A Sufi music concert by the prominent Turkish singer Ahmet Özhan will be followed by the Whirling Dervishes of the Istanbul Historical Turkish Music Ensemble. Save the date April 12 to experience the “Sema” ceremony performed by the followers of the poet, scholar, a great spiritual master, Rumi, who lived in Anatolia in the 13th century. Come, come and feel the search for the Divine Love as Rumi described in his poem centuries ago:
A true lover doesn’t follow any one religion, be sure of that.
Since in the religion of love, there is no irreverence or faith.
When in love, body, mind, heart and soul don’t even exist.
Become this, fall in love, and you will not be separated again.
About Ahmet Özhan
Turkish classical music singer, art director and actor
After graduating from İstanbul Municipal Conservatory and Üsküdar Musiki Cemiyeti, Ahmet Özhan continued his studies with prominent masters while performing in distinguished music clubs. Soon, he became very popular in Turkey, appearing in movies, singing in and producing TV and radio shows as well as making albums during the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Ahmet Özhan has been one of the pioneers in development of Tasavvuf (sufi) music starting from the beginning of the ‘80s in Turkey. He has continued performing in this genre, giving hundreds of concerts all around Turkey, Europe, the U.S., and the Middle East with his group.
Ahmet Özhan, throughout his music life, has been awarded many times for his significant contributions to Turkish popular music and other genres of music. In 1998, he received the honorary title of “State Artist” which was granted to him as a prominent artist by the government of Turkey for his contributions to Turkish culture.
Between 1981-1991, he worked as a vocal artist for TRT Istanbul Radio, the oldest radio station in Turkey. Özhan was also among the founders of the Istanbul Historical Turkish Music Ensemble which is affiliated with the Republic of Turkey’s - Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and he has been working as a soloist and an art director of that ensemble since its founding year - 1991.
About the Istanbul Historical Turkish Music Ensemble
Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī began his book The Mesnevi with “bishnev in ney” (Listen to the reed flute) thus expressing the importance of hearing and listening to music. One aspect of religion is obligation, the other is affection. The religious scholars teach us how to fulfill our obligations. The followers of Sufism show us the way to express our affection, even with ecstatic love. It is obvious to everyone what a powerful means music is to express love.
Founded in 1991 by Turkish Ministry of Culture, the Ensemble aims to present the original style and performance characteristics of Classical Turkish Music, especially the Sufi and Military Music (Mehter) which are of the utmost importance to Turkish culture. The ensemble has been performing new songs as well as the highly appreciated classical songs which are performed in Mehterhanes (Military Recital Halls) and in Tekkes (dervish lodges). The group also continues its studies and research realizing the historical importance of this heritage, and with a goal to hand this over to the next generation.