Nazan Nihal, vocal & guitar
Utar Artun, piano & percussions
Jussi Reijonen, oud & guitar
Galen Willett, bass
Giuseppe Paradiso, drums

On this rare occasion of celebrating music in Turkish cinema, NEOTOLIA will perform nostalgic and all-time favorite songs from unforgettable Turkish films.

Music is a universal language, spanning across all of space and time. Today, Nazan Nihal and Utar Artun are taking music into a new dimension, bringing the' old sounds to life. Nazan is a remarkable singer/songwriter and Utar possesses unlimited potential as a composer, conductor, film scorer and arranger. When the two met, they were inspired by their mutual addiction to music. With their roots in Turkey they explore new directions in music. Domiciled in the States they travel all around the world including Europe, bringing music to their audience.

Singer & Songwriter

Nazan NihalNazan Nihal started her music career as a songwriter and electric guitar player. She was on stage in Turkey, The Netherlands and The States. In The Netherlands, Nazan played during the festivities during 400 years relationships between Turkey and The Netherlands in 2012. Parallel to her music career she studied pharmacy, and earned a PhD degree. She moved to Boston in 2013 and started to take private vocal classes from Berklee College of Music Vocal Faculty. In addition to writing her own material she also arranged some Turkish Folksongs.

She released her first single ''Today'' on iTunes in Fall 2013. As a singer/songwriter, she was honored with prestigious prizes. She was the songwriter of "Paket" - First Prize, Miller Music Factory Awards, (Istanbul 2008); was the singer of "The Girl Who Has Chocolate Eyes" - First Prize, TBD Halıcı Electronic Music Contest (Istanbul 2011), and was the runner-up songwriter of Turkish National TV (TRT) ''Altın Anten Pop Music Songwriting Contest'' (Istanbul 2014).

Composer, Film Scorer, Arranger, Jazz Pianist and Percussionist

Utar ArtunUtar Artun was born in Ankara, Turkey. In 2006, he arranged musical pieces for the theater play "The 7 Women". He arranged many movie soundtracks and oldies for symphonic orchestra, and the Bursa Regional Symphony Orchestra performed his arrangements and compositions in live concerts such as the 2008-2011 New Year Concert and the International Bursa Music Festival in 2009. Artun performed in 7th Eskisehir Jazz Festival, 12th International Ankara Jazz Festival, 6th International Mersin Music Festival and 25th International Ankara Music Festival. In 2008, he graduated from Percussion Department of Hacettepe Conservatory with 2nd Rank (runner-up) Degree of School Placement Award.

After graduation, Utar Artun participated in the European Scholarship Tours of Berklee College of Music and graduated in 2.5 years with summa cum laude degree. He was awarded for highly "Honorable Mention" from Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition, Barnes&Noble award, 5 Dean's List awards, Outstanding Pianist award, Arif Mardin Scholarship Award and Brian Oliver Memorial Award. He was among the finalist of ASCAP's Morton Gould Young Composers Competition (2010) and Young Jazz Composers Competition (2011). In January 2010 and 2012, one of his compositions was selected to Jazz Revaluation CD. He is currently a JRR artist of Berklee College of Music. Artun was also a part of Birds of Feather, Octave and Ripple Effect albums. In October 2011, he performed with Kevin Eubanks in the studio recording session of WGBH Studios - Boston, MA. During his education, he took part in workshops, concert performances and clinics with Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Simon Shaheen, Kenwood Dennard, Jason Linder and David Fiuczynski. He is involved in the Rhythm of the Universe Project as an Arranger, Performer and Orchestrator and Planet MicroJam Institute at Berklee College of Music.

Artun has done numerous studio recordings, albums, festivals, concerts and performances in Turkey, Boston, and New York. He had performances, tourings and clinics in Switzerland (HKB-Bern), France (Paris, Sunset and Nancy, Music Academy International), Austria (Innsbruck- Treibhaus), Germany (Berlin-Aufsturz), The Netherlands (Amsterdam- Panama), and Italy (Gezmataz Jazz Festival, Genova). He had a debut performance with Quintet 57 at the 19th Istanbul Jazz Festival and the 12th Side Culture Art Festival Golden Trombone. He had touring with Jussi Reijonen in Finland along with 8 performances and 5 workshops. He had many interviews, TV broadcasts and newspaper-press coverages in USA and Turkey.

Utar Artun won the 18th HALICI MIDI Composition Contest and the 2nd place at the Berklee Film Scoring Contest 7. In February 2013, He won runner-up award of the SCAMV 1st National Symphonic Composition Contest. He is one the highly awarded scholars of Çağdaş Eğitim Vakfı. He arranged music for video with ROTU called "Bizim Eller Ne Güzel Eller" for the earthquake that devastated the city of Van, Turkey in 2011. The music video had numerous broadcasts on national and international TV channels, watched by more than 50 million people.

