CULTURE

Gypsy music from Turkey

One of Turkey’s more renowned Gypsy musicians, Ozden Ahmet, a master of the traditional zourna wind instrument, begins a one-week series of shows tonight at the Half Note Jazz Club in Athens as frontman of his five-member backing band, Cumpania Istanbul. Ahmet began spreading his fame when he began working with Turkish percussionist Okay Temiz, one of our neighboring country’s most respected jazz players abroad, and whose own extensive list of collaborations includes an impressive recent album with leading Greek free-jazz artist Floros Floridis and Greek-American Nicky Skopelitis, a key figure on New York’s experimental scene. Returning as the Half Note’s main act over the next week, Ahmet bases his work on Thracian, Balkan and Eastern styles, as well as whatever else an elusive Gypsy mind can render. Ahmet’s Cumpania Istanbul includes two other wind instruments, a clarinet and saxophone, as well as the traditional davul, and darbuka. Together they whip up a colorful, highly danceable sound. The venue’s preceding act, the tango group Che Bango, originally scheduled for a week of shows ending yesterday, has been booked for an additional two matinee dates, today and tomorrow, at 7.30 p.m. They have also sold out. Half Note Jazz Club, 17 Trivonianou, Mets, tel 210.921.3310; performances begin at 10.30 p.m.