Zeynep Ozbilen
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Zeynep Ozbilen

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2015
Band World Latin

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Discography

Zest  - 2017
Zee - 2015

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Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Zeynep Ozbilen’s history is not the typical North American music success story!
As a musical child growing up in the wonderful cultural city of Istanbul, her first official performance experience was playing Annie at age 12 in a local musical production. Continuing on with the lead part of Maria in Sound of Music at age 17, she developed not only a love for the stage and singing, but also a unique dramatic vocal style embraced them all, from the spicy rhythms and melodies indigenous to the Anatolian, Balkan and Mediterranean areas to some Ladino and even Latin American influences.

Zeynep, both songstress and composer, believes in the uniting power of music – connecting people across era and culture through rhythm, melody and creative interpretations. To bring this point of view to as many people as possible has been her dream. She has been fortunate to share this musical vision in 500+ performances over 4 continents, which has resulted in an incredibly diverse and widespread fan base!

From international jazz festivals and large-scale Latin concerts to the intimate clubs and venues where she is close up and personal with her audience, Zeynep always delivers a world-class show, full of the blends and twists that are uniquely hers.

 For more than 10 years, she was the dynamic lead vocal of the first and the most well known Latin Band in Turkey – the Latin All Stars. She has performed with Latin music masters such as Alfredo de la Fe, Armando Miranda, Frankie Morales, Cesar Correa, Rodrigo Rodrigues, Amik Guerra and Laura Fygi.

 Now based in Toronto, Zeynep has been featured on TV and most recently on CBC radio as well as in various JazzFM events. Her newest Latin Music project has Roberto Linares Brown as Music Director and combines Turkish and other Mediterranean styles.

On the Jazz side, she performs locally with some of Canada’s finest jazz musicians in her back-up band and is looking forward in 2015 to participating in some of the best Jazz festivals in North America to combine onstage the colors, sights and sounds she loves in a funky blend of true World Jazz. Some of these musicians include David Restivo, Roberto Occhipinti, and Perry White to name a few.

“Just when I thought I’d heard every fusion imaginable, along comes Zeynep Ozbilen…” –Errol Nazareth (CBC Music, February 28, 2015)

"Zeynep’s music is an unusual blend of Turkish melodies and Latin rhythms. With pure talent, a great voice and a collection of gifted musicians, she makes it all work…” –David Clayton-Thomas, Lead Singer of Blood, Sweat, and Tears (Sonic Smash Music Blog)

“…Her warm throaty alto is equally at home in jazz and musical standards as in Anatolian, Balkan and Ladino songs…”  –Andrew Timar (The WholeNote, April 2015, p. 75)

“...once you have a listen of the singer-songwriter’s latest album, Z [zee] […] you’ll be wondering why you haven’t heard of her before. Z [zee] is a highly interesting fusion of melody and harmony, context and abstraction, roots and exploration. It gives new meaning to the cliché term of “world music”, no matter what level you’re listening to it at. The singing alternates between English, Spanish and Turkish, while the instrumentalism borrows on aspects from cultures all over the world…" –Christina Strynatka, on Zeynep’s album [ zee ] (The Examiner)

“It has all the elements for showing how a white American pop song with its black jazz overtones, can be sung by a Turkish woman — who, basically leads a tight Spanish-Turkish oriented band and makes it work somehow. That’s what I call musical magic.”  –John Apice on Zeynep’s album [zee ] (No Depression, March 27, 2015)

“Ozbilen […] shows a voice that’s throaty yet silky smooth. It’s an instrument capable of rapid articulations in one passage before swiftly switching over into a sensuous glissando.” –Lenny Stoute (CASHBOX Magazine Canada, March 5, 2015)

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