Kudsi Erguner

Article Bio Works Projects Video
modernity, Sufism, tradition
Music (jazz, Sufi-music)
Middle East, Europe, Western
Turkey, France, Germany
Istanbul, Paris
created on:
May 15, 2003
last changed on:
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Kudsi Erguner
Kudsi Erguner


Between Orient and Occident

Kudsi Erguner, born in the fifties in Istanbul, is considered a master of traditional Mevlevi Sufi and is one of the best-known players of the Turkish ney flute. For several years this musician, who now lives in Paris, has successfully opened up his country´s classical music to the ideas of jazz.
Kudsi Erguner comes from a family of Turkish musicians rich in tradition. From generation to generation they have passed on the art of playing the ney flute since the 17th century.
As a boy Kudsi and his father Ulvi Erguner performed hypnotic and spiritual dance rituals from the Mevlevi-Sufi tradition at Dervish ceremonies. For several decades now, he has researched into the earliest roots of Ottoman music which he has also taught, performed and recorded.

In the seventies Kudsi Erguner moved to Paris where, at the beginning of the eighties, he founded the "Mevlana" Institute devoted to the study and teaching of classical Sufi music. Together with the "Kudsi Erguner-Ensemble" he developed deep insights into the diversity of his culture: the group conveys both authentic, often improvised forms of expression of classical Ottoman performance culture as well as a comprehensive repertoire of modern and classical pieces that can be traced back to the 13th century.

In addition to this Kudsi Erguner has performed as flautist in several operas, ballets and theatre productions and has been involved in recordings for soundtracks by Peter Brook and Peter Gabriel. At the end of the nineties he broke new musical ground with his group "Ottomania". For the first time he brought together classical Turkish musicians of the Mevlevi-Sufi tradition and European jazz musicians. Up until then encounters between Turkish musicians and jazz interpreters had taken place exclusively in the sphere of Turkish popular music. But in Kudsi´s opinion classical and modern music are by no means exclusive forms: "It´s impossible," he says, "for a classical art form to remain indifferent to the influences that stream in from the whole of the world."

Author: Haus der Kulturen der Welt


4 Feb.1952 Kudsi is born in Istanbul as the eldest son of Ulvi Erguner
1970 works as a radio musician in Istanbul
1975 moves to Paris and studies architecture and music
1981 opens Mevlana, Institute for classical Sufi music in Paris
1988 founds the Fasl Ensembles, later Kudsi Erguner Ensemble
1998 founds the Sufi Jazz-Band "Ottomania"



Published Audio,
Equinox Music

Taj Mahal

Published Audio,
Equinox Music

Music from the Arabian Nights

Published Audio,
Airmail Music (Sunnymoon)

Islam Blues

Published Audio,
Label: Act (edel)

Ottomania: Sufi-Jazz Project N/A

Published Audio,

Sufi Flutes

Published Audio,

Tatyos Effendi

Published Audio,

L´Orient de l´Occident

Published Audio,

Sufi Music of Turkey

Published Audio,
Times Square Records

Fasl: Musique de l´Empire Ottoman

Published Audio,

Meditation on the Ney

Published Audio,


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

Jazz across the border

(21 June 91 - 15 July 01)

"Taj Mahal"

taken from the CD "Taj Mahal"
"Al Sur" / Musisoft
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