The New York City based Kurdish musician Ozan Aksoy’s destiny was set with his birth name – Ozan – an ancient title for mystical bards in West Asia. As a child growing up in Turkey, he first learned to play the saz (lute) from his father, and soon demonstrated remarkable breadth as a multi-instrumentalist, becoming proficient in many of the string, woodwind, and percussive instruments of the region. He developed a passion for the music of ethnic and religious minorities in his country including the Kurds, Armenians, Laz, and Alevi, among others. Later in college, as an early member of the critically-acclaimed ensemble Kardeş Türküler (meaning Ballads of Solidarity), Ozan and his colleagues performed the songs of these unrecognized and suppressed peoples, pushing the boundaries of inclusion in Turkey. During his time with the group they released four albums and toured extensively throughout Europe, spreading their message of diversity and acceptance. Ozan then relocated to the United States to complete a doctorate in ethnomusicology and further develop his multicultural repertoire. Now, in his long-awaited first solo album, named after the historical title and his birthright, Ozan draws upon songs with deep cultural roots, delivered in Turkish, Kurdish, and Armenian – along with two original compositions. He creates an acoustic collage of overlain tracks, performing most of the instruments and vocals on the album himself. He also showcases collaborations featuring world-renown musicians including Jeremy Brown, Ani Kalayjian, Richard Miller, and Shyam Nepali among others. Ozan presents mesmerizing and modern arrangements, bringing these sounds to a new audience; his lush melodies and textured voice evoke a mysterious and meditative sound that transcends borders.
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