By Heidi Trautmann
When ordinary people meet like you and me without knowing each other we would search for response in the eyes, judge the appearance, the clothes we wear. Not so musicians, they meet via a go-between, and that is music. Musicians have a different system of perception. They talk to each other through their instruments. A pianist for example plays a tune, a saxophone answers, a language by itself.
It so happened with the three musicians we have met one summer evening in Bellapais for Jazz Breezes, Rauf Kasimov, piano; Osman Şendinç, saxophone and flute; Mustafa Özak, double bass. One day not so long ago they had met on the occasion of a jazz evening, somewhere, and they started to play together. They understood each other. Rauf said to me: this chance you really don’t often get. Three passionate musicians and after only a couple of rehearsals they wanted to share their experience with us.
All three of them have a love for Jazz in common, although they have classical education.
Rauf Kasimov, my interview with him is published in the August issue of ZOOM IN, said that during his years at the conservatory jazz was tabooed.
Mustafa Özak was born in Limassol in 1970 and underwent an excellent music education. He graduated from Gazi University in Ankara as double bass player and has since worked with international groups and orchestras. Today he is a music teacher at Anafartarlar High School and plays double bass with the Nicosia Municipality Chamber Orchestra.
Osman Şendinç was born in Aydin in Turkey in 1951. His music education began parallel to his high school years. His world was music and he said that as a youngster he listened to music, be it classical or jazz for eight hours a day. He is proud to have had the best of teachers and has played with famous jazz musicians on his tours through Europe. Just to name one group he gave concerts with: Group Jokeri known for Turkish Jazz. For a while now he will stay on in Kyrenia and I hope to hear more from him.
The music hall in Bellapais was packed full by music friends. With the musicians came three young girls, piano students of Rauf Kasimov, to sit behind them on stage to learn some new experience. And we could see them enjoy the jazz tunes, and 10 years old Görsev Tepe whom we have heard playing here several times, was beating the rhythm on her arms and thighs and with her feet which amused me greatly. I had a look around and saw heads nodding and bodies moving with the beat.
In the beginning I had the feeling that the audience was somehow intimidated by the serene atmosphere of the gothic music hall but that changed rapidly after the break. Among the melodies were old “ear worms” such as Ain’t Misbehaving, Bye, bye Blackbird, Summertime, Lullabye of Birdland and finally Take Five, a tune Dave Brubeck was famous for.
We enjoyed really great solos and interpretations and we could witness some of these special dialogues between instruments, often like a declaration of love, flirtatious.