As one of Turkey’s leading clarinetists, Hüsnü Şenlendirici’s versatility enables him to work with all of the major stars domestically and opens doors to collaborations internationally. Taking us on a musical journey whether he is solo or accompanied Şenlendirici marries the enticing melodies evocative of his Anatolian heritage—particularly his Aegean homeland’s musical traditions—with the jazz sensibilities of the West.
Upon forming his present band, Laço Tayfa, the opportunity to collaborate with the famous American ensemble, the Brooklyn Funk Essentials, culminated in the release of ‘In the Buzzbag’, consisting of interpretations of traditional melodies and funk/acid jazz for the album. Following that first release on Doublemoon Records, Şenlendirici has continued to play his snaking eastern melodies with lavish ornamentation or wild improvisations against complex drummed rhythms to release ‘Bergama Gaydası’ and ‘Hicaz Dolap.’ Şenlendirici has also worked with Doublemoon cohort Mercan Dede to the delight of music aficionados everywhere.
His record-breaking 2005 debut solo release ‘The Joy of Clarinet’ spotlights the instrument itself, which with a sound resembling the human voice, is the medium for expressing musically hopes and yearnings of centuries. Soothing listeners with its fusion of ancient gypsy soul and modern chill-out, the album displays exactly why the clarinet has become a much-loved part of the Turkish musical landscape.
“The Joy of Clarinet” sold 95,000 copies in the first 6 months and held the number 1 position on the pop charts for 3 months, which is a record-setting first for an instrumental album. Şenlendirici is also single handedly responsible for the staggering increase in Turkey’s clarinet sales as well as for the record number of students enrolling in classes to learn the clarinet.
This recognition has afforded him the opportunity to perform internationally at concerts like NY Gipsy Fest 2006, Berlin Jazz Festival; Mayfest festival 2002 in New York’s Central park; during Istanbul Jazz Festival, in July 2002, with his 35-member Laco Tayfa Big Band and EXPO-2001 in Germany.
After 25 years playing the clarinet, Senlendirici understands how to merge audiences of different musical genres with his compelling brand of chill-out folk music. His latest project, a trio based on improvisations, will be traveling through Holland and Denmark towards the end of 2006.