About Latif Bolat
The musical traditions of Turkey have been brought to the United States by Berkeley, California-based multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and folklorist Latif Bolat. A teacher at the Mendocino Middle Eastern Music camp and Honolulu Music And Dance Camp, Bolat is the director of the Latif Bolat Turkish Music Ensemble of San Francisco and the musical director of the Mevlevi Association Of America, a Sufi organization the produces public performances of dance and Turkish classical music. Bolat was heard on the soundtrack of the George Lucas-produced television series, "Young Indiana Jones".
Bolat, who holds a degree in folklore and music from the University of Ankara, was active in the music of Turkey before emigrating to the United States. In addition to teaching traditional music in Eastern Anatolia, he served as manager of Ankara Halk Tiyatrosu, a musical theater company that specializes in traditional musical plays.
Shortly after moving to the U.S., Bolat received a grant from the California Arts Council for his work in preserving Turkish folk music. A master of the baglama, a long-necked lute, Bolat has also accompanied his vocals on piano and the Bendir-frame drum. His performances have become known for their "trance qualities and mesmerizing rhythms".
Bolat's album, Infinite Beginning: Devotional Songs of Turkey, recorded with oud, violin and pennywhistle player Gary Haggerty and tabla player Emam, focused on songs from the traditional Sufi practice of Ziki ("remembrance") and included lyrics by mystical poets Mevlani Jelaluddin Rumi, Yonus Emre, Pir Sultan Abdal and Niyaazi Misri. ~ Craig Harris