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Manush Music Compilation Artist's

Lütfü Gültekin (Turkiye)

Lütfü Gültekin was born in Tunceli (Turkiye) in 1949. He learned the Saz secretly from his uncle Sahin Gültekin. At an early age of 16 he escaped his house to Istanbul to pursue music which was his key passion. There he met Ashik Daimi, Davut Sulari and many more great masters who made him able to create distinct melodies in this oral tradition. 

Dedicating his entire life to music Lütfü Gültekin composed thousand of melodies and songs some of which are archived through his albums "Gül Türküleri", "Hasretim Hasret", "Türküce", "Bir Pınardır Türküler", "L'exil", "Refuge du barde", "Geçmişi Selamlamak" to name a few. An inspiration to many composers and young musicians, Lütfü Gültekin 

relentlessly continues his musical quest devoting his life to this exceptional oral tradition of Anatolia.

Véronique Gillet (Belgium)

Guitarist composer Véronique Gillet’s musical way led her from popular songs of her 

Italian and Spanish immigrant neighbours to Alberto Ponce (Spain), Egberto Gismonti (Brasil), Leo Brouwer (Cuba), Fernando Freitez (Venezuela), Giovanna Marini (Italy), Emre & Lütfü Gültekin (Turkey) and many others... All these caring gardeners have sowed their souls in what must have been a very fertile soil.These abundant contributions could “have formatted” the composer like a school and induce her to creations “after the manner of”. Fortunately, her imaginary has been able to abstract the essential spirit: the cultures which inspire her seem thus rather to link their richnesses and to weave her personal creation. Robert Mercier (guitare-diffusion).


Jean-Christophe Renault (Belgium)

Jean-Christophe Renault is an off-track pianist and composer. Neither a jazzman nor a world music musician, he could perhaps today be assimilated into the so-called neo-classical current, somewhere between Keith Jarrett and Erik Satie. He frequented jazz (a first record in 1981 with the 

saxophonists Jacques Pelzer and Steve Houben), composition (studies at the Liège Conservatory with Frederic Rewsky), improvisation (courses in Paris with Alan Silva at the IACP), Anglo-Saxon poets 

(numerous works on texts by W.B. Yeats and Emily Dickinson), solitude (6 albums of Piano Solo) and world music : Lena Willemark (Voice - Sweden), Ivan Stefanov (Gadulka - Bulgaria), Didier Laloy 

(Accordion-Belgium), Satiena Soulama (Balafon-Burkina-Faso), Johanna-Adèle Jüssi 



Moussa Niang (Senegal)

Senegalese singer Moussa Niang (nicknamed Moussa Diabate) has worked with the 

biggest names in Malian music. He was one of the lead singers with Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra and has shared the stage with Bassekou Kouyate. 

Multi-instrumentalist Désiré Somé, from Burkina Faso, fine-tuned his education as a  jazz guitar player at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels. He performed with Toumani Diabate’s Bamako dance band, the Symmetric Orchestra, in the late ‘90s and ‘00s; he is the lead singer on the track “Tapha Niang” from the album Boulevard de l’independence (2006).

He has played bass and guitar with several groups.  Moussa was inspired by West African music to write a hymn about the poet, the griot Doua jointly with Désiré Somé, the song "Xale", expresses their conviction that every child in the world deserves an outstretched hand and forcefully affirms that "he who opens a school closes a prison."

Meftuni Topçu (Turkiye)

Meftuni was born in Çorum in 1956. Since childhood he was listening his father playing saz and he fell in love with this culture.  He was eleven when he quit the formal education and followed his master the greatest “Ashik” (troubadour) Mahzuni Şerif to play with him across Anatolia. The school for him was the gatherings of Ashiks where he developed his mind and spirituality and mastered the essence of this tradition.

Till today Meftuni had composed hundreds of songs and he is one of the most respected Ashiks in this oral tradition going on since centuries in Anatolia.


Vardan Hovanissian (Armenia)

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 it’s 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 neighbouring 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 Emre Gültekin.


Nilgün Aksoy (Turkiye)

The Turkish singer was born and raised in Istanbul and settled in Netherlands at the age of 17. There she soon developed her interest in traditional modal music, began to play the bağlama and kemane and studied Turkish Music at Codarts Rotterdam Conservatory. To deepen her knowledge she then completed a four-year private study with the ethnomusicologist and bağlama virtuoso, Talip Özkan, in Paris.

