Third Annual Turkish Music Festival Celebrates "Interconnected Cultures"
HOUSTON, January 31, 2020 — This January, Hoppa Project brought back the vibrant sounds of Turkey to Asia Society Texas Center with their Third Annual Turkish Music Festival. Titled Interconnected Cultures, the 2020 iteration of the festival wove together old and new traditions to highlight the regional music of Turkey, Syria, Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania.
A pre-program lecture by Hoppa Project Co-Director Erberk Eryılmaz took the audience through a brief history of the region’s musical customs, tying together the Middle East and Black Sea regions through a demonstration of the rhythms and melodies the audience would hear repeated throughout the night.
The performance featured master string player Beth Bahia Cohen on the violin and Black Sea kemençe alongside Carpe Diem String Quartet. With them were Hoppa Project Directors Laura Krentzman on the viola and Erberk Eryılmaz on the Turkish Davul, Bree Ahern on the cello, and vocalist Eymen Üçışık-Keser, engaging the audience with works by composers Lev Zhurbin, Reza Vali, and Erberk Eryılmaz interspersed with a series of folk songs.
Following the performance, the American Turkish Association provided the audience with a taste of Turkey with samples of Turkish coffee and baklava.
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About Asia Society Texas Center
With 14 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and West. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach.