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Dash Arts, Kazum and Nest Collective present

Vardan Hovanissian and Emre Gultekin

Thursday 11 May
Main Space
From £10.00
to £12.00
All orders will be subject to a fee of £1.50 except if your tickets are free or if you are a member

In a nutshell

Haunting lyrical songs and music from across the cultural borderlands of Turkey and Armenia with Vardan on the Armenian flute, the duduk, and Emre on the saz.

Go on...

A stunning collaboration between Armenian Duduk player Vardan Hovanissian and his musical soulmate, Turkish saz player Emre Gultekin. A friendship capable of overcoming frontiers has brought them to Adana, their first CD as a duo. No mere reference to the city that bore the brunt of the Armenian tragedy just a century ago, Adana also stands for the hope the musicians share of an Adana where Armenians and Turks live in harmony. The album also symbolises reconciliation and friendship between two cultures that have many roots in common. A harmonious match of the Armenian and Turkish song texts with the melancholy timbre of the Armenian duduk, which Vardan studied under master instrumentalist Khatchik Khatchatryan and the virtuosity of the Turkish saz and tanbûr, which Emre studied with Talip Özkan and his father the bard Lütfü Gültekin.

Adana won Vardan Hovanissian and Emre Gültekin the Octave de la Musique 2016 for World Music.

This gig with Vardan and Emre is part of REVOLUTION17 that will bring an explosion of music, theatre, performance, film, art and events throughout 2017, offering a unique artistic experience of the Soviet and post-Soviet story in the centenary year of the Russian Revolution. DASH REVOLUTION17 is the culmination of a five year programme of free and ticketed events across the UK with artists from across the Soviet States. REVOLUTION17 will explode with new perspectives, extraordinary artists and challenging ideas, presenting a season of vibrant and urgent performance from the turbulent Soviet century.

With support from the Armenian Institute

What to Expect

Live music performances that incorporates folk songs and jazz.

Who's Involved

Vardan Hovanissian (duduk)

Vardan Hovanissian is recognised as a specialist in traditional Armenian woodwind instruments. The duduk, a double-reed instrument dating from the 5th century BC, reflects the very sound and soul of Armenia, and its warm timbre is increasingly appreciated by audiences all over the world. Strongly rooted in traditional Armenian music, Vardan almost naturally creates links with the music of neighboring territories such as Turkey and Syria, and with other European folk and jazz influences.

Vardan has performed with the National Folk Music Ensemble and bands such as Gandzsar, Marathouk & Ervand Saharouny in Armenia. His encounter with Tigran and Yasmin Levy was the catalyst for fruitful collaborations around the world, leading to concerts in Europe, Canada, Australia and Asia with Yasmin Levy, Arax, Hijaz and Blindnote.

Emre Gültekin (sazbaglama, vocals, tanbur)

In the Gültekin family, playing music is as natural as breathing. Born in 1980 in La Louvière (Belgium), Emre discovered music thanks to his father Lütfü Gültekin teaching him to play the saz, a long-necked lute capable of generating the most subtle harmonies. Elusive and complex, crossing cultural boundaries, the instrument was widely adopted throughout the Middle East – ranging even to Siberia – in various forms, but it was in Anatolian music that it reached its artistic apogee and greatest expression, with great masters such as Talip Ozkan and Mustafa Karaçeper, who also directly instructed Emre and his father Lütfü, whose compositions play an important role in the Turkish folk song repertoire.

Today Emre is an accomplished artist in his own right, engaged in many musical projects and interacting with diverse influences, with musicians from many different backgrounds, from Malick Pathe Sow (Senegal) to Goran Bregovic (Serbia), to Véronique Gillet (Belgium) and Dadmehr (Iran). He also plays in groups such as Blindnote and his family group Gültekinler and has started to write film music alongside his day job as a sound engineer.

What people are saying

"[The album is] reconciling two vibrant musical cultures on a sensitive anniversary. The playing is exquisite, the mood contemplative and nostalgic, drawing on folk melodies, poems and original pieces celebrating miners and murdered journalist Hrant Dink. [...] High Class." - Neil Spencer, The Guardian / The Observer 

" [The pieces] are all delicate and beautiful celebrations of a shared culture." - Simon Broughton, The London Evening Standard

"Fine Belgium-based Armenian duduk player and Turkish saz player and singer bridge the time-expired divide between their countries with calm, sinuous music, traditional and original." - FRoots

"A noble, worthy reminder of one of Turkey’s darkest hours." - Simon Broughton, Songlines

Why does Rich Mix matter?

'Rich Mix is an important cultural centre for the development of arts and performance in London, particularly those addressing the complexities of Eastern European culture and the post-Soviet space.'

Find out more


Twitter: @DashArts 

Things you should know

Suitable for ages 16+

This event is wheelchair accessible.