Çiğdem Aslan is an Istanbul-born singer who sings in many languages and regional styles, including Turkish, Greek, Kurdish, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Romany and Ladino. Her musical journey started within the family. Coming from Kurdish-Alevi background, in which music is one of the pivotal elements of the culture, she grew up with the rich sounds of her culture and then gradually met with the other sounds of Istanbul and beyond.
While studying English literature at Istanbul University, she regularly performed Rebetiko, Sephardic and other ethnic music of Turkey.
Moving to London to study music, Çiğdem began performing with groups including Dunav Balkan Band, originally established in 1964, SOAS Rebetiko Band and the
As part of She’koyokh she has won plaudits for the “clear, natural ease” with which she sings (Songlines Magazine) and her “no-nonsense from the heart passion" (fRoots Magazine).
She also performs folk songs from different regions of Anatolia accompanied by Tahir Palali on kopuz/baglama and herself on frame drums.
She studied music at Goldsmith’s University.
Cigdem has been performing and touring her critically-acclaimed albums 'Mortissa' (2013) and 'A Thousand Cranes' (2016) which have been released from Asphalt Tango Records. Both albums focuses on Rebetiko and Smyrnaic songs from Asia Minor and Greece mainly from 1930s.
The albums received great reviews from all around the world; including the Guardian, NPR, Songlines, fRoots, Evening Standard, New York Music Daily; and entered the World Music Charts Europe from top ten and stayed there for months. 'Mortissa' was chosen as one of the best albums of 2013 by fRoots and Songlines Magazine which nominated and shortlisted Cigdem in the 'Best Artist' category for Songlines Music Awards 2014.
In 2014 Mortissa won the prestigious „Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik/ German Record Critics Award"
Cigdem is in high demand for collaborations, European tours and cultural radio and TV appearances.
Royal Albert Hall, London
Opera de Rennes, France
Palau de la Musica, Valencia
WOMAD (UK & Spain)
Festival Au Fil Des Voix, Paris
Glatt&Verkehrt Festival, Krems
Mawazine Festival, Morocco
Les Nuits de Fourvière, Lyon (FR)
Førde Festivalen, Norway
TFF Rudolstadt, Germany
Palace of Arts, Budapest (HU)
Sziget Festival (HU)
Southbank Centre, London
Cadogan Hall, London
Jazz Cafe, London
Pergamon Museum, Berlin
Union Chapel, London
World on Three, BBC Radio 3
Loose Ends, BBC Radio 4
Cerys on 6, BBC Radio 6
Traumzeit Festival, Duisberg (DE)
Snape Proms, Aldeburgh (UK)
Warsaw Cultural Festival, Warsaw (PL)
Jewish Culture Festival, Krakow (PL)
Buskers’ Bern, Switzerland
Radio France, Paris
Polish Radio, Warsaw (PL)
Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, Istanbul (TR)
Budapest Ritmo, (HU)
Salam Orient Festival (AU)