Acclaimed guitar master has plans to release a new record
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Neşet Ruacan receives his award from Bülent Eczacıbaşı, chair of the board of directors of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts. He also performs with jazz musician Elif Çağlar at the ceremony.Neşet Ruacan, who received a lifetime achievement award during the 19th Istanbul Jazz Festival’s opening ceremony on July 3, will be perform for jazz lovers at the Alaçatı Jazz Festival in İzmir, starting with a show on June 4, just one day after the award ceremony. Speaking to Hürriyet Daily News, the master musician said he also plans to head into the studio soon to record an album.
“This award means so much to me for two reasons: This kind of thing always brings new encouragements, new inspirations. This is how I take this award. I don’t take it as a retirement bonus,” Ruacan said.
Born in 1948 in Istanbul, Ruacan began his musical career when he was ten years old, playing classical guitar. He formed his first band, a pop band called Vahşi Kediler (Wild Cats), in 1963. He dropped out of school while studying economics to become a professional musician.
The Şerif Yüzbaşıoğlu Orchestra was a significant factor in forming Ruacan’s career, as it was the inspiration for his radical choice to enter the professional music scene. He performed with several orchestras including those of Erol Büyükburç, Süheyl Denizci and Yalçın Ateş, and was educated at the Leeds College of Music in the United Kingdom and the Berklee College of Music, Brooklyn School of Music and Julliard School of Music in the United States.
While in the U.S., Ruacan worked with Ernest Wiehe, Alex Ulanowski and Jerry Bergonzi. Upon his return to Turkey, he was accepted into Turkey’s public broadcaster, Turkish Radio Television’s (TRT), Pop Music and Jazz Orchestra. He participated in the Amiens and Le Mans festivals in France, the Pori Caz Festival in Finland, and performed at the Istanbul Music Festival with the Turkey-Poland Jazz Band and Kerem Görsev’s band. The artist lists Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel, Tal Farlow, Johnny Smith, Jim Hall, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Ben Webster as his chief inspirations.
In the latter years of his employment with TRT, he conducted the TRT Jazz Orchestra and taught classes in Bilgi University’s music department. The master musician is now enjoying his retirement.
“There has long been pressure on me to make a record, which I delayed as much as I could. Now that I have retired and am comparably more mobile now, I can travel, which means I can make a record, and I will be making one soon,” Ruacan said. He said he has two projects in mind, one to be made in the Czech Republic, the other in Poland.
At the Alaçatı Jazz Festival Ruacan’s his quartet will be the resident band of the festival.