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Photographer's Note

Okay Temiz is one of the world's best percussion player. He has a Rhythm School at Galata, Istanbul, on which he always dreamed. I went there to see the courses and meet him. I also took some photos.

He is a lovely man. Over 30 years experience and still searching for more...

Please also check WORKSHOP photo.

For more information www.okaytemiz.com
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Okay Temiz was born in 1939 near Istanbul. Having studied drumming at the academy of Ankara, he began his professional career as a member of show groups, with which he toured North Africa, the Near East and all of Turkey. In Europe, Okay Temiz felt especially at ease in Scandinavia, and he has since adopted both Sweden and Finland as second homes. Already at an early stage he regarded himself as an ‘international’ - what today would be called a world musician - and succeeded in bringing together widely differing musical influences.

In the late 1960s, the American trumpet player Don Cherry - who took great interest in African and Asian cultures - heard the Okay Temiz play in Stockholm. The incident sparked a collaboration which would last many years. In the mid-1970s, Temiz founded the ensemble ORIENTAL WIND, a regular and successful guest on the concert stages of Europe throughout the years of its existence.

Just as he has often invited European musicians to make guest performances in Turkey, Temiz has repeatedly introduced Eastern musicians to Europe, primarily people whose musical roots are in the folklore of their country.

According to one critic, Temiz ‘is an energetic, and at the same time sensitive drummer with an incredible feel for nuances. Even when he chooses to be moderate in his setting of accents, the lovely melodies are threaded into a dense and powerful weave of rhythms presenting a challenge to the co-musician. Okay Temiz is also an outstanding percussionist who has achieved true mastery above all on the South American berimbao.’

The zurna has accompanied Temiz throughout his lifeits sounds being associated with the most exciting incidents of his childhood - celebrations, dances and holidays. In the 1970s Temiz frequently performed in Scandinavia with Binali Selman, a renowned zurna player from Eastern Turkey. In the 80s he worked with another zurna player in Stockholm - Ziya Aytekin from the north-eastern part of their homeland. In 1996/67, following his return to Turkey, Temiz met a young zurna player from the country’s west, Ahmet Özden, whom he regards as one of the greatest living masters of this difficult instrument.

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