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Neotolia Concert

Neotolia is a world fusion jazz band that explores traditional and tradition-inspired works through the lens of contemporary composition, jazz, world music and improvisation. At Our Music, we welcome musicians from around the world to add their own voices to complex and elegant compositions.

At the May 6 concert at the Henderson House, Neotolia will perform their original compositions and unique arrangements for the first time post-pandemic, incorporating traditional Turkish instruments (Ney, Baglama, Kemence, Ud) into their voices. The band will be performing these tracks, along with their unique take on old-school rock 'n' roll, to a Boston audience for the first time.

Yazhi Guo(郭雅志): Suona, Dizi and Hulusi 

Tao He (何涛): Erhu 

Volkan Efe : Ney, Baglama, Kemenche and Oud

Nazan Nihal : Vocals and Guitar

Utar Artun : Piano and Keys

Giuseppe Paradiso : Drums

Galen Willett : Bass


Nazan Nihal started her music career as a songwriter and electric guitar player. She had been on stage in Turkey, The Netherlands, Canada and The States. In Holland Nazan performed during the festivities of 400 years relationships between Turkey and The Netherlands in 2012.

Parallel to her music career she studied pharmacy, and earned a PhD degree. She moved to Boston in 2013 and started to take private vocal classes from Berklee College of Music Vocal Faculty such as Steven Santoro, Lawrence ”Larry” Watson, Tom Baskett and Lisa Thorson as well as the Sony Music Entertainment vocal coach Boris Buriev. In addition to writing her own material she also arranged some Turkish Folksongs.

She released her first single ‘’Today’’ on iTunes in Fall 2013. As a singer/songwriter, she was honored with prestigious prizes.

She was the songwriter of “Paket” – First Prize, Miller Music Factory Awards, (Istanbul 2008); was the singer of “The Girl Who Has Chocolate Eyes” – First Prize, TBD Halıcı Electronic Music Contest (Istanbul 2011), was the songwriter of ”Ruh Eşim”- Honorable Mention Award, Turkish National TV (TRT) ”Altın Anten Pop Music Songwriting Contest” (Istanbul 2014), was the singer, co-arranger, co-producer of Neotolia Rose Lace Album Bronze Medal, Global Music Awards (Dec 2014) and was the librettist of ”Hiçlik” the finalist of the 9th National Eczacıbaşı Composition Contest (May 2015).

Utar Artun was born in Ankara, Turkey. In 2006, he arranged musical pieces for the theater play “The 7 Women”. Artun arranged numerous movie soundtracks and oldies/jazz music for symphonic orchestras, and the Bursa Regional Symphony Orchestra, Antalya State Symphony, Cukurova State Symphony, Presidential Symphony Orchestra and Izmir State Symphony Orchestra performed his arrangements and compositions in live concerts. In Turkey, Artun performed at the 19th Istanbul Jazz Festival, 12th Side Culture Art Festival, the 7th Eskisehir Jazz Festival, 12th International Ankara Jazz Festival, 6th International Mersin Music Festival, and 25th International Ankara Music Festival. In 2008, Artun graduated from Percussion Department of Hacettepe Conservatory with 2nd Rank (runner-up) Degree Award (in Turkey).

After his graduation, he participated to European Scholarship Tours of Berklee College of Music and graduated in 2.5 years with summa cum laude degree. He was awarded for highly “Honorable Mention” from Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition, Barnes&Noble award, 5 Dean’s List awards, Outstanding Pianist award, Arif Mardin Scholarship Award and Brian Oliver Memorial Award. He was among the finalist of ASCAP’s Morton Gould Young Composers Competition (2010) and Young Jazz Composers Competition (2011). In January 2010 and 2012, one of his compositions was selected to Jazz Revelation Records CDs. He was a JRR artist of Berklee and Artun was a part of ‘Birds of Feather’, ‘Octave’ and ‘Ripple Effect’ albums. In 2011, he performed with Kevin Eubanks in the studio recording session of WGBH Studios - Boston, MA. In the US, He’s been in workshops, clinics, concert performances and album recordings with world renowned artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Dave Weckl, Jojo Mayer, Arto Tuncboyaciyan, Dave Liebman, Antonio Sanchez, Mark Guiliana, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Simon Shaheen, Dave Holland, Larry Finn, Eddie Gomez, Jason Moran, Fred Hersch, Kati Agocs, Hankus Netsky, Ken Schaphorst, Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, Erkan Ogur, Anat Cohen, Yazhi Guo, Luis Conte, Kenwood Dennard, Jason Linder, Ledisi, Omar Hakim, Chuck Rainey, Jack DeJonnethe and David Fiuczynski. He involved into the Rhythm of the Universe and Berklee Yo-Team Projects as an Arranger, Performer, Conductor and Orchestrator, and Planet MicroJam Institute at Berklee College of Music.

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