Defne Şahin and Can Olgun: “Unravel” at the German House

Defne and Can

Defne and Can, © Defne: Dovile Sermokas, Can: Des White

04.03.2019 - Article

We cordially invite you on a soulful journey to a whole new territory of sound on March 27, 2019.

The German Consulate General Presents:

Unravel” is a musical journey across half the globe that reflects vocalist and composer Defne Şahin's broad range of influences. Having lived in Germany, Turkey, Spain and the United States, her music draws influences from jazz, classical music, Brazilian music as well as Mediterranean folk music. Defne Şahin tells stories through her songs, which she created and recorded while she was living in New York. Wordless songs, pieces set to the words of William Shakespeare or Nâzım Hikmet, and interpretations of jazz standards are presented in a pure and intimate setting featuring the New York based pianist Can Olgun.  Their sense of poetry and clear melodies, which are enhanced by complex rhythms in the accompaniment, take the listener on a soulful journey expanding the American jazz tradition to the music of other cultures while creating a whole new territory of sound. 

Defne Şahin and Can Olgun crossed paths at a young age. Both musicians are of Turkish origin and grew up in Berlin, where they studied jazz music at the University of the Arts. Later they were granted scolarships by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to pursue a master’s degree at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music.  In 2012 they went on tour in Turkey presenting Defne Şahin’s debut album “Yaşamak” based on the poetry of the great writer Nâzım Hikmet, who spent many years in Exile. This tour was supported by the Goethe-Institute and the German Foreign Office.

Jazz singer and composer Defne Şahin has developed a musical language, which reflects her life in different countries and cultures. She has performed in numerous jazz clubs and festivals in Europe, Turkey, Israel, Brazil, the United States and South Africa, such as the Carnegie Hall New York, Jazzfest Berlin and Istanbul Jazzfest. The native Berliner was awarded grants by the German Academic Exchange Service, the Goethe Institute and the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, enabling her to live and study in Barcelona, New York and Istanbul.
In June 2016 she released her Album “Unravel”, which she produced with Guillermo Klein in New York.

“Since releasing her debut album Yaşamak, the Turkish-German artist has been an established performer in the international jazz scene.” Tagesspiegel

One of Germany's leading young jazz pianists, Can Olgun moved to New York in 2008 and has established himself as a fresh voice on the New York jazz scene, developing and honing a unique style combining European as well as classic jazz influences. He performs regularly at prestigious jazz clubs including Smalls, Jazz Gallery, Blue Note, Jazz At Lincoln Center and has performed concerts at Carnegie Hall. He was a semi-finalist in the 2010 Martial Solal Piano competition in Paris as well as the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition in Washington D.C.

“Can Olgun is a brilliant young pianist combining technical mastery with raw emotion. His ambidextrous mashups of standards are stupefying. He is a new talent to behold as he extends the language of Jazz's piano history.” - Jason Moran performer in the international jazz scene.“ Tagesspiegel

Location and time:
German Consulate General
Otto-Carl-Kiep Auditorium
871 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 6:00 PM
Admission is free, but an RSVP is required at: unravel

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