Mehmet Polat Trio

Association of Peroforming Arts Presenters

The Mehmet Polat Trio is a spiritual yet adventurous meeting of three virtuosos of magical instruments: ney, kora and ud. With roots in the Ottoman, ancient Anatolian, Balkan and West African music traditions, the trio welcomes listeners with its musical authenticity. The original compositions are colored by daring improvisations and grooves, presented in an atmosphere of chamber music.

The Mehmet Polat Trio invites its audiences on a sincere musical journey from the traditional past to an innovative present.The music of the Mehmet Polat Trio was a cure for the soul with the sincerity and pure emotions of their songs. - Jazzkaar Festival, EE (LIVE)

Introspective music that needed no flashy fanfare and which brought the audience into a world of peace, spaciousness, serenity, pleasure and beauty. - Jazzenzo, NL (LIVE)

The Mehmet Polat Trio's debut album Next Spring was released in Autumn 2014 with This album has received many good reviews in the US, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, France and other European countries.

In his elaborate compositions Mehmet Polat combines Anatolian, Middle Eastern music styles with African patterns. Masterfully he fuses the full range and capacity of ney, kora and ud together with their cultures and beyond. - Jazz n More Magazine, CH

Next Spring is a touching encounter between three musical sensibilities that understand each other beyond cultural and linguistic divides. They sound as they have always been playing those three instruments together from a common emotional core, or a spiritual unity of talents. - Ethnotempos, FR

Mehmet Polat was born and raised in Urfa, Turkey, and studied Ottoman music in Istanbul. His new approach to ud playing and his broadened vision towards music making brought him to Amsterdam in 2007, where he collaborated and experimented with many other musicians from around the world. After completing his conservatory studies of Indian music and self studies of Persian, Arabic, Flamenco and other musical styles, Polat discovered the inner world and spiritual side of the African music. He was touched especially the timbre of kora. With kora as the earth element, ud as space and ney as air, the idea of Mehmet Polat Trio was born.

Sinan Arat is an accomplished ney player from Erzincan in the East of Turkey. His spiritual music roots started in Turkey but extend all the way to India - it was this broadened musical vision that brought him to the Netherlands. A master of kora, the Senegalese Bao Sissoko toured Europe for years before settling in Brussels. All three musicians share an appreciation of the enriching musical experiences they each have in Europe, which enabled them to explore beyond the horizons.

The three of them had many enriching experiences playing their non-Western instruments as soloists and color musicians among artists from classical, jazz and other Western genres. In the unique constellation of the Mehmet Polat Trio, the ney, kora and ud assume the main roles, with ample freedom to explore the full capacity of each instrument in the mix.

The musicians value the traditional and spiritual characters of their instruments and at the same time the opportunities to innovate with them. Polat added two extra bass strings to his ud, expanding the instrument's function and color in the overall sound. Arat has played flutes originating from India to Western Europe, and brings these influences to his Turkish ney playing. Sissoko added half-tone tuning clips to each string of his kora, to accommodate different tonalities.

As the reviews declare, The Mehmet Polat Trio is more than a new combination of Turkish and African instruments. Polat thinks that music playing is a sincere and direct connection from heart to heart. In the music of the Trio, Polat fuses his artistic perfectionism with his ongoing spiritual paths, which appear as many deep expressions and many colors in his compositions. Polat's compositions are mostly in Jazz forms with lots of free space for each musician to improvise in. With a wide range of tone, makam from the Classic Turkish Music and the rhythm choices from Turkey, Balkan and World infused with African interpretation, these musicians are pushing their boundaries and moving forward in fusing the sound of this unique blend of instruments and the musical traditions from which they originate.

The Mehmet Polat Trio is currently preparing to record their second album 'Ask Your Heart', expected to be released in 2016.

Mehmet Polat (Turkey) - ud
Bao Sissoko (Senegal) - kora
Sinan Arat (Turkey) - ney

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