On Wednesday, December 5, The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall will use Zankel Hall’s distance learning technology to connect 400 students in New York City with 500 students in Istanbul, Turkey, for an interactive musical experience and cross-cultural exchange. Turkish clarinetist Hüsnü ?enlendirici will travel to New York to perform with The New York Gypsy All-Stars, and the Claudia Quintet-led by percussionist John Hollenbeck-will travel to Istanbul for this dual, transatlantic concert broadcast live to high schools students in both cities. The high energy program will feature traditional Turkish music and jazz from the US, focusing on the musical elements they share, including an emphasis on syncopation, improvisation, and melodic ornamentation. There will also be opportunities for the students to ask questions of the musicians as well as their peers across the ocean.

This event will be the culmination of a cultural exchange intensive as part of this season’s Citi Global Encounters-a program for high school students that uses music as a window into global history and cultures. During the fall, eight classrooms in New York City and eight classrooms in Istanbul have been learning about each others’ day-to-day lives and music, directly linked through an online community. In addition to the Distance Learning Event, students from the eight classrooms in Istanbul will interact with the members of the Claudia Quintet in special workshop sessions in their schools, and Hüsnü ?enlendirici will connect with the larger New York community in a free Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert on December 6 at Drom (85 Avenue A).

The schools participating in this cultural exchange are:

  • In New York: Newtown High School (Elmhurst, Queens); Somers High School (Lincolndale, NY); Marble Hill High School for International Studies (Bronx, NY); High School for Law and Public Service (Manhattan, NY); Life Sciences Secondary School (Manhattan, NY); High School of Economics and Finance (Manhattan, NY); Company High School for Theatre Arts – 2 classrooms (Manhattan, NY)
  • In Istanbul: ?ehremini Anatolian High School; Terakki Schools; ?stanbul Atatürk Anatolian High School; Kad?köy Anatolian High School

The Distance Learning Event and surrounding activities make up the fall portion of this season’s Citi Global Encounters, a program of The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. Citi Global Encounters, now in its seventh year, integrates curricula concentrating on the music of different regions of the world into New York City high school music and social studies classrooms. In 2007-2008, this interdisciplinary program focuses on Turkey. Throughout the winter and spring, 2,200 students from 40 high schools throughout the city-including those involved in the cultural exchange intensive-will learn about the folk music traditions and culture of Turkey in preparation for final concerts in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall featuring Turkish singer, composer, and scholar of Turkish music and folklore, Latif Bolat. Past focus regions of Citi Global Encounters have included the Silk Road, South Africa, Brazil, India, the Caribbean, and Mali.

Artist Information

Hüsnü ?enlendirici was born in Bergama, a small town in Turkey’s Aegean region. He comes from a family deeply rooted in musical traditions and was playing the clarinet by the time he was five. During his four years at the Turkish Music State Conservatory at Istanbul Technical University, ?enlendirici began playing with the famous Magnetic Band, a group put together by the master percussionist Okay Temiz, appearing in hundreds of festivals and becoming a musical ambassador of his country. He recorded and toured with the internationally known band Embrio and performed in festivals abroad with his father Ergun ?enlendirici’s sextet, Laco. ?enlendirici formed his current band, Laco Tayfa, and collaborated with the American ensemble Brooklyn Funk Essentials for the critically acclaimed album In the Buzbag and in concert performance. In an effort to bring Turkish music to a wider audience, Hüsnü ?enlendirici founded the quintet Hüsnü ?enlendirici and Friends. He has since performed in a number of concerts with both groups, both within and outside of Turkey, including EXPO-2001 in Germany, supported by the Turkish Ministry of Tourism, a performance in New York’s Central Park during the 2002 Mayfest festival, and during the Istanbul Jazz Festival in July 2002, with his 35-member Laco Tayfa Big Band.

The New York Gypsy All-Stars showcases some of New York’s finest musicians and has performed with such world music icons as Hüsnü ?enlendirici and Bulgarian masters Ivo Popasov and Yuri Yunakov. The ensemble is made up of Ismail Lumanovski, clarinet; Seido Salifoski, darbuka; Tamer Pinarbasi, kanun; Panagiotis Andreu, bass; and Jordan Perlson, drums.

John Hollenbeck’s versatility as a percussionist and composer is revealed in a body of work that challenges countless boundaries. His performance career stretches far beyond jazz with performances of a variety of traditional musics from around the world, including klezmer performances with David Krakauer and Frank London, projects in Columbia with Antonio Arnedo, and in Argentina with Fernando Tarres. Headed by Hollenbeck, The Claudia Quintet is made up of Drew Gress (acoustic bass), Chris Speed (clarinet/tenor saxophone), Matt Moran (vibraphone/percussion), and Ted Reichman (accordion). In 2004, Hollenbeck and his Claudia Quintet appeared in prestigious festivals, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, following the release of its second recording, I, Claudia, on Cuneiform Records to rave reviews. In 2005, Hollenbeck and the Claudia Quintet released Semi-formal on Cuneiform Records and in 2007, FOR, to critical acclaim.

The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall
The Weill Music Institute creates broad-reaching music education programs, playing a central role in Carnegie Hall’s commitment to making great music accessible to as many people as possible through creative musical interaction and inspiring lifelong learning. Educational programs are woven into the fabric of the Carnegie Hall concert season, with opportunities for preschoolers to adults, new listeners to emerging professional musicians. With its access to the world’s greatest artists and latest technologies, The Weill Music Institute is uniquely positioned to inspire the next generation of music lovers, nurture tomorrow’s musical talent, and shape the evolution of music education itself. The Weill Music Institute annually serves over 115,000 children, students, teachers, parents, young music professionals, and adults in the New York City metropolitan area, across the United States, and around the world.

Programs of The Weill Music Institute include: Family Concerts at Carnegie Hall and free Neighborhood Concerts in all five boroughs, which bring music to thousands within the greater New York City community each year. School-based programs enable students at all levels to participate in curricula that are age-appropriate, interactive, and conform to New York City, state, and national education standards. Professional Training Workshops connect emerging young musicians with internationally renowned artists. The Academy-a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and The Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education-provides extensive performance opportunities and intensive music education training in an innovative new two-year fellowship for post-graduate musicians. The Weill Music Institute also brings its educational programs to national and international audiences, using web-based and distance-learning technology.

This program is funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of State, The Tishman Fund for Education Through Technology, and by an endowment grant from the Citi Foundation in support of the Isaac Stern Education Legacy project.

Citi Foundation is the Lead Sponsor of Citi Global Encounters.

Citi Global Encounters is part of the Isaac Stern Education Legacy, a program supported by the U.S. Department of Education, and by an endowment grant from the Citi Foundation.

Programs of The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall are generously supported by the City of New York: Office of the Mayor, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York City Council; and by the New York State Council on the Arts.

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