• Sufi Flamenco performance as a stunning journey from Southern Spain via North Africa to Turkey with beautiful ingredients: flamenco, Sufi music from Turkey and whirling Dervishes. There has been a lively cross-pollination between the cultures surrounding the Mediterranean sea since the 11th century. Adrian Elissen, flamenco guitarist, and Tahir Aydogdu, kanun (Turkish zither) player, were amazed during their first meeting at how smoothly they influenced each other. This amazement is still visible on stage.

    As jazz musicians they feel each other out and play a game of question and answer in which the combination of cascading kanun and stunning flamenco guitar is a thing of real beauty. Bilal Demiryürek’s singing is equally impressive. After intermission he takes centre stage to perform a duet with is Spanish colleague Carlos Denia Moreno. This also sends shivers down ones spine.

    The image of flamenco dancer Kika and the whirling Dervishes is at first disconcerting due to their totally different levels of concentration, but the spinning movements combine beautifully. The program is well constructed and strongly performed. The musicians, excellent without exception, do not fall into the traps of ostentatious virtuosity and offer plenty of variety. For this reason Sufi to Flamenco continues to enthrall from the first minute to the very end.


    Tahir Aydogdu – Kanun (Zither)
    Bilal Demiryürek – Sufi vocals
    Bilgin Canaz – Ney (Reed flute)
    Fahrettin Yarkin – Percussion
    Engin Kökçu – Sufi dance


    Adrián Elissen – Guitar
    Carlos Denia Moreno – Flamenco vocals
    Antal Steixner – Percussion
    Kika – Flamenco- Dance

    From Sufi to Flamenco entails music from monasteries and palaces juxtaposed with the expression of the people.

    In the flamenco of Southern Spain, in the music, the rhythms and dance, there is an unmistakable Oriental source present, which originated with the mystical eastern Sufi’s of the 12th century. The Sufi’s and Dervishes paid little attention to the border between the two Islamic Caliphates in the east and west and there was a large mystical movement in Andalusia that came from the Middle East.

    The influence was mutual and, as a result of their music spreading abroad, Spanish Jewish composers played a large role in the colourful Ottoman music that emerged in Istanbul at the sultan’s court and in the Islamic Dervish monasteries.

    In each region the music developed in its own way, however the signs of mutual influence are still evident. The resulting sense of recognition and the surprise of the extraordinary interpretations makes this convergence of Oriental and Mediterranean music really exciting.

    The ‘Ilahi’ (Islamic hymn) introduced by the Sufi singer from Turkey is effortelessly and naturally continued in the Martinete and Seguiryas (forms of flamenco) by the Spanish flamenco singer. Combinations of string instruments such as the kanun with guitar, rhythmic combinations on the caja and küdum, and the mystical melodies of the ney build a tension which eventually returns to serenity in the accompanying singing. The rhythm and movement of the Dervish and flamenco dance and the consonance of the Ilahi and Martinete blur all boundaries.

  • From Sufi Music to Flamenco - New Frontiers

    From Sufi Music to Flamenco – New Frontiers

    From Sufi Music to Flamenco – New Frontiers

  • From Sufi Music to Flamenco

    From Sufi Music to Flamenco

    From Sufi Music to Flamenco

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