk leads a practiced ensemble whose sinuous exploration of his own and classical Turkish compositions, weaving an extended meditative tapestry of sound whose layered texture defies easy categorization, inviting audiences themselves to surrender their aesthetic preconceptions and listen anew. — Michael Stone
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