University of Rochester

EVENT: Music From Turkey Features Folk and Religious Songs

October 4, 1999

Turkish-born singer/composer Latif Bolat, a classically trained musician who's renowned for his performance of traditional folk and devotional music, will present a program at the University of Rochester at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, October 24, in the Interfaith Chapel on the River Campus. The concert is open to the public and free, though donations will be for earthquake relief efforts in Turkey.

Bolat is noted for his interpretation of music from the Sufi mystical tradition, most familiar to Western audiences in the ecstatic, trancelike dancing of the "whirling dervishes." In his public appearances he uses discussion, slides of Turkey, and singing to illustrate folk traditions and sacred melodies. He accompanies himself on the baglama, a long-necked lute, and other traditional Turkish instruments like the frame drum and ney flute.

Born in the Turkish Mediterranean town of Mersin, Bolat received his degree in folklore and music at Gazi University in Ankara and went on to teach traditional music throughout the country. He also managed a musical theater company.

The musician now lives in California. His eclectic career has included performances at ethnic and folk music festivals throughout the West Coast, lectures, teaching, radio appearances, and even writing the soundtrack for the television series Young Indiana Jones.

Honored with a grant from the California Art Council for his contributions to the preservation of Turkish folk music, Bolat directs his own Turkish music ensemble and serves as musical director for the Mevlevi Association of America, a Sufi organization which stages performances of Turkish dance and music.

The musician will also give a workshop to students at the Eastman School of Music on Monday, Oct. 25. His local appearance is co-sponsored by the Department of Religion and Classics, the Department of Anthropology, and the Eastman School of Music. For concert information call the religion and classics department at (585) 275-5378; for information on attending the workshop, contact the Eastman concert office, (585) 274-1110.