Omer Faruk Tekbilek
0.0/5 rating (0 votes)
Omer Faruk Tekbilek

  • United States
  • Virtuoso of Middle Eastern and Sufi music

Biography

Honored as a peacemaker and virtuoso, OMAR FARUK TEKBILEK is now one of the most sought-after musicians, whose work transcends political boundaries while maintaining traditional sensibilities in a way few artists can manage.

Omar Faruk was a musical prodigy. He was born in Adana, Turkey to a musical family who nurtured his precocious talents. At the age of eight, he began his musical career by developing proficiency on the kaval, a small diatonic flute.

At the same time he studied religion with thoughts of becoming a cleric, or Imam. His musical interests were being nurtured by his older brother and by a sympathetic uncle who owned a music store and who provided lessons. “He had a music store, and he also had another job during the day. So he told me to come after school, open the store, and – in exchange – he gave me lessons.” While working in the store, Omar Faruk learned the intricate rhythms of Turkish music, how to read scales, and other rudiments. He was trained on and eventually mastered several instruments; ney (bamboo flute), zurna (double-reed oboe like instrument with buzzing tone), the baglama (long-necked lute), the oud (the classic lute), as well as percussion. By the age of twelve he began performing professionally at local hot spots.

In 1967, upon turning sixteen, he moved to Istanbul where he and his brother spent the following decade as in-demand session musicians. Omar Faruk stayed true to his folkloric roots, but during this period of frenetic session work in the metropolitan music scene, he explored Arabesque, Turkish, and Western styles and the compositional potential of the recording studio. In Istanbul he also met the Mevlevi Dervishes, the ancient Sufi order of Turkey. He did not join the order, but the head Neyzen (ney player), Aka Gunduz Kutbay, became another source of inspiration. Omar Faruk was profoundly influenced by their mystical approach and fusion of sound and spirit. During that time he was introduced to Hatha Yoga and eventually to Tai Chi and Chi Qong, which he continues to practice daily.

Omar Faruk’s skills in the studio blossomed in Istanbul playing with some of the leading Turkish musicians of the day including Orhan Gencebay, flute and saxophone player Ismet Siral, percussionist Burhan Tonguc and singers Ahmet Sezgin, Nuri Sesiguzel, Mine Kosan and Huri Sapan to name a few.

After establishing himself as one of the top session musicians in Turkey, he began touring Europe and Australia. By 1971 at the age of 20, he made his first tour of the United States as a member of a Turkish classical/folk ensemble. It was while touring in the US that he met his future wife, Suzan, and in 1976 he relocated to upstate New York to marry her.

Omar Faruk found very few options for a Turkish musician in the US, so he formed a band called the Sultans with an Egyptian keyboardist, a Greek bouzouki player, and his brother-in-law on percussion. It started as a pop band but very quickly turned into a sort of Pan-Near Eastern ensemble. They began to attract some attention within the circle of Middle Eastern dance fans. They managed to record five albums during this time, but Omar Faruk was still unknown outside his local musical community.

This was all about to change with the fateful meeting with Brian Keane in 1988. In the following years, he and Keane would produce another six recordings together, launching Omar Faruk boldly into the world music scene.

Omar Faruk Tekbilek has since established himself as one of the world’s foremost exponents of Middle Eastern music. A multi-instrumentalist par excellence, he has collaborated with a number of leading musicians of international repute such as jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, keyboard player Karl Berger, ex-Cream rock drummer Ginger Baker, Ofra Haza, Simon Shaheen, Hossam Ramzy, Glen Velez, Bill Laswell, Mike Mainieri, Peter Erskine, Trilok Gurtu, Jai Uttal, Yasmin Levy, Tomatito, Enrique Morente and Steve Shehan among others. He has contributed to numerous film and TV scores and to many recordings including world sacred music albums, and has been touring extensively throughout the Middle East, Europe, Australia, North and South America.

Omar Faruk’s music is rooted in tradition, but has been influenced by contemporary sounds. He views his approach as “cosmic” and his commitment to music runs deep. The four corners of his creativity emanates mysticism, folklore, romance, and imagination. Like Omar Faruk himself, his music symbolizes diversity-in-unity.

 

Awards

  • People’s-choice US Golden Belly - ‘Musician-Of-The-Year-Award’ in 1998 and 1999
  • 2003 Turkish Music Award for ‘Best Artist’ He is a nominee for the BBC World Music Award 2003 in the category of the Middle East
  • honorary Doctor degree from ‘Zonguldak Būlent Ecevit University’ in Turkey 2014
  • 2011 Turkish Music Award for  ‘Best Instrumental Album of the Year’ presented by Kral TV

TURKUAZ MAGAZINE

Catch up on the latest and greatest in the world of International Turks

POLITICS
RUSSIA-TURKEY CONFLICT
CULTURE
EKO FRESH
BUSINESS
ERKAN ALTUN
COMMUNITY
TEMPODROM SHOOTING
SPORTS
EMRE MOR
Slider
Our Population
0
Countries
0
Cities
7,235,0
Turkuaz Citizens
Slider

CELEBRITIES

Internationally renowned Turks

Image is not available
Osman Kavala
PHILANTHROPIST

Detained in a high-security prison in Turkey for 840 days, Turkish-French businessman Kavala is freed after a surprise ruling for the acquittal of all defendants of the Gezi trial, but arrested for another case.

