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‘Three’ – Çağrı Sertel, Alp Ersönmez & Volkan Öktem

Garanti BBVA International Jazz Day Concert

April 30, 2024

Bova Jazz Club, Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi, Mis Sk. No:17, Beyoğlu, 34435 İstanbul

Pianist and composer Çağrı Sertel, who learnt his art from two of Turkey’s most distinguished jazz pianists and pedagogues – Tuna Ötenel and Ali Perret – is definitely a voice worth hearing. After a concert by him and his group at the İKSV building in Şişhane in June 2018, I wrote the following:

Listening to Çağrı Sertel for the first time gave me, primarily, a feeling of relief – that Turkey is still capable of producing musicians of this calibre. It is good to know that the Pierian Spring is not about to run dry in this neck of the woods, whatever cultural taboos our elders and betters may wish to impose on the populace. His most outstanding feature – apart from the technical aspects of his pianism and his inventiveness as a composer, both of which are outstanding – is his impeccable taste: he knows exactly when to change timbre and register, when to pull the stops out, and when to draw in his horns (both in the sense of withdrawing from prominence in the ensemble and in that of bringing in his saxophonist at the right moment).

Bassist Alp Ersönmez (who is also a composer of note) and ace drummer Volkan Öktem, meanwhile, are likewise musicians of excellent quality, both having once been members of Sarp Maden’s group ‘Quartet Muartet’.

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Issue 66, December 2023 Turkey’s Centenary Issue
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