Mortissa & Cranes

The Blues of the Aegean


Smyrneiko/Rembetiko is the first refugee to arrive in Greece from Asia Minor(Turkey) when the population exchange in the early 1920s took place.  Born out of hardship yet full of resilience and with a devil-may-care attitude, these are the ‘Blues of the Mediterranean’. Çiğdem Aslan brings this to life in song accompanied by Nikos Baimpas (kanun, santouri), Michalis Kouloumis (violin), Ant Romero (Percussion) and Colin Somervell. 






"She’Koyokh are Britain’s best klezmer and Balkan music band”


“One of London’s musical treasures, playing the best klezmer and Balkan music in Britain”.  

The Evening Standard



She’Koyokh is a Yiddish word meaning “nice one!”. Starting out in London’s East End in 2001 as a popular street band, She’Koyokh was established with the support of a Millennium Award via the Jewish Music Institute and quickly graduated to performing internationally, with engagements at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Jewish Cultural Festival in Munich and on BBC television and radio. In 2008 the band were awarded first prize at the International Jewish Music Festival in the Netherlands.

The same year a vocalist from Istanbul, Cigdem Aslan, joined the group, and their repertoire soon expanded to include songs from all over the Balkans and into Mediterranean and Turkish realms. A few months later, founder member and accordionist, Jim Marcovitch, tragically died from cancer aged just 34.


In March 2014 She’Koyokh released their third album, Wild Goats & Unmarried Women, on World Music Network’s Riverboat Records to critical acclaim, receiving 5 star reviews in the Evening Standard and The Australian and 4 stars in the Guardian.

Three Strings & Two Breaths


As a duo Çiğdem and Tahir are focused on Alevi songs from Anatolia- mostly songs of love and mysticism from 14th-20th century. 


The Alevi path as a belief system is an ancient way of testifying that has been passed on through oral traditions in all of the languages with which Alevis have become acquainted. Oral tradition is directly relevant to the ethnic identity of Alevis. An important source of Alevi beliefs and thoughts are the mystical poems and musical ballads (deyisler, nefesler) that have been passes down from generation to generation, many of which have not been recorded in writing. 

This belief is based on love and respect for all people, attitudes, knowledge, sharing and science. Alevis believe that one must respect and have knowledge of nature. The principles of love, tolerance and humanism are significant to Alevi philosophy. 


Tahir Palalı spent his early childhood in Nurhak and Elbistan (Turkey), where he was influenced musically by the local Alevi minstrels (aşık) and dedes (elder figures) which eventually helped him develop a unique yet authentic music style. 





Dunav Balkan Folk Group


The Dunav Balkan Group celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. Since they began in 1964 they have played all over the UK and abroad, presenting their version of the wonderful music of the Balkan countries: Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia, Albania and the Aroman peopleThis common interest and their close friendship keeps them together, rehearsing once a week to get ready for forthcoming gigs, learn new pieces, keep their enormous repertoire fresh and just to enjoy the music and each other's company.



Matoula Zamani - Guest musician on 'A Thousand Crane' 

Vasilis Korakakis - Guest musician on 'A Thousand Crane' 

Raphael Roginski - Workshops and Concerts in Poland

Trio Yas-  Concerts and Workshops in Germany and Austria 

Louis de Bernières- Concert in 2014 at Union Chapel

Hello Skinny - Recorded Bert Janch's 'Soho' for the London's Calling album, 2012

Paul Sartin- Recorded a song as part of The Last Post Project marking toe centenary of                        the Gallipoli Battle.

Pavlos Melas - Have done several concerts and recordings together. 


Upcoming Gigs/ Konserler/Συναυλίες

Please click on the dates for details.

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3rd October - Budapest, HU

Ritmo Showcase 2019 


17th Oct - Cambridge, UK

Cigdem Aslan sings Rebetiko

more info soon 


24th Oct- Münster, DE

Theaters im Pumpenhaus

Çiğdem Aslan Quartet

More info soon 

25th Oct- Mulheim, DE
Theater an Der Ruhr, 8PM

Çiğdem Aslan Quartet

More Info Soon


2nd Nov - London, UK

Union Chapel 12-2pm

Çiğdem and Tahir Palali performs  Alevi songs from Anatolia- mostly songs of love and mysticism from 14th-20th century. 


You can hear our live performance at BBC Radio 3, Music Planet Program here









11th April- Bilbao (SP)

Sacred Music Festival


8-9 May - Cigdem Aslan Tour- DE
Hamburg & Reutlingen

Elbphilarmonie & Franz K


17-19 May - Lake District

on tour with She'koyokh


25th May- Madrid- (Sp)

She'koyokh, Fundación Juan March

16th June- Cambridge (UK) 


23rd June - Rabat (MA)

Mawazine Festival


25th July- Krems, Austria (AT)

Glatt&Verkehrt Festival


27th July - Fishguard Fest. Wales


4th Aug- Sidmouth (UK)

Sidmouth Folk Fest. with Tahir Palali