OKAY TEMIZ & ORIENTAL WIND
jazz & oriental & impro
Oguz Andreas METZELER
The international epopee of the legendary drummer Okay Temiz started in Sweden in the 1960’s. He is a pioneer of jazz and oriental music fusion, while the concept of “world music” as a mixing of various, traditional and present musical genres did not yet exist.
Beside a prolific career -over 3000 concerts and 300 participations in festivals, many albums- Okay Temiz is also a mad inventor who designed and manufactured many new instruments like the “magic pyramid” or the electronic berimbau.
He always strove to detect and associate new Turkish talents to his projects, to make them discover different music perspectives and to promote them to foreign audiences.
Okay Temiz & Oriental Wind
In 1974, Okay Temiz gathered famous jazzmen and musicians from Scandinavia and Europe in the ensemble Okay Temiz & Oriental Wind. It was a huge success, and the band toured over all the continents. After having spent three decades abroad, he came back to Turkey in 1998 and revived Okay Temiz & Oriental Wind with notorious Turkish musicians coming from diverse musical backgrounds. The band’s repertoire varies between jazz, Turkish folk, Sufi music and improvisation. Okay Temiz & Oriental Wind keeps revisiting its music and pursues its tireless blowing on Turkish and international stages.
Born in Istanbul in 1939, Okay Temiz was influenced by his mother, Naciye, who had had training in Turkish classical music. Playing professionally since 1955, Temiz studied at the Ankara Conservatory and at the Tophane Art Institute, and learnt to build his own unique instruments. After meeting Maffy Falay and Don Cherry, he settled in Sweden; with Cherry and bassist Johnny Dyani he toured the U.S. and Europe (Live in Ankara, Sonet 1971). The group Xaba, with Dyani and trumpeter Mongezi Feza, was founded in 1972 (Rejoice, Cadillac 1972; Music for Xaba, Sonet 1972; Music for Xaba 2, Sonet 1979).
In 1974, Temiz created his own Oriental Wind, widely using Turkish instruments such as ney and gayda (played by Haci Tekbilek), zurna, kaval, ud, saz, and sipsi. For some performances, his mother joined the group. He always featured Turkish musicians in order to help them gain international recognition, and kept strong ties with his homeland; his all-star CD Zikir (Ada 1981) features the great ney player Aka Gündüz, pianist Tuna Otenel, and top bassist/arranger Onno Tunc, while Karsilama (Ada) is a glorified, exciting version of the percussion/zurna music accompanying wedding parties in Western Turkey. In 1991 and 1992, he released Fis Fis Tziganes (Label La Lichere) with a group of gypsy musicians from Istanbul, and Green Wave (Uzelli); in 1993, with his Magnetic Band (Ano Kato, 1995), he added South African rhythms to his palette.After living for almost 30 years abroad, the new, more open cultural climate and the crop of younger musicians coming up motivated him to return to Turkey in 1998. He is busy teaching and performing in Turkey, is often invited to take part in the most prestigious orchestras, and he creates his own projects that feature his invented instruments, like the hand-made copper drums, the Magic Pyramid, and Artemiz made with camel and sheep bells.