Artun has also composed and arranged over 40 pieces for symphony orchestra, as well as more than 70 pieces for brass bands and big bands. Featured on various studio albums as a piano player, arranger, and drummer, his compositions and arrangements are performed in USA, Turkey, The Netherlands, and Russia.

Guitar, Oud

Jussi ReijonenSounds. Spaces. Shades. Scents.

It is said that music does not lie in the notes themselves but between them, and it is exactly in that space where Boston-based Finnish fretless/fretted guitarist and oudist JUSSI REIJONEN's music thrives and blossoms. His critically acclaimed and Independent Music Award -nominated debut album, un, out now on unmusic, has been a lifelong musical journey in the making – a journey that spans three decades and four continents, and which has taken him from his native Northern Finland to years spent living in the Middle East, East Africa, and now the United States.

Although born in Rovaniemi, a picturesque small town on the Arctic Circle in northern Finland, Reijonen did not grow up an ordinary Nordic childhood; the decade between age 6 and 16 was spent moving between Finnish Lapland, Jordan, Tanzania, Oman and Lebanon as his family followed his father's work around the world. Since relocating to the US in 2008, he has had the honor of performing with the likes of renowned jazz drummer Jack deJohnette, flamenco cantaor legend Pepe de Lucia, Spanish multi-Grammy-award-winning producer and flamenco guitarist Javier Limón, Palestinian oud/violin master Simon Shaheen, fretless guitar pioneer David Fiuczynski, Turkey's gypsy clarinet legend Hüsnü Senlendirici, and Lebanese ney virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist Bassam Saba, to name a few. As a result, in both his original compositions and his playing, the open spaces and silences of Scandinavia effortlessly rub shoulders with the maqamat of the Arab world and the rhythmic richness of India and West Africa, creating a truly enchanting musical mosaic. As he puts it himself, "This music has come to me over a period of several years… a lifetime, almost. Un is the result of a childhood spent growing up in five different countries on three different continents, and an adulthood spent wondering where I am really from and where my true roots are. For years, I have been trying to find answers to why all these seemingly disparate sounds pull me towards them so strongly, and how to bring what they have given me into a musical handwriting that makes sense and is in balance with itself. For me, un is a journey Home… wherever that might be."

Bass, Back Vocals

Galen WillettGalen Willett is a versatile electric bass player and composer from California's San Francisco Bay Area. He attended Berklee College of Music and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Jazz Composition and Electric Bass Performance. At Berklee, he studied with Oscar Stagnaro, Esperanza Spalding, Bruno Råberg, Fernando Huergo, and Anthony Vitti, among others. He has performed in a diverse range of styles, including pop/rock, folk, blues, jazz, funk, fusion, several Latin styles, and Afro-pop.

Galen founded the band Forces of Nature and released a free digital album of his compositions for the group, featuring "De Marrakesh A Dakar," which uses rhythms and musical ideas from Morocco and Senegal. He currently performs with Kina Zoré (Afro-pop), Maris and the Merry Rockers (pop/reggae), Adam Block Band (blues/rock), Los Soneros de la Seis (Latin), Neotolia (Turkish), and Taxim Square (Turkish). He also offers lessons in Boston and worldwide.


Giuseppe ParadisoGiuseppe Paradiso was born in Santeramo in Colle (Bari, Italy) in 1983 and started his musical studies on drums at the age of six years old. In 2007 he graduated with full marks and honours from the Italian Conservatory "N. Piccinni" of Bari, in percussion instruments, studying with professor Beniamino Forestiere, who later dedicated a composition for solo marimba to Giuseppe Paradiso. At the conservatory he had the opportunity to study mallets (marimba and vibraphone) and often performed as a mallet player (marimba-­‐vibraphone). In 2003 he participated as a soloist at the "International Marimba Competition" at the Superior National Conservatory of Paris, one of the most prestigious mallet's competition in the world, performing in front of a jury of top exponents. At the same conservatory, he received the 5 year Composition Certificate "Compimento Inferiore", part of the Contemporary and Experimental Composition program, as well as classical piano for eight years.

As well as his classical training at the conservatory, Paradiso attended several jazz and contemporary music workshops and master classes, including the "Berklee Summer School at Umbria Jazz" clinic, where he received a Berklee Scholarship for a full-time program of four years at Berklee College of Music. He also attended clinics led by international re-known musicians such as Evelyn Glennie, Elvin Jones, Ron Carter, Danilo Perez, Peter Erskine, Antonio Sanchez, Benny Golson, Jimmy Cobb, Victor Mendoza, Massimo Manzi, Ettore Fioravanti amongst others. He graduated from Berklee in 2011 with Magna Cum Laudein Drums/Performance.

He has performed internationally and had the pleasure to work both as a sideman and leader with several artists, groups and orchestras from all over the world, including Newport Jazz Festival, Les Journee de la Percussion at Conservatoire Superior de Paris, Festival Duni in Matera, Italy.

Photo Credit Luc Reuvers

8:00 pm

170 Beacon Street, Boston

Limited Seating
$15 if purchased online in advance
$20 at the door
(based on availability)





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