Yinon Muallem releases album with Rast Ensemble
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
An Israeli cultural attaché in Turkey, singer Yinon Muallem, creates a unique fusion between Turkish and Jewish music.Yinon Muallem, a composer and percussionist that doubles as an Israeli cultural attaché in Turkey, has recently released his sixth album, “Funky Dervish,” together with his Rast Ensemble.
The album creates a unique and surprising fusion between Turkish and Jewish music as well as other music genres. Adding the sounds of the piano, drum set, trombone, trumpet and electric guitar to those of traditional Turkish instruments, they strive to create an original blend between their Mediterranean roots and styles like jazz, rock and funk.
Muallem, who has Iraqi origins, was born in Israel in 1968. In 2002 he moved to Istanbul and joined the group of “Istanbul Sazendeleri,” playing with them all over Turkey and Europe. Later he founded his own group, Rast Ensemble, while joining the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra as a soloist. Later, he released the album “Skin&Strings” with harpist Şirin Pancaroğlu, together traveling with the artist around Turkey, Europe and Israel.
Muallem has conducted different intercultural projects between Israeli, Turkish and musicians from other countries. Since September 2011, Muallem has also been serving as the cultural attaché of Israel in Istanbul.
From the album ‘Funky Dervish’
The album “Funky Dervish” takes listeners deep inside the traditional 13-beat Sufi meter Bektaşi Dever-i Revanı, spiced with percussion and melodic solos.
One of the album’s tracks, “Kuzguncuk,” features Greek-Armenian oud master Haig Yazdjian in a song that shows traces of the historical Bohemian neighborhood of the same name in Istanbul.