Grammy nominated composer and JAZZIZ’s Top 10 Critics’ Choice 2014 pick Jazz pianist Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol has been praised by critics all over the world for his unique, pluralist, multicultural and energetic musical voice. He hails from Cyprus and Turkey, and is also a multi-instrumentalist, an active scholar, a Harvard research fellow as well as full-time faculty at New England Conservatory. The Boston Globe noted that Sanlıkol’s “music is colorful, fanciful, full of rhythmic life, and full of feeling. The multiculturalism is not touristy, but rather sophisticated, informed, internalized; Sanlıkol is a citizen of the world”, “…and he (Sanlıkol) is another who could play decisive role in music’s future in the world.”
Sanlıkol’s unique blend of jazz composition and Turkish music has been praised by the Boston Globe as “a true fusion of jazz and folkloric Turkish language and colors.” He is now about to release his next CD with his unique jazz orchestra/combo, Whatsnext?, featuring guest artists Anat Cohen, Dave Liebman, Tiger Okoshi and Antonio Sanchez. Sanlıkol pairs Turkish instruments such as zurna (double reed wind), ney (end-blown flute), kös (large kettledrums) and nekkare (small kettledrums) with the jazz orchestra/combo to perform his Turkish music-influenced compositions, in which Turkish makam (mode) and usul (rhythmic cycles) are intertwined with modern jazz as well as specifically film noir influenced music.