Born in Istanbul in 1959, Tahir Aydoğdu was graduated from the Physics Department of Middle East Technical University. He started his music studies his high school years and attended various chorus activities. He received his first music instruction from his father Gültekin Aydoğdu, a kanun player at TRT Ankara Radio and the conductor of Turkish Fasıl Ensemble, and by various Turkish Music Authorities.
Following his graduation from METU in 1983, he was appointed to the TRT Ankara Radio Turkish Music Ensemble as a kanun player, where he continues to perform. In addition to numerous concerts he gave in Turkey , he represented Turkey in many music centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia with the Modern Folk Trio (Modern Folk Üçlüsü) with whom he worked for eight years. He also played with ASIAMINOR Jazz Ensemble in many concerts. He attended various work-shops and festivals abroad, touring Europe and the U.S. extensively for ten years. In 1999 Aydoğdu established the “Ensemble ANCYRA”, with an aim to present the music of various countries of the world in both jazz and world music forms.
Aydoğdu accompanied the orchestra and dancers in the ballet performances of “Ali Baba & Forty Kharamies” with Ankara State Ballet & Opera Orchestra; Turgay Erdener’s ballet “AFİFE” with Presidential Symphony Orchestra; and arranged the music for the ballet “HAREM”. He has been giving lectures in universities and gave many seminars on kanun and Turkish music in Turkey and abroad.
Some of his many released CD’s include “Yahya Kemal in the music of Cinuçen Tanrıkorur”; “Balkanataolia” with the jazz singer Yıldız İbrahimova; “from Sufi to Flamenco”with the Dutch Guitarist Eric Vaarzon Morel ; “AFİFE” Turkish Ballet composed by Turgay Erdener with Tschaikovsky Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rengim Gökmen in Moscow; “Ferid Alnar” with Anatolian Strings Quartet.
He was presented an appreciation prize by the Senate of the M.E.T.U. in 2001, and his life story has been taken as a master subject by the Turkish Music Conservatory of Ege University.
Ara Dinkjian is best known as the founder of the highly influential and groundbreaking instrumental group, NIGHT ARK, which recorded four CDs for RCA/BMG and PolyGram/Universal. His compositions have been recorded in thirteen different languages by top singers and musicians throughout the world (including Eleftheria Arvanitaki and Sezen Aksu), proving that music is indeed the international language. His hit “Homecoming” (“Dinata Dinata”) was performed at the closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympics. Ara Dinkjian is also considered one of the top oud players in the world.
Ismail Lumanovski was born in Bitola, Macedonia in the year 1984, and started playing the clarinet at the age of nine. He made his debut in 1998, with the Macedonian Philharmonic, and his U.S.A. debut in 2002 with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen Arts Camp. Mr. Lumanovski was the principal clarinetist with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and a member of the High School Concert Orchestra at the Interlochen Summer Camp, a member of the Interlochen Arts Academy Band and Orchestra, and currently a member of the Juilliard Symphony Orchestra. He has won numerous competitions and awards, including first prize at the 23rd ,24th and 25th National Clarinet Competition in Macedonia, second prize at the International Competition in Bulgaria, first prize at the National Chamber Music Competition in Macedonia, second prize at the International Chamber Music Competition in Bulgaria. Mr. Lumanovski was a winner of the 1998 Folk Music Competition in Macedonia. In his Junior and Senior years at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Mr. Lumanovski was awarded with a Fine Arts award. Mr. Lumanovski has played numerous concerts in France, England, Belgium, Germany, Bulgaria, Turkey and U.S.A. Mr. Lumanovski studied with Mr. Pande Tatarcevski, Mr. George Townsend, Dr. Nathan Williams.Currently, Mr. Lumanovski is a student at The Juilliard School where he studies with Mr. Charles Neidich.
A Roman born to a singer mother and a folk dancer father in Prilep, Macedonia, Seido has played darbuka/dumbek in Balkan and Middle Eastern style for 30 years. With his extensive experience playing Turkish, Greek, Balkan, and Middle Eastern percussion combined with flare of jazz from studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, his unique virtuosity has set him apart from the pack worldwide. After playing in the now-legendary Middle Eastern NYC nightclubs Ali Baba and Port Said, Seido developed and augmented the style of dumbek playing when he joined forces with Matt Dariau’s Paradox Trio, which spearheaded the downtown New York Balkan Jazz movement. Seido has played with such notable artists as
Tarkan, Husnu Senlendirici, Omar Faruk Tekbilek and Ivo Papasov as well as Zlatne Uste, Yuri Yunakov,
Hasan Isakkut, Anahid Sofian Dance Company, Ken Butler, Balkan Brothers (the collaboration with Ismail Butera) and Romski Boji. He teaches at Balkan and Turkish music/dance camps as well as privately offering full day workshops several times a year.