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Mehmet Ali Sanlikol

Grammy nominated composer and CMES Harvard University fellow (2013-15) Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol made his Carnegie Hall debut in April 2016 premiering his commissioned piece Harabat/The Intoxicated with the American Composers Orchestra. Other recent works have been heard at Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall and on A Far Cry string orchestra’s recording Dreams and Prayers. He hails from Cyprus and Turkey, and is DownBeat Magazine’s September 2016 Editor’s pick, JAZZIZ’s Top 10 Critics’ Choice 2014 pick, a Jazz pianist, a multi-instrumentalist, a singer, an ethnomusicologist as well as a full-time faculty member at New England Conservatory. Sanlıkol was the recipient of numerous respected awards including The Aaron Copland Fund for Music Grant twice in 2016 and 2020 as well as the New Music USA Project Grant in 2020 and has been praised by critics all over the world for his unique, pluralist, multicultural and energetic musical voice. The Boston Globe noted that Sanlıkol’s “music is colorful, fanciful, full of rhythmic life, and full of feeling. The multiculturalism is not touristy, but rather sophisticated, informed, internalized; Sanlıkol is a citizen of the world”, “…and he (Sanlıkol) is another who could play decisive role in music’s future in the world.”

A musical polymath, Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol has composed for, performed and toured with international stars and ensembles such as Dave Liebman, Bob Brookmeyer, Billy Cobham, Esperanza Spalding, Gil Goldstein, Antonio Sanchez, Anat Cohen, Tiger Okoshi, The Boston Camerata, The Boston Cello Quartet, A Far Cry string orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Okay Temiz, Erkan Oğur and Birol Yayla. Sanlıkol’s unique blend of jazz composition and Turkish music has been praised by the Boston Globe as “a true fusion of jazz and folkloric Turkish language and colors.” Sanlıkol pairs Turkish instruments such as zurna (double reed wind), ney (end-blown flute), kös (large kettledrums) and nekkare (small kettledrums) with the jazz orchestra/combo to perform his Turkish music-influenced compositions, in which Turkish makam (mode) and usul (rhythmic cycles) are intertwined with modern jazz as well as specifically film noir influenced music.

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”The multiculturalism is not touristy, but rather sophisticated, informed internalized; Sanlıkol is a citizen of the world”, “...and he (Sanlıkol) is another who could play decisive role in music’s future in the world.” - Boston Globe

“A true fusion of jazz and folkloric Turkish language and colors.” - Boston Globe

Primary Instrument

Composer/conductor

Location

Boston

Credentials/Background

Full-time faculty at New England Conservatory

Photos

Albums

The Rise Up

Dunya Records
2020

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Resolution

Dunya Records
2017

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Resolution

Dunya Records
2016

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What's Next

DÜnya
2014

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Mehmet Sanlikol:...

Dunya Records
2014

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