Facebook: Christos Barbas
Christos Barbas, multi_instrumentalist and composer is one of the most multifaceted and creative musicians coming from Greece. From an early age he studied the recorder, baroque music, harmony and counterpoint, finishing his studies of Western music in 2002. He studied musicology and ethnomusicology (Mmus) in the Department of Music at the University of Aristotelio (Thessaloniki) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (London). Since 2003 he focuses on the study of Ney, Sufi and classical Ottoman music with outstanding performers in Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey. At the same time he studies and plays several instruments of different musical cultures (kaval, piano, bansuri, irish whistles etc.)
Born in 1966 in Ordu, Osman Yurdal Tokcan graduated in 1988 from ITU (Istanbul Technical University), Turkish State Conservatory School, Department of Basic Sciences, where he worked as an oud instrument academician between 1989 and 1997. In 1990, he was appointed as an oud artist to the Istanbul State Ensemble of Turkish Music of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, under the artistic direction of the tanbur player Necdet Yaşar; and between 2015-2022, the artist has been working as the ensemble art director in his current institution.
He is considered one of the foremost oud artists of our days, Tokcan combined the traditional performance of the oud instrument with modern tunes and developed his own unique technique. He has also applied the reflections of this technique on the Fretless Guitar & produced many instrumental works by combining the diversity of traditional melodies with technical and polyphonic tunes.
During his participation in the Istanbul State Ensemble of Turkish Music, he continued his artistic works together with Istanbul Fasıl Group, Istanbul Sufi Music Ensemble, and the Istanbul Instrument Players and managed to make the Instrumental Turkish Music known to a wider audience. Tokcan together with these music groups represented the Turkish Music in concerts in various countries such as Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, India, Georgia, Greece, Crete, Estonia, Syria, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Turkmenistan, Tunisia ,Northern Macedonia, Lebanon, and Bosnia.
Participation in various Festivals & Concerts:
• Concert in France (1997) with Burhan Öçal (percussionist), Göksel Baktagir (Qanun), Selim Güler (Kemancha), and Arif Erdebil (Ney), was also put on the market as an album, and it was awarded the best ethnic album in 1998 in France.
• "European Music Around Ud" (April 2001) as soloist together with the Amsterdam percussion group and chamber orchestra
• Akbank International Jazz Festival (2000 & 2001) with Mercan Dede Ensemble
• Many Concerts in Israel (February 2002), with Göksel Baktagir (qanun), and the Grup Baharat that they created with Israeli musicians.
• 3rd International Oud and Lavta Festival (Dresden, Germany) by representing Turkey
• Musical projects of Kudsi Erguner (ney) in Turkey & abroad
• International Oud Meeting (December 2002 , Thessaloniki) with Ara Dinkjian, Simon Shaheen, Haig Yazdjian, and Omer Beshir.
• Oud Festival (August 2003, Jordan)
• Arabic Music Festival (December 2003, Egypt) two concerts in the Cairo Opera Hall.
• Solo Concert in California (March 2006, Santa Cruz)
• International Oud Festival (December 2006, Oman)
• Solo Oud Recitals (2006) in Syria, Jordan, Moracco, Tunusia, Greece, Holland, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Iran, Qatar, Germany, India.
• With the project "Seyir" he created together with Ross Daly, they gave concerts in the Berlin Philharmonic & other countries.
• Soloist in the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra (England, Belgium, France, Germany & Turkey), consisted by musicians coming from 23 different countries
• London Olympics (2012) participated as a Turkish artist in the opening concerts project organized by the Bosnian vocal artist Amira Medunjanin together with other artists from ten Balkan countries.
• ÛDI PROJECT (since 2017, Turkey & abroad), with two very talented young instrumentalists, Ufuk Kaan İçli and Tolga Karaslan, who are his students.The project repertoire includes Tokcan own compositions as well as classical, folkloric and musical reflections of different cultures around the world.
• Tokcan shared the stage with artists such as Djaffer Youssef, Karl Berder Octet, Trilok Gurtu, Mısırlı Ahmet, Ara Dinkjian, Taiseer Elias and Ömer Faruk Tekbilek.
• He has performed in the soundtrack of the film Passion of Christ (music piece Azeri performed together with Göksel Baktagir) & on the Kingdom of Heaven.
• He has composed the music of of the Türkish movie ‘GÖL ZAMANI’.
Personal Compositions & Participation in others Discography:
• Album Hisleniş - Saray (Deep Emotion) Oud solo and Bende Can (Inner Soul). The first was republished in the USA under the name “Passion”.
• Tokcan worked on albums within the scope of the projects of world-famous musician Jordi Savall titled “İstanbul, Dimitrie Cantemir”, “La Sublim Porta”, “Bal-Kan”, “Ramon Llul”, and “İbn-i Batuta”, and participated in many concerts (Portugal, Romania, France, Spain, Turkey, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Bosnia, Argentina, Brazil, China, Taiwan, England, Italy, Luxembourg, Abu Dhabi, Lebanon, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, USA, Canada, Norway, Turkey).
• He worked as the music director and arranger of Hafız Halil Necipoğlu’s Camideki Adam, Semâvi Duyuşlar and Cevşen albums.
• With the project “Oud & Qanun Master”, he tutors together with Göksel Baktagir many local and foreign students.
• Since 2005, he is one of the teachers in the Labyrinth Musical Workshop on Crete, under the artistic direction of Ross Daly where he shares his knowledge and experience with his masterclass level students.
• Since 2016 he has been giving ud lessons at POPAKADEMIE in Baden-Württemberg Mannheim.
Jury in Competitions:
In 2022, Tokcan participated as a Master Jury Member in the second cycle of the Aga Khan Music Awards, a competition where hundreds of musicians from the Islamic world are nominated.
Facebook: Araz Salek
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Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Araz Salek began studying the tar from an early age under the instructions of Tofigh Iranparvar. He continued his studies of tar and radif with Hooshang Zarif and Arshad Tahmasebi. Araz has been teaching tar and radif at various music schools in Tehran and Toronto since 2000. He has been a guest teacher at the Labyrinth Workshop in Crete, Greece. In 2017 he co-founded Labyrinth Ontario, where he serves as Artistic Director. He has performed at major venues in the Toronto region, where he now calls home, elsewhere in Canada, in Iran and across Europe. Since 2012 he has been part of the Toronto / Crete quartet “This tale of ours,” with Ross Daly, Pedram Khavarzamini, and Kelly Thoma. He has appeared on several recordings and in 2008 released a critically well-received solo album, Birth.