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), Vasilis Sarikis 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
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 people. This 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.
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.
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 if which have not been recorded in writing.
This belief is based on love and respect for all people, attitudes, knowledge, sharing and science. Alexis believe that one must respect and have knowledge of nature. The principles of love, tolerance and humanism are significant to Alevi philosophy.