PARIS, FRANCE
Image is not available
Aslı Erdoğan
AUTHOR

Charged for 'terror propaganda', facing up to 9 years in prison, exiled author Aslı Erdogan, is acquitted. Her case had started in 2016 for her involvement in the publication of Ozgur Gundem.

FRANKFURT, GERMANY
Image is not available
Ahu Gümrah Dumanlı
CHEMIST

Researcher at the University of Manchester, BP's ICAM Kathleen Lonsdale Research Fellow, materials chemist Ahu Dumanlı is awarded £1 million for research funds on bio-inspired functional materials.

MANCHESTER, UK
Image is not available
Elanur Akıncı
STUDENT

Student at Sehit Fatih Satir Bilim ve Sanat Merkezi, 4th grader Elanur Akinci came first place among 7,328 contestants at the Canada based ‘International Caribou Mathematics Competition’.

IZMIR, TURKEY
Image is not available
Cem Yiğit Üzümoğlu
ACTOR

Playing the lead role of Fatih Sultan Mehmet in the recent Netflix series 'Rise of Empires: Ottoman', talented actor Uzumoglu received top rating, ranking 114th, right after Tom Cruise in the IMDb listings.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY
Image is not available
Gulten Kaya
PRODUCER

Residing in France on a self-imposed exile since 1999, the wife of the late protest folk singer Ahmet Kaya took legal action to stop the screening of a biopic, filmed without her family's approval.

PARIS, FRANCE
Image is not available
Tuna Altinel
Mathematician

Member of the 'Academics for Peace' movement, Turkish-French academician Tuna Altinel of Lyon-1 University is acquitted after 81 days of imprisonment and six months of trial in Turkey.

LYON, FRANCE
Image is not available
Hatice Altug
SCIENTIST

Associate professor at EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Altug works on the development of powerful, next-generation health diagnostic tools using nanoparticles and light.

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND
Image is not available
Memet Kilic
ATTORNEY

Former German Green Party deputy, attorney Memet Kılıç is facing an arrest warrant over insulting President Erdoğan in an interview he gave to online news website ABC in July 2017.

HEIDELBERG, GERMANY
Image is not available
Cenk Uygur
BROADCASTER

Turkish-American political commentator and main host/ co-founder of the 'The Young Turks' program, announced his candidacy from California's 25th district, running for U.S. Congress elections in 2020.

LOS ANGELES, USA
previous arrow
next arrow
Slider


Visit our Celebrities Pages to find the most celebrated Turk in your industry.

ADVERTISEMENT

Step on Earth

Flying to more countries than any other airline, Turkish Airlines invites all world citizens to explore the planet, with a clip that features the global journeys of three Americans who flew outside the US for the first time with Turkish Airlines.

Businesses of the Month

KANZLEI ALTUN

BRUNSWICK, GERMANY

AGORA

NEW YORK, USA

LEVANTE

VIENNA, AUSTRIA

NEW POINT

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider
 

ADVERTISEMENT

AJANS 869

Branding Services for Turkish Expats

Image is not available
1994
Eko Fresh
Love is My Religion
Love is My Religion
MUSIC
Rap
Image is not available
Kivilcimlar
Sema Basol
Love is My Religion
Love is My Religion
BOOK
Philanthropy
Image is not available
'Ahmet: Ikı Gozum'
Soundtack
Ozgur Tuzer
MUSIC
Folk
Image is not available
Sprache und Sein
Kubra Gumusay
BOOK
Integration
Image is not available
Leylan
Selahattin Demirtas
Love is My Religion
Love is My Religion
BOOK
Political Romance
Image is not available
Die fremde Braut
Necla Kelek
Love is My Religion
Love is My Religion
BOOK
Integration
Image is not available
Miss Universe
Nilufer Yanya
MUSIC
Pop
Image is not available
Turkish Germans
Sarah Thomsen Vierra
Love is My Religion
Love is My Religion
BOOK
Integration
Image is not available
Mad as Hell
Cenk Uygur
FILM
Documentary
Image is not available
Erdogan's Empire
Soner Cagaptay
BOOK
Politics
previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

International Turkish Community

Turkish Expats & Globetrotters

Citizens of Turkuaz Republic are globetrotters, praised for their ability to adjust to new circumstance, which they owe to their nomadic Turkic past.

With the internet age, many post their experience on Youtube, and we take great joy in enlisting them to help them connect, share and inspire!

Please visit our Community Pages and send us your video on your experience in the International Turkish Community. We look forward to publishing your experience!

Please send us your Youtube videos, WITHOUT HTTP:// at the beginning of the link.
Comments or questions are welcome!
Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.

COPYRIGHT © 2002-2020
TURKUAZ PRODUCTIONS, LLC.

 
Ajans 869