Guitarist Sinan Bakir, Turkey's Great Gift to Hartford's Ongoing Jazz Renaissance


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Guitarist Sinan Bakir Next Up In Library Jazz Series: Turkish Musician Ultimately Makes Hartford His Home

Guitarist Sinan Bakir, Turkey's great gift to Hartford's ongoing jazzrenaissance, was so homesick when he first arrived in Hartford 11 years ago as a scholarship student that he almost turned around and went home to his beloved hometown of Ankara, the capital of Turkey.

Luckily for Hartford, Bakir chose Connecticut's capital city over Ankara, and has established himself as a much respected player on the highly competitive, talent-laden local scene, working in clubs, venues and festivals in the city, throughout the state and inNew York City. Perhaps most momentously to date in this still forming period in his promising career, the tri- lingual, Hartford-based guitarist (he speaks Turkish, English and German) has made an indelible mark with his warm, expressive, aptly titled debut CD, “On My Way."

A trio session matching him with bassist Thomson Kneeland and drummer Mark Ferber, the CD is a fine showcase for his lyrical, fluent playing as well as his composing skills demonstrated in 11 originals, including his homage to a favorite city in his homeland, “Blues for Istanbul." Whether composing or improvising, Bakir creates fresh sounding, accessible jazz seasoned with nuanced hints of Turkish music he heard growing up in Ankara in a home in which culture, music, art and education reigned supreme.

Bakir, frequently plays at Middletown's Buttonwood Tree and Hartford's La Paloma Sabanera Coffee House. Today at 3 p.m., you can catch up with the soft-spoken, articulate guitarist as he and his all-star combo perform at the admission-free “Baby Grand Jazz" series in the atrium of The Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St.

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