Neva Özgen

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  • Neva Özgen (kemençe)


As the daughter of highly respected Turkish classical musician Ihsan Oezgen, Neva Oezgen was born in Ankara in 1977 and grew up in Istanbul surrounded by Turkish classical music and jazz. Perhaps as a means to carve her own path, Neva's first expressed interest was in Western classical music and the flute. She learned to play both soprano and alto flutes but soon after entering the Istanbul Technical University Conservatory she switched to clarinet. It wasn't long before her interest in Turkish Classical music overtook her interest in Western classical traditions and she decided to study the kemence, an instrument integral to Turkish classical music.

Though Neva's primary passion is Turkish classical music, she has inherited her father's adventurous spirit as well as his talent. Neva has performed with Orbestra in England and performed with American jazz musician Butch Morris' group in New York alongside Turkish ney player Suleyman Erguner. Recently she performed with Canadian violinist Hugh Marsh, percussionist Ben Grossman and vocalist Brenna MacCrimmon in the Mercan Dede Ensemble which blends Eastern and Western musical traditions. Neva believes that a musician must be well versed in the classical works of master composers but she also believes that classical forms of music can be expanded and built upon through improvisation. Truly her father's daughter, she believes in searching for new idioms through playing with the classics and that all-new musical languages are built upon the foundations of the past. Legacy, which was released in September 2001 by Golden Horn Records, is Neva Oezgen's debut album.

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"Legacy" - Neva Özgen