Greek, Turkish and Lebanese musicians join forces to bring the Songs of Anatolia to Sydney


Greek, Turkish and Lebanese musicians are joining forces on Friday, August 12 for the much-anticipated Songs of Anatolia concert at the Sydney Opera House.

The concert will feature Byron Triandafyllidis (vocals and bouzouki), Ayşe Göknur Shanal (vocals), Cüneyt Çakmak (kanun) and George El-Azar (percussion), and they will be bringing the music of Anatolia, the region where Europe and Asia meet, to the audience.

In an interview with The Greek Herald, Triandafyllidis says he’s looking forward to the performance in Sydney because the collaboration has been in the works for a while.

“I met Ayşe through George, the percussionist. She was visiting Melbourne at the time and I was doing a performance of Greek music at Queen Victoria Markets,” Triandafyllidis explains.

“I knew a few common songs from Turkey and Greece so I got her up to sing a few and she did and that’s basically how it all started.”

Triandafyllidis says the concert will incorporate his interest in rebetika and Asia Minor, as well as give him a chance to get in touch with his ancestral roots which are from Constantinople and Thrace.

“It’s an important concert because we live in a multicultural society and… for social cohesion as well, just to know where some of our heritage came from,” he adds.

For her part, Ayşe tells The Greek Herald the concert will share a repertoire of music “that doesn’t leave anybody out from Anatolia.”

Ayşe Göknur Shanal.

“It will be really, really interesting for the audience. There is so much body of repertoire from different parts that haven’t even been explored yet and we will do that,” she concludes, while encouraging everyone to attend.

To find out more about the Songs of Anatolia concert, visit this website.




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