Wrap your fingers around your wrist …can you feel the beat? The beat of life is in your pulse, hurry to discover the rhythm within!
“If there is no rhythm, there is no time. If there is no time, then there is nothing.” An African “Master Drummer” imparted these words of wisdom to Ayhan Sicimoglu many moons ago. Rhythm, timing, harmony, a palpitating heart, life…You see, this innate chain reaction inextricably linked Sicimoglu to rhythm.
As an energetic young lad at the Tarsus American High School Sicimoglu gained a reputation for being a solid drummer. With an insatiable thirst for projects that involved rhythm, Ayhan found himself playing with Miguel Serigides in London and famous “White Funk” group “Kokomo”. Following his interlude with White Funk, Sicimoglu returned to Turkey and founded “Ipucu” with Mazhar Fuat Ozkan arranging and recording the song “Heyecanli”.
A sunrise or two later, Sicimoglu got invited to join Toni Esposito, a well-known drummer in Italian circles, to play in Rome. Ayhan ended up spending two years living La Dolce Vita while playing with “La Banda del Sole” alongside Bennatto and other well known artists such as Karl Potter, Johny Otis, Tulio De Piscopo. Music put a spell on Sicimoglu and lured him to New York where he spent 7 years playing on the Latin club circuit and being heard on the radio. Fame soon found the rhythm professor and after he joined downtown music master Johnny Rodriguez’ Senior Workshop, Sicimoglu expanded his latin network, and became familiar with the downtown music scene.
Never letting his travels interfere with his education, Sicimoglu took World Percussion at Boston’s prestigious Berklee School of Music and delved into a seminar called “Explorations in Afro-Cuban Dance and Percussion” at Northern California’s Humboldt State University. Not just talking the talk, Sicimoglu also walks the walk in Istanbul with the “Afro-Cuban Percussion Workshops” he teaches as well as through the crowd-pleasing performances he gives with his band Ayhan Sicimoglu & Latin All Stars.
Upon his return to Turkey 5 years ago, Sicimoglu was a guest on Acik Radyo’s “Satmayan Plaklar (Records that Don’t Sell)” show, and with his funny asides and banter he discovered that he possessed the wit and charisma necessary to be a radio host. Sicimoglu quickly launched his own show, “Latin Lover”, on Acik Radyo, as well as a program called “Latino Time” on Radyo Oxi-gen.
The title of Ayhan Sicimoglu’s most recent album, released on Doublemoon in September 2006, sums up the nature of the project. “Friends&Family” is an album characterized by the collective efforts of his band “Latin All Stars” and guest performers such as Colombian Rodrigo Rodriguez, Cuban trumpet player Amik Abdel Guerra Ling Long, Peruvian Cesar Correa, Turkish jazz and popular musicians such as Fahir Atakoglu, Aydin Esen, Ozkan Ugur, Ugur Yucel, and Mirkelam, as well as one genuine family-member, Ayhan Sicimoglu’s own soprano daughter Ayse Sicimoglu. An album Famous DJ Claude Challe calls “Excellent Latin Fusion!”