Darbuka player and composer
He was born in Ankara, began to play darbuka when he was 17 and learned how to play by himself. After learning the Turkish style of playing the darbuka, he went to France to work individually. There, he started developing the basis of his peculiar technique. He decided then to go to Egypt, home to mythical percussion masters. He states that he was a fairly ordinary player before he went to Egypt, to play with and learn from some of the best tabla players; most of all “to find the meaning of his existence” and “to discover the rhythm”.
He stayed in Egypt for years, working alongside famous musicians and singers such as Omar Khayrat, singing idol Mohammad Fuad, Fethi Salamah. Returning to Turkey, he became a member of the Asia Minor rhythmic ensemble in Istanbul and participated in Istanbul’s Jazz Festival (1997), and the Salvador Percussion Festival of Bahia, in the same year. In 1999, he returned to Egypt and began to work on the “Deholla” (the bigger tabla) in the Sinai Desert. He created a new playing technique on deholla as well. He created the “Sinai ensemble”, with which he toured Israel for two months, and then gave two more concerts in Barcelona. Liking Spain, he decided to live there. In Spain, he worked on flamenco style and he recorded two albums within two years, Mel de Cabra (2000) and The Search (2001).
In 2003, within the Medimuses project sponsored by the European Union, he represented Turkey in the “1st International Percussion Conference”. In 2006 Mısırlı Ahmet was awarded the “Leardership Summit Prize” which is given by Eduplus annually. After seeing the lack of a proper music school for percussion in Turkey, in 2007 he founded the “Galata Rhythm School” in Istanbul. Besides the rich ethnic rhythms of Turkey and the world, the countless rhythms produced by Mısırlı Ahmet are practiced in three different groups divided according to their levels. The approach is different from the usual, and great importance is given to improvisation. Every summer, the Galata Rhythm School organizes the “International Rhythm & Art Camp” in some village in natural surroundings. In 2012 Mısırlı Ahmet was invited to participate in Stéphane Galland’s Lobialbum. He tours and gives workshops all over the world has recorded a number of solo albums and many contributions.
Photo source: misirli-ahmet.com/galeri/