Aydın Esen

A talented pianist whose style combines his Turkish heritage with post-bop jazz, Aydin Esen was exposed to music from the beginning of his life. His father was a trumpeter and Aydin began attending a music conservatory when he was five, continuing for 13 years. His background was in classical music, although he also enjoyed playing drums. At the age of ten he began sneaking out of school to play with other musicians, and as a teenager he led several groups in a variety of styles. Esen first came to the United States when he was awarded a four-year scholarship to Berklee; he completed all of his classes in one year! After studying at the New England Conservatory of Music and Juilliard, he had opportunities to play with Gary Burton, Eddie Gomez, Pat Metheny, and Emily Remler. Aydin Esen has recorded for a number of labels, including JMS, Jazz City, Gramavision, and a lone effort for Columbia (Anadolu, 1992) with a larger group. His albums during the 21st century have included Living (2001, with Miroslav Vitous and Vinnie Colaiuta), Dialogo (2005), and the companion pieces Light Years and Extinction (both 2006, released on Esen's Extinction label). ~ Scott Yanow

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