On Sunday, Sept. 23, the Brasstown Concert Association will present Turku: Nomads of the Silk Road, an ensemble in the forefront of World Music performers. Known for the range and virtuosity with which they play “300-year-old Rock and Roll from the seat of Civilization,” the group has appeared from Uzbekistan to the U.S. for crowds as large as 25,000 people and released three critically acclaimed CDs. Their high energy concerts of music from the western half of the Silk Road regularly bring audiences to their feet dancing.
Ted Monnach became fascinated by traditional Turkish music during a trip to Instanbul, came home with a saz (an instrument resembling a long necked lute) and found teachers in the U.S. Over the years he travelled to Turkey and beyond to research music and obtain authentic instruments, and forged the internationally recognized ensemble in which he plays saz and baglama.
Farzad Farhangi, Turku’s violinist, ud player and lead vocalist, was a distinguished musician and composer in his native Persia. A master of the art of Taksim (solo improvisation) who studied in his turn with masters of the form, Farzad considers the gypsy musicians of his small home town his greatest musical influences.
Daveed Korup, a native of Kankakee, Illinois and graduate of Northwestern University, is lead drummer, playing darabuka (dumbek) and djembe. His style represents a synthesis of many of the world’s dynamic percussion traditions.
Behyar Behipour, from Tehran, Iran, studied classical guitar, played and taught in Iran, Kuwait, Syria and Pakistan before moving to the U.S. in 1997. Before becoming Turku’s bass player in 2010, he played Persian music with Farzad for years.
Carla Monnich joins Davul as percussion on the davul drum. She is also Turku’s principal dancer and choreographer, with private study in classical Indian dance and 17 years of study in various styles originating along the Romani people’s paths from India to Spain.