Omar Faruk Tekbilek

 // Turkey

Caravanserai’s fall 2013 residency tour features Turkish world music legend Omar Faruk Tekbilek with his son Murat Tekbilek on percussion and renowned kanun player Bahadir Sener. Together, this trio will explore traditional Sufi, Anatolian, and Middle Eastern musical soundscapes in Omar Faruk Tekbilek’s contemporary, global style.

Born in 1951 in the city of Adana, Turkey, Omar Faruk Tekbilek was a child prodigy who quickly mastered woodwind, string, and percussive folk instruments as boy during lessons at his uncle’s music store.

Already performing in local clubs by the age of 12, Tekbilek moved to Istanbul at the age of 16, where he became one of the most highly regarded session musicians in the city’s bustling music scene. In the late 1960s, Tekbilek recorded with leading Turkish jazz and folk musicians including Orhan Bencebay, Ismet Siral, Burhan Tonguc, and Ahmet Segin. During his decade in Istanbul, he explored Arabesque and Western musical styles and was profoundly influenced by experiences with the Mevlevi Dervishes, Turkey’s ancient Sufi order.

After meeting his wife during his first U.S. tour in 1971, Tekbilek settled in upstate New York and began a family while continuing to hone his craft. He emerged into the world music scene through six recordings with Grammy award-winning producer Brian Keane beginning in 1988. Now established as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of Middle Eastern music, Tekbilek has collaborated with international music greats such as Don Cherry, Ginger Baker, Ofra Haza, Simon Shaheen, and Hossam Ramzy, and continues to share his music with audiences around the world.

Learn more by visiting Omar Faruk Tekbilek's website and Bahadir Sener's website.

Omar Faruk Tekbilek in concert. Photo by MUPERPHOTO.
Omar Faruk Tekbilek and Murat Tekbilek in concert. Photo by MUPERPHOTO.
Renowned kanun player, Bahadir Sener. Photo by MUPERPHOTO.
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