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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 30, 2007

Transatlantic Concert at Carnegie Hall for 900 Students in New York and Istanbul

The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall will connect 400 students in New York City with 500 students in Istanbul, Turkey, through a distance learning concert and cross-cultural exchange, broadcast live on Wednesday, December 5, at 10:15 a.m. EST. This event culminates a segment of the Citi Global Encounters exchange between eight high school classrooms in New York City and eight classrooms in Istanbul. Featured world-class musicians include Turkish clarinetist Husnu Senlendirici, who will travel to New York to perform with The New York Gypsy All-Stars, and The Claudia Quintet, led by percussionist John Hollenbeck, who will travel to Istanbul. They will focus on the shared elements of traditional Turkish music and American jazz. The students will have an opportunity to ask questions of their transatlantic peers.

Sponsored by Citi Foundation and funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of State, Citi Global Encounters uses music as a window into global history and cultures by integrating curricula focused on the music of various world regions into New York City high school music and social studies classrooms. This interdisciplinary program focuses on Turkey in 2007-2008.

Throughout fall 2007, eight classrooms in New York City and eight classrooms in Istanbul have linked through an online community of workshops and other activities to learn about each others' day-to-day lives and music. By spring 2008, the program will have reached 2,200 students from 40 New York City schools, who will learn about Turkish folk music traditions and culture in preparation for final concerts in Carnegie Hall featuring Turkish singer, composer, and scholar Latif Bolat. (Attached is additional information about participating artists, schools, and sponsors.)

Media wishing to cover the interactive concert should contact Matt Carlson of Carnegie Hall for information and guidelines, at 212-903-9751 or mcarlson@carnegiehall.org. For information about U.S. Department of State cultural diplomacy, please visit http://exchanges.state.gov/education/citizens/culture/index.htm or contact Catherine Stearns, 202-203-5107 or StearnsCL@state.gov.


Citi Global Encounters 2007-2008

Participating Schools

In New York - 

  • Newtown High School (Elmhurst, Queens) 
  • Somers High School (Lincolndale) 
  • Marble Hill High School for International Studies (Bronx) 
  • High School for Law and Public Service (Manhattan) 
  • Life Sciences Secondary School (Manhattan) 
  • High School of Economics and Finance (Manhattan)  
  • Company High School for Theatre Arts - 2 classrooms (Manhattan)

In Istanbul -

  • Sehremini Anatolian High School 
  • Terakki Schools 
  • Istanbul Atatürk Anatolian High School 
  • Kadiköy Anatolian High School

Participating Artists

Husnu Senlendirici was born in Bergama, a small town in Turkey's Aegean region. He comes from a family deeply rooted in musical traditions and was playing the clarinet by the time he was five. During his four years at the Turkish Music State Conservatory at Istanbul Technical University, Senlendirici began playing with the famous Magnetic Band, a group put together by the master percussionist Okay Temiz, appearing in hundreds of festivals and becoming a musical ambassador of his country. He recorded and toured with the internationally known band Embrio and performed in festivals abroad with his father Ergun Senlendirici's sextet, Laco. Senlendirici formed his current band, Laco Tayfa, and collaborated with the American ensemble Brooklyn Funk Essentials for the critically acclaimed album In the Buzbag and in concert performance. In an effort to bring Turkish music to a wider audience, Husnu Senlendirici founded the quintet Husnu Senlendirici and Friends. He has since performed in a number of concerts with both groups, both within and outside of Turkey, including EXPO-2001 in Germany, supported by the Turkish Ministry of Tourism, a performance in New York's Central Park during the 2002 Mayfest festival, and during the Istanbul Jazz Festival in July 2002, with his 35-member Laco Tayfa Big Band.

The New York Gypsy All-Stars showcases some of New York's finest musicians and has performed with such world music icons as Hüsnü Senlendirici and Bulgarian masters Ivo Popasov and Yuri Yunakov. The ensemble is composed of Ismail Lumanovski, clarinet; Seido Salifoski, darbuka; Tamer Pinarbasi, kanun; Panagiotis Andreu, bass; and Jordan Perlson, drums.

John Hollenbeck's versatility as a percussionist and composer is revealed in a body of work that challenges countless boundaries. His performance career stretches far beyond jazz with performances of a variety of traditional music from around the world, including klezmer performances with David Krakauer and Frank London, projects in Columbia with Antonio Arnedo, and in Argentina with Fernando Tarres. Headed by Hollenbeck, The Claudia Quintet is made up of Drew Gress (acoustic bass), Chris Speed (clarinet/tenor saxophone), Matt Moran (vibraphone/percussion), and Ted Reichman (accordion). In 2004, Hollenbeck and his Claudia Quintet appeared in prestigious festivals, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, following the release of its second recording, I, Claudia, on Cuneiform Records to rave reviews. In 2005, Hollenbeck and the Claudia Quintet released Semi-formal on Cuneiform Records and in 2007, FOR, to critical acclaim.

Partner Sponsors

Citi Foundation is the Lead Sponsor of Citi Global Encounters. The program is funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of State, The Tishman Fund for Education Through Technology, and by an endowment grant from the Citi Foundation in support of the Isaac Stern Education Legacy project, a program supported by the U.S. Department of Education.

Programs of The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall are generously supported by the City of New York: Office of the Mayor, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York City Council; and by the New York State Council on the Arts.

Released on November 30, 2007

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