Monday / February 11, 2008 / 7:15 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
United States

This concert continues Lehmann's exploration of blending folkloric traditions from around the world with the concepts, forms, and instrumentation of contemporary jazz. Whether through original arrangements or covers of other composers' material within this framework, a number of different genres are showcased. "Nefes," a term denoting "breath" in a branch of Sufism particular to Turkey, was chosen as the evening's title because of the nature of some of the music presented in this concert, which is marked by a perhaps more introspective and contemplative atmosphere than average. Featured will be a tune by neo-folklorist Erkan Ogur, a renown Turkish guitarist, with lyrics inspired by the concepts of Sufism. Also, a Cuban prayer song dedicated to the Yoruban Orishas has been recast with a dosage of contemporary harmony. A typical rhythm called "chaabi" from the Maghreb region of North Africa forms the core of another jazz fusion piece made popular by Algerian drummer Karim Ziad. The evening's pianist, Vardan Ovsepian, will contribute one of his original compositions for piano trio, and an odd-meter Bulgarian folk song will round out the night. The musicians involved come from a variety of backgrounds and countries, including Turkey, Israel, Germany, Armenia, and the United States, and all have experience across the spectrum of world music, classical, and jazz. Flutist Amir Milstein, for example, was a founding member of the acclaimed Israeli-Arab ensemble Bustan. Mehmet Sanlikol is the the director of DUNYA, an organization dedicated to presenting the diversity of Turkish classical, folk, and contemporary music, as well as its interaction with western genres. Faculty drummer Bertram Lehmann has been a member of such diverse groups as the Luciana Souza Quintet, Natraj, the Tony Perez Quartet, Mango Blue, and Mili Bermejo's De Tierra, and has also performed with other renowned artists, such as Paquito D'Rivera and the Caribbean Jazz Project.