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.

 

In 2003 she moved to London and joined Dunav Balkan Group, which alongside various workshops broadened her repertoire and skills. 


In 2008 she joined She’Koyokh; "Britain’s best klezmer and Balkan music band" Songlines

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 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.

 

PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS;

 

Royal Albert Hall, London

Elbphilarmonie, Hamburg

Opera de Rennes, France

Southbank Centre, London

Cadogan Hall, London

Barbican, London

Glatt&Verkehrt Festival, Krems

Palau de la Musica, Valencia

Jazz Cafe, London

WOMAD (UK & Spain)

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

Pergamon Museum, Berlin

Gasteig, Munich

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 

Libèration, France 

Polish Radio, Warsaw (PL)

Mawazine Festival, Morocco

Les Nuits de Fourvière, Lyon (FR)

Førde Festivalen, Norway

TFF Rudolstadt, Germany

Palace of Arts, Budapest (HU)

Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, Istanbul (TR)

Budapest Ritmo, (HU)

Sziget Festival

Sargfabrik

Salam Orient Festival