Sunday, 25 January 2015


Beach Music
             Music on a beach has always had a certain allure about it. A circle of friends around an open fire singing to a lone guitar, or a few instruments played by a group of musicians to entertain people.     

            Gümüşlük over the years has been party to all forms of musical evenings:
 Cesel restaurant  in the mid 90’s had  an impromptu Turkish dance band formed using up-turned buckets and other assorted metal objects, in order that Raki fuelled tourists could sample Turkish dancing, not, I remember of the highest standard, but certainly a great party atmosphere.

           Also at Cesel a friend of ours serenaded his wife on her Birthday singing a Saw Doctors song ‘Only one girl’ With the two Turkish brothers who owned Cesel, singing in close harmony with the rest of us the Chorus line ‘Only one girl for me’, in retrospect a rather surreal moment.

          At the same restaurant in 2006 ( the owners had changed, it had undergone a complete refurb and was called  Amavi) on its opening night the World renowned Turkish jazz pianist Kerem Gorsev and his trio played a memorable set to a packed restaurant and beach.

          It must be pointed out that  Cesel resembled a working man’s club. In comparison Amavi was Claridges.

          Late one night, on the beach outside the Hera restaurant in the mid to late 90’s. Yilmos the Turkish waiter had, after one or three Rakis, persuaded an English visitor who had a guitar, to play the only English song Yilmos said he knew the words to, ‘Hotel California’. As the song was played it became very clear that the only lyric Yilmos knew was ‘Hotel California’. Which, he proceeded to sing at the correct moment in the song, each time louder with added Raki.

          During the later part of 2000, more Turkish people from Istanbul have made  Gümüşlük their summer destination. Quite a few of the Istanbulian  musicians and acting fraternity come for holidays, with some musicians working at the restaurants and clubs on the beach front.

          The Jazz Cafe just down from the Hera  hold regular sets by different artists , sometimes including  guest performances by visiting musicians.  One such session in September 2014, had, as a guest musician, someone we had got to know over the past few years as he had been staying at Hera, a session musician by the name of Toygun. He normally plays saxophone, but on this particular evening he played the clarinet.  A little flavour of the performance that evening can be seen on:

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