Moving to Hamburg in 2008, she co-founded the School of Anatolian Music with her husband and still teaches there today.


Efren Lopez (Spain)

Efren is a matchless fan of music and is interested in being the same until he remains conscious of the surroundings around him, and remembers all songs played in the active class area where he was nurtured. In 1993 Lopez formed his first group “Margaritas y Cerdos” with singer Cándida Sanchis. In the same period he also learned sitar with Elche Sazed Ul Alam. Frequent voyages to Greece and Turkey helped Efren to learn different music styles.

Through L’Ham de Foc and associated works, Efrén could collaborate with some esteemed musicians such as Luigi Cinque, Elena Ledda, and Ross Daly throughout Europe, and China.

Ertan Tekin (Turkiye)

Born in Istanbul to a family with roots in Erzurum, Ertan Tekin is a Turkish master of the mey, zurna, and sipsi (shepherd’s flute). He became interested in music at an early age of six and learned to play mey and zurna from his father, Şahamettin Tekin, in the classical demonstrate-and-imitate style of study. Pursuing his studies in the fields of traditional Kurdish, Armenian, and Anatolian music, Ertan accompanied music albums in Turkey and across the globe for years. After 25 years of musical experience, he released his first solo album “Demans” in 2011.

Hicham Bilali (Morocco)

Hicham is a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist. Before he touched his first guemri (Gnawa lute) he learnt to sing, dance and play percussions (Moroccan metal rattlesnakes and drums).

Born in Fez, Hicham is bathed since childhood in Gnawa music. He began his initiation at the age of eighteen years under the teaching of the maalem (master) Hamid Dqaqi who transmits the ancestral knowledge of Moroccan folklore. He set foot in France in 1999, thanks to his velvety voice and his subtle playing, soon, he joined the multidisciplinary company Von Magnet in Paris and toured Europe. He ended up settling in Brussels in 2007 where he worked with Rida Stitou, then founded his Gnawa group, Black Koyo. Deep and percussive sound of the guembri, metallic tinkling of the qraqib, songs repeated in unison in a mythical language...Gnawa music is the gateway to a universe guided towards spirituality. Hicham Bilali makes us discover this ancestral practice which was transmitted to him through selected pieces of the ritual repertoire of the lila (“night” in dialect Moroccan). 


Gülçiçek Bakır (Turkiye)

Born in 1975 in Erzincan province in Turkey Gülçiçek Bakır was the youngest among her seven siblings. Due to adversities her studies were disrupted till primary school in her village. Later when she moved in Germany she could finally finish her education. 

Currently based in Zurich, Gülçiçek is a poet, composer and singer who sings and writes in Kurdish, Zaza and Turkish languages in the similar mood of the oral musical traditions of  Anatolia.

In 2000 she interpreted the song of Lutfu Gultekin “Emeğim Zay oldu” in the album Gül türküleri. In 2005 she released her first and only album called “İZ”. 


Raphaël De Cock (Belgium) 

Raphaël De Cock is a multi-instrumentalist and singer of traditional singing styles and he is involved in various Belgian as well as international music projects. He also regularly gives workshops and courses. Raphaël discovered Irish bagpipes, Uilleann pipes, Tuvan throat singing and overtone singing in 1989. This was the start of a lifetime adventure and search for musical instruments and vocal timbres.

Raphaël also studied Biology at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. His field of research especially yields the behaviour and ecology of fireflies and glow-worms; he is involved in Firefly and glow-worm Survey Projects worldwide and currently IUCN SSC Firefly Specialist for Europe.


Eren Üren (Turkiye)

Born in the Paris suburb Eren started to play guitar at the age of 6 along with saz which became his favourite instrument. Hasret Gultekin who was one of the victims in this 

horrible attack in Sivas in 1993 had a big influence on Eren’s life and music. In search of a master to strengthen his knowledge in ashik traditions and music Eren discovered Lutfu  and Emre Gultekin who were close associates and colleagues of Hasret Gultekin.  

With great enthusiasm he frequently visited the Gultekin duo who shared their knowledge and expertise with this passionate and talented young musician.

Dedicating his life to music and musicians Eren has taken an initiative and the responsibility to produce distinguished artists and offers a musical journey without borders through his record label Uren Production.


