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RAMAZAN SESLER    

From father to son, a clarinet legend

Balkans & tavernas & makams

The "Sesler" School, through its worthy and talented heir Ramazan Sesler, lives on today.

Clarinet master and successor of a musical tradition of 3 generations from Greece to Turkey, Ramazan Sesler reveals all the facets of his instrument. Accompanied by tenors of the Istanbul scene, the refined breath of his clarinet leads us from the delicate makams to the festive rhythms of the Balkans, and to the alternatively jubilant and melancholic atmospheres of the Bosphorus tavernas.

As a tribute to family school and to his father, the legendary Selim Sesler, Ramazan Sesler has recently produced an album at Sony Music entitled Babadan Oğula (From Father to Son) and currently presents on stage the live project From father to son, a clarinet legend.

Ramazan SESLER • clarinet

Bülent SESLER • kanun

Hasan DEMİR • oud

Emre TÜRKMEN • bass guitar

Yaşar AKPENÇE • darbuka

Volkan ÇANAKKALELİ • davoul

©Zafer Uysal

Among the Seslers, music is above all a family story, and the destiny of the family is also that of a part of Turkey. Ramazan Sesler has taken over the family’s legacy and promotes this precious musical heritage, that preserves all its energy and intensity today. 

At the end of the Great War, the Greek-Turkish population exchange in 1923 involved the displacement of nearly two million people on both sides of the border. Established for centuries in Greece, the Sesler family leaves their city, Drama, to settle in Keşan, on the Turkish side of the border. The members of the clan, primarily the grandfather and kaba zurna player*, Mümin Sesler, quickly become the undisputed musicians of festivities and weddings in their new region. It is in this context that the son and future world star Selim Sesler practices. Initially a zurna** player, he finally opts for the clarinet.

Selim Sesler finally moves to Istanbul. Concerts after concerts in venues and taverns, his style, his skill and his talent forge him a reputation throughout all Istanbul. He brings his mark to the musical scene of Istanbul. His appearances in Turkish-German director Fatih Akın's films Head-On and Crossing the Bridge make him famous outside Turkey. With Caféturc, he then tours a lot of stages and festivals abroad and reaches international recognition. He is considered one of the best clarinetists of his generation.

With Ramazan Sesler, grandson of Mümin the emigrant, the successor of the Sesler dynasty is already in the making. He accompanies his father Selim and practices with him, both in Turkey and abroad. He acquires the style and technique of the family, as well as the repertoire. Like his predecessors, he appeared on every kind of stage and developed his character there: concert halls, taverns, wedding ceremonies.

After Selim’s death in 2014, Ramazan Sesler produced an album at Sony Music entitled Babadan Oğula (From Father to Son), as a tribute to his father and family school. The album alternates compositions of Selim and Ramazan Sesler, while the son also interprets some great classics of his father.

Ramazan Sesler currently presents on stage a repertoire from this musical heritage and a selection of cult pieces from the popular and classical Turkish genre. Accompanied by tenors of the Istanbul scene, he explores all the facets of his instrument. The refined breath of his clarinet leads us from the delicate makams to the festive ryhtms of the Balkans, and to the alternatively jubilant and melancholic atmospheres of the Bosphorus tavernas.

*oboe with elongated shape, and flared at its end. It is renowned as a festive instrument. Among the three sizes of zurna, the kaba zurna is the biggest one and the most common in Thrace
**intermediate size of the zurna family

©Ulaş Beşoklar

©Ulaş Beşoklar

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Album: Babadan oğula (From Father to Son) 

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