Gig Seeker Pro


İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Band World Jazz


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"Arifa/ 21.01.2011"

Beyond Babylon you don’t need words no more to understand each other, seems to be Arifa’s message. - NRC Handelsblad - Neherlands

"The Arabic-Anatolian-Balkan Ambiance of Arifa 23.12.2010"

With members from Turkey, Romania and Iraq, Arifa is a sweet hybrid of a band. I caught them in Amsterdam at the Dutch Jazz and World Meeting. They had already made waves with their first CD “Beyond Babylon” and they presented a program of their compositions with musical bridges between each song, so that the performance ran uninterrupted from start to finish. I videotaped until the number of people walking in front of my camera became unbearable. So here are the first 15 minutes or so. It took a bit of time for me to warm to this semi-ambient music, but I eventually started to savor the flow of it, while appreciating the more animated passages. I even used the music to back up a “home video” I made of my trip to Fes, Morocco. It works wonderfully– music supervisors take note! - Michal Shapiro


Arifa were a big hit with the whole Birmingham City University team at the Dutch Jazz World Meeting - Birmingham City University

"Arifa/ 27.02.2010"

“Arifa enchanted the Bimhuis audience with fascinating music from the Middle East.” - Cultuur Podium

"Arifa/ 3.01.2011"

“Top quality musicians do not necessarily produce naturally interesting music. Arifa, however, is greater than the sum of its parts." - Radio 6

"Arifa/ 21.12.2010"

“With Arifa the boundaries of jazz are limitless, they introduced to the Cuban public fantastic Middle eastern music profoundly combined with jazz.” - Granma / Havana/ Cuba

"Arifa/ 15 feb 2010"

In its exquisite beauty this debut album holds up with the best works of Anouar Brahem” 5 ***** - Volkskrant


Beyond Babylon, mundus productions, Music & Words/ Netherlans/ 2010



Music is and remains the language which never needs translation and speaks to every single being on this earth. By simply opening your heart you receive a multitude of feelings and share an experience of a lifetime. Why do we call our music Arifa? The Arabic word arifa means a woman is beautiful, wise and brilliant. Since in most languages of the world, music is a feminine word, our music is Arifa. We are four individuals, four characters each seeking his own personal and musical adventures both on and off the stage, touring the world from Mexico to Germany and Belgium. Each day together is full of unexpected surprises. Like an old stamp machine, we turn our experiences into sounds, the sounds to music, and then bring it to the concert halls.
Beyond Babylon is our shared, unique moment in music and time, and we humbly present it to you as our debut album, and as a beginning for music without borders, that reaches beyond everything.
The 4 members are arriving from Iraq , Istanbul, Bucharest and Amsterdam to take the audience on a truthful and adventurous musical journey. Original compositions and ancient melodies from Arabic, Anatolian and Balkan worlds, combined with live electronics and contemporary improvised music". Their debut album Beyond Babylon released in 2010 from Mundus Productions and awarded as Best World Music Album of 2010 in the Netherlands by Mixed World Magazine.

Alex Simu (Romania) sax, clarinet & live laptop
Born in Bucharest, at young age of 22 already receives from the Romanian National Radio-Society the Jazz Award for "The Best New Artist". Pursuing an international carrier moves to Holland and U.S.A. Master in Jazz music studied at Amsterdam Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music - New York. Member of European Jazz Orchestra 2009, awarded with the EJO scholarship and Winner of Dutch Jazz Competition 2008 with the final in North Sea Jazz ( Rotterdam).Active on the jazz and world music scene since 1999 he has been professionally playing and touring in 27 countries on 4 continents with important figures of both genres like:Alvin Queen, Benny Golson, Naseer Shamma, Ghalia Benali, Candy Dulfer, Peter Herbolzheimer, Gorge Reyes, Arto Tuncboyaciyan.

Osama Abdulrasol (Iraq) qanun
Composer, producer and Qanun player he was born in Iraq and studied western music (classical guitar) in the UK and eastern music: kanun & guitar. He performed and toured all over the world with different groups like the De Filharmonie, Flemesh Radio orchestra, Goran Bregovic,Tom Robenson, BJ Scott, Olla Vogalla, Mesopotamia, Weshm, Jahida Wehbe, Ghade Shbeir and many others. He participated in several Arab and international festivals including in Belgium, Holland, Germany, France, Portugal, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

Mehmet Polat (Turkey) ud & vocals
After studying Turkish and Arabic classical music first in Urfa and later in Istanbul, he has developed a new approach to playing the ud. In 2007 Mehmet moved to the Netherlands for Master studies in Indian music at the Rotterdam Conservatory. Mehmet worked as a composer and soloist with prestigious musicians and orchestras as: Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, Metropole Orchestra,The Black Pencil Project, played world première performances of Theo Loevendie and Maarten Altena. Performed as a soloist in several prestigious concert-halls in the Netherlands and abroad like Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, the Bimhuis,Ataturk Culture Centre (Istanbul), Cemal Resit Rey (Istanbul), Middle east, Latin America and many others.

Sjahin During (Turkey-Netherlands) Afro-Anatolian percussion
Sjahin is founder and bandleader of successful various groups like Bayuba Cante, Turqumstances, Tarhana & Afro Anatolian Tales. Worked with: Arto Tunçboyaciyan, Aynur, Naseer Shamma, the Gypsy's from Rajasthan, Theodosii Spassov, Ghalia Benali, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (Les Ballets C. dela B.), Suren Asaduryan, Mola Sylla, Karsu Donmez, Edmare Castaneda, Miguel "Anga" Diaz and many others.

Once the team was complete Arifa’s voyage started. The music felt right from the first downbeat so the band did not have to search for identity. We felt we were what we heard and should simply stay that way. The band Arifa had found its members and come together as a band like pieces of a puzzle. Arifa’s premiere concert was in February 2010 in the Bimhuis in Amsterdam, one of Europe’s most prestigious venues for improvised music and the best place possible for us to play our hearts out on stage. The performance was given a five star review by Ton Maas, journalist for de Volkskrant, one of the Netherland’s leading newspapers. He wrote: …”the compositions, though unmistakably rooted in Turkish or classic Arabic music are subtly harmonized and injected with styles borrowed from jazz, Balkan music and contemporary western “classical music”. This resulted in an ensemble that is “fiery and compelling.” This confirmed their reputation as a serious ensemble and opened t