Françoise Massot

A Fan of the double bass, Françoise Massot received a classical training with Camille Doorre (double bass player at the Wallonia chamber orchestra) and Maurice Aerts (double bass solo at La Monnaie). She had multiple ''classical'' experiences, notably in the Ensemble Musique Nouvelle, La Monnaie, the Vlaamse Opéra and "less classical" (French song, jazz, etc.) 

In the words of Françoise Massot, ..."music represents an Art of Living, a way of breathing, and a trick to escape from the sinister world in which we live rather than a livelihood."

A Fan of the double bass, Françoise Massot received a classical training with Camille Doorre (double bass player at the Wallonia chamber orchestra) and Maurice Aerts (double bass solo at La Monnaie). She had multiple ‘’classical’’ experiences, notably in the Ensemble Musique Nouvelle, La Monnaie, the Vlaamse Opéra and “less classical” (French song, jazz, etc.) 

In the words of Françoise Massot, ...”music represents an Art of Living, a way of breathing, and a trick to escape from the sinister world in which we live rather than a livelihood.”


Brice Soniano (France) 

The aspiration to learn constantly pushes Brice Soniano towards new horizons. He is known as a bassist, improviser and focuses his last years on composition and conducting. After graduating from the Royal Conservatory in Hague, a long stay in the equatorial forest of Cameroon in a population of Baka pygmies greatly influenced his life and music. Brice a believer of Nomadism, considers music as a universal language intended to nourish and unite people.


Malabika Brahma (India)

Gifted with a luminous voice Malabika is a musician and creative artist specialised in the baul traditions of Bengal. As a practitioner of baul music and philosophy : a predilection for poetry rich in allegories and the importance given to humanity and love, she unites them across borders and differences depicting  a life of nomadism. She has been collaborating in musical projects across the world with renowned musicians independently and through her project Baul Meets Saz. She was a part of the much acclaimed International Cultural Exchange programs of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs representing the baul traditions of Bengal. Describing her musical ethos, Malabika explains, “Love, live, let live”is the true essence of my philosophy.”


Sanjay Khyapa (India) 

Sanjay Khyapa, a prolific guitarist and music producer had been experimenting with BaulSanjay Khyapa, a prolific musician, music and yoga educator and had been experimenting with Baul music since the 1990s. After living a nomadic life in Calcutta for long he shifted to a tribal village in Bengal. He is a traveling musician leaving behind a trail of his music and a bit of his soul wherever he halts. A rigorous journey of more than three decades into the heart of these traditions and deep interactions with baul masters like Gaur Khyapa, Subal Das Baul, Padamsree Sree Purna Das Baul, Tinkari Chakraborty and Sree Gaur Hari Das Baul provided him a first-hand view of the philosophy, spirituality culture and music that lies beneath. Though his main instruments are dubki (Indian frame drum), dotara (lute from Bengal) and guitar, Sanjay  as one of the pioneers in baul fusion genre collaborates with leading musicians showcasing his music and exploring other instruments like oud, rebab, bendir, sarod, esraj, sarangi... He believes music is the language of love and has a soul stirring effect and the power to transform our ives in different ways.

Emre Gültekin (Turkiye)

Emre began to discover Anatolian melodies since his early childhood through his father Lüftü Gültekin. Saz became the love of his life and thanks to his father that he started playing with the greatest musicians such as Hasret Gültekin Mustafa Karaçeper, Meftuni Topçu, Engin Arslan, Cengiz Özkan at an early age. Simultaneously he developed skills in sound recording and earned a degree from the Institut des Arts de Diffusion (Belgium). Emre found an attentive teacher in Talip Özkan, who taught him both the art of Saz and tanbûr. Emre is a versatile musician engaged in numerous projects creating a diverse dialogue of music from Senegal to Serbia to Armenia to China to Siberia to India ...with Goran Bregoviç, Véronique Gillet, Nathan Daems, Levent Yildirim, Guo Gan, Vardan Hovanissian. Emre has taken part in numerous projects; "Blindnote", “Adana &“Karin”, “Gültekinler”, “Baul Meets Saz”, “Lune de Jade”, La Roza Enflorese... He also recorded and edited the sound of dozens of albums, including Refugees for Refugees(“Amerli”) ; Voxtra ; Bao Sissoko, Wouter Vandenabeele & Mola Sylla(“Tamala”), “Chansons pour la fin d’un jour”, (“Masters of Frame Drums”), doza, Maurice Horsthuis’ string ensemble Jargon (...)

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