***Unfortunately Cuneyt Sepecti has had to cancel his appearance as his visa was turned down.***
In Istanbul, close to the city center, lies a district not often visited by tourists. It’s called Dolapdere, and it is populated by the Roma of the city, many of whom are originally from Thrace. They supply the music for the city’s weddings, circumsicions, parades and parties.
Dolapdere is the home of clarinet virtouso Cüneyt Sepetçi and the Orchestra Dolapdere, who are some of the great musicians of Istanbul. They specialize in a modern take on classic Turkish Rom (gypsy) music, as well as folk songs from Albania, Macedonia, Spain, and elsewhere, that they have adapted to their own inimitable style.
On days when Cüneyt is not working, you can find him in the cafe, drinking chai, and waiting for the highest bidder to hire him for the night’s concert. In the summer of 2012, he met American musicians A Hawk and A Hacksaw, who agreed to get the under-recorded master into a studio and release his first album. Cuneyt has chosen all the tracks, many are hits from the Turkish Roma repetoire, but many have not been heard much in the West.
Cüneyt Sepetçi comes from a family where music has been a traditional career for generations, he lives his life as a clarinet maestro, just like his grandfathers and uncles. We are delighted to welcome him to the UK for the first time for this years’ Counterflows Festival.