Sunday, February 15, 2009


Second Week in Istanbul

It’s been two weeks now since we arrived in Istanbul and there’s been plenty of action to report!

TV appearances
Okay Temiz was going around the TV stations a couple days before the big show and he invited me to join him! On the first show I was interviewed and then I got to play a solo! On the second show me and Okay and a couple amazing drummers from Bulgaria traded fours! It was really fun!

On February 11th I got to perform my composition “Karsilama” in front of 2000 people! It was Okay Temiz’s 70th birthday concert. This was a huge sold out event, and it was such an honor that he invited us to play in it! All of the girls (me, natalia, Amanda, adama and Veronique) did a great job and the piece was very well received!

Us Backstage right before we played!

Our performance! The other musicians were on stage behind us

Close up of our performance

Us with Okay Temiz right after the show!

Lessons w Binyamin
My lessons with Binyamin are going great! I have a six hour lesson every other day and then every other day I practice. My left hand is getting the workout of its life!


Natalia and I have also been going to the studio every night from around 11 –3am to practice! Then we go out for French fries with sweet ketchup and carrot juice at 4am. (I love how when you’re abroad you do things you would NEVER do at home!)
I don’t think I ever played so much in my life! Binyamin’s studio seems to be a hang out for all the greatest drummers in Turkey. All these cat’s that I’ve been hearing about (Suat, Hamdi Aketai, ect) hang out there so I get to jam with everyone! Many of the drummers here have seen me play on you tube, so they come around to the studio to meet me. Everyone is extremely welcoming and nice to me here.

Binyamin plays the skin drum and puts a light in it to heat it up! It looks cool!

The Hamam (Turkish Bath House
Somebody didn’t pay the water bill in our apartment so they shut off our water a few days ago and it won’t be back for another couple days! So we thought it was a good excuse to check out the Hamam! The Hamam is a public bath house. In the old days people didn’t have showers in their apartments – they all bathed at the hamam. It was a beautiful ritual and a nice way to connect to your community and get pampered. So we checked out a small local Hamam (not touristic at all). it’s not the most beautiful one ive ever seen, but its cheap and the guy gives a killer scrub and massage. For the massage you lay on this warm marble block and he covers you in suds and then massages you. it’s really lovely! We’ve been going to all the neighbors with big buckets and borrowing water from them. We’ve been also using the bathroom at starbucks (I’m ashamed to say I use this situation as an excuse to get soy lattes)

Jam with Emin
Emin, the famous maker of dumbeks has his shop right down the street. There’s always people jamming there. He likes me a lot (maybe cause of that naked picture of me behind an Emin dumbek that he keeps in his drawer) . But anyway its always fun to go there and jam.

Us with Emin in his store

The Quest for Misirli Ahmet Continues

Still no luck meeting Misirli Ahmet but I’m determined to at least meet him once before I leave. It’s unbelievable how much I hear his name! He’s really a legend among drummers here!

Dinner Partys

Okay Temiz came over to our house for a dinner party! We turned our ping pong table into a dinner table and made a feast. Fabio came too. We all had a fabulous time playing music, eating and drinking wine!

Our fabulous dinner party!

Also our Italian boyfriend Fabio likes to come over and cook for us. He makes a mean pasta dinner!

Fabio making vegan pasta!

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I love reading these...your hours of practice every day light a fire in me to at least practice an hour!
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