TURKU, Nomads of the Silk Road

TURKU, Nomads of the Silk Road

 Salisbury, North Carolina, USA

TURKU plays "300 Year Old Rock & Roll From The Seat Of Civilization," high energy village music from the western half of the Silk Road: Persia, Kurdistan, Caucasus, Anatolia, & the Balkans. TURKU has performed for audiences as large as 25,000 people and as far away as Samarkand, Uzbekistan. TURKU's music has received international radio play, and their performances have been televised around the world. TURKU is noted for their high energy concert performances, having crowds on their feet dancing


TURKU was founded in 1996 in Columbia, South Carolina by Balkan music enthusiasts Ted & Carla Monnich. Ted Monnich was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA of Eastern European ancestry. Growing up with the language, food, customs and music imbued in Monnich an appreciation of ethnic origins. When Monnich heard Balkan music he was even more enthused... thinking things might get "even better" if he listened further east to Turkey... he tuned in to Turkish folk music and really got excited, in 1995 traveled to Istanbul and bought his first saz (an ancient Central Asian lute) and never looked back. Over 15 years, and three saz teachers, later, Ted Monnich is firmly ensconced as an American saz virtuoso and teacher. Carla's background was Eastern dance, having studied classical Indian, Middle Eastern, Romany, and Balkan. She brought dance to TURKU and worked with the groups early dance troupes. Carla also adopted the Turkish davul bass drum, lending an unusual syncopation that has become the "TURKU Sound." TURKU's first drummer was Farzad Farhangi, but when we heard him pick up a violin and play, we never let him put it down. A native of Gilan province in Northern Iran, Farzad studied classical Persian music throughout his youth, eventually performing in the Royal Youth Orchestra for the Shah of Iran. Farzad has also recorded and released several of his own superb solo recordings. Farzad is the preeminent virtuoso of the group. It's good that Farzad put down the drum because it gave TURKU the opportunity to meet and adopt virtuoso and scholar hand drummer Daveed Korup. Daveed plays Darbuka and djembe. He has released several solo projects including the groundbreaking rhythm project Seeds of Time. Filling out the bottom of TURKU's sound is its newest member Behyar Behipour. A native of Tehran, Behyar has performed in bands worldwide. His sensitive ear, and deft execution provides the sonic foundation upon which TURKU builds its music palace.


Alleys of Istanbul, CD, 1998, Hittite Sun Records
Nomads of the Silk Road, CD, 2000, Hittite Sun Records
Aksaray'n Taslari, EP, 2003, Hittite Sun Records
Ozlem, CD, 2004, Hittite Sun Records

TURKU ALIVE 1999, Concert Video, Hittite Sun Records
TURKU, Nomads of the Silk Road Live, 2000, Concert Video, HSR