Istanbulive II Plays SummerStage in Central Park 7/3

By: May. 25, 2010
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Nearly 7,000 fans attended 2009's Istanbulive at SummerStage, making it one of the top-attended Central Park shows of the year. How best to improve on that success? According to event producers Serdar Ilhan and Mehmet Dede, by gearing the festival more toward the casual listener. Ilhan says, "The first Istanbulive featured artists that were instantly recognizable to their indigenous audience: MFÖ, Painted on Water with Sertab Erener and Demir Demirkan and Husnu Senlendirici. Each of these are incredible performers, but they all draw from a uniquely Turkish musical experience that may have been less accessible to an American crowd." Continues Dede, "For our encore, we've focused on musicians who make up Turkey's most daring artists, encompassing myriad East-meets-West sounds from Turkish rock to jazz, dance, global pop and folk. With this eclectic, contemporary and cohesive selection of artists, Istanbulive II aims to engage both first-time listeners and Turkish expats alike."

The second annual Istanbulive concert coincides with the city of Istanbul being officially hailed as 2010's European Capital of Culture. Accenting this prestigious honor, Istanbulive II will take place at New York's Rumsey Playfield in Central Park, as part of SummerStage on Saturday, July 3 from 2pm to 7pm. For five hours, several of Turkey's best and brightest artists will perform a free-to-the-public show presented by Serdar Ilhan and Mehmet Dede, with support from the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Istanbulive II is dedicated to the life and work of the gifted, multi-Grammy Award winning producer, songwriter, and musician Arif Mardin (1932 - 2006). Considered one of the greatest producers of the 20th century, Mr. Mardin helped shape the careers of a long list of superstars including Bette Midler, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, The Bee Gees, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson, to name a few. His last recording All My Friends Are Here, co-produced by himself and his son Joe Mardin, gathers a "life's work" of songs that are sung by his world-famous artist friends and fittingly comes out two weeks before the SummerStage concert.

Kenan Dogulu has become one of the most successful entertainers to emerge from Turkey following the release of his debut album, Yaparim Bilirsin, in 1993. His playful lyrics and an urban sound comprised of R&B, hip hop and dance have earned him comparisons to Jamiroquai and Justin Timberlake, and won him a legion of fans for his eight studio and four remix albums. Dogulu represented Turkey in the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest with "Shake It Up Sekerim," which placed fourth in the competition.

mor ve ötesi is a critically-acclaimed, alternative rock band formed in Istanbul. Since their debut in 1995, they have released seven studio albums including their brand new album Masumiyetin Ziyan Olmaz, and Dunya Yalan Soyluyor, the latter a double-gold-selling album in Turkey. The quartet, whose sound has been likened to Radiohead-meets-Manic-Street-Preachers, have participated in various nationwide anti-nuclear campaigns and worldwide anti-war efforts, supporting the cause with concerts and appearances. The band's Eurovision Song Contest entry for Turkey, the trailblazing "Deli," finished in the seventh position in 2008 and popularized the band in Europe.

Istanbul Sessions is a quartet led by Ilhan Ersahin, an adventurous saxophonist, keyboardist, composer and founder of the Lower East Side hotspot Nublu. The band captures Ersahin's NYC/Nublu sound and the vibrant spirit of Istanbul with Turkish scales, club-friendly beats, jazz improvisations and a plethora of moods. The band features Alp Ersonmez (bass player for Turkish pop star Tarkan), Turgut Bekoglu (drummer for Turkish diva Sezen Aksu) and percussionist Izzet Kizil, who has played with Bebel Gilberto and Natacha Atlas, among others. Ersahin has composed for Norah Jones, Bebel Gilberto, U-Roy and his bands include Wax Poetic, Love Trio, I led 3 lives and Nublu Orchestra.

?ükriye Tutkun is a conservatory-trained soprano singer who eschewed opera and instead found her calling in traditional Turkish folk music, adding various ethnic sounds and elements to operatic pop, including the quanun, clarinet and even table. Tutkun covers authentic music from various regions including the Balkans, Central Asia, the Black Sea and the southeast of Turkey.

Along with his younger brother Kenan Dogulu, which he writes/produces for and performs with, DJ Ozan Dogulu has become a cornerstone of Turkish pop. He has produced and performed with a wide range of artists from Zulfu Livaneli to Tarkan locally and from Gloria Gaynor to Sarah Brightman globally. Already known as one of the premier producers in Turkey, he has swiftly made a name for himself DJing and playing range of music from the Balkans, Turkey, the Latin world and classics from the ‘80s.


Istanbulive II is produced by Serdar Ilhan and Mehmet Dede . The duo's mission is to showcase the extraordinary virtuosity and diversity found in Turkish music today by introducing this music to America through events, showcases and educational programs. Ilhan's impressive résumé includes 15 years of bookings at such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and SummerStage, in addition to running several live music venues. Dede runs Electric Lila, an event and marketing company, and has an extensive background in music marketing and promotion. The pair has presented the prestigious NY Gypsy Festival since 2005, the premier event spotlighting Eastern European and Balkan music. Istanbulive II is supported by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism as part of its ongoing efforts to promote Turkey as a destination country.

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