Hakan Başar interview by TRT: the Turkish national television, interviews our “puppy”, the enfant terrible Hakan Başar in 2017 when he was still only 12 years old. Now he’s 18 years old and he’s a monster. He will be in #Italy in February 2023. Don’t miss it 😉
Hakan Başar | Piano
Paolo Benedettini | Drums
Ruben Bellavia | Double Bass
Hakan Başar, who was born in 2004 and started playing the piano at the age of 8, continued his studies with his father, who is a guitarist, after short private lessons. In this process, he made the first jazz piano studies with the curriculum of jazz pianists such as Walter Norris, Clare Fisher, Noah Baerman, Jeb Patton, David Berkman, Bill Dobbins, Andrew D.Gordon, Neil Olmstead, Bill Cunliffe, Andy LaVerne. Afterwards, he completed the second part of his studies by studying “Jazz Piano” styles of Michel Petrucciani, Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, Hank Jones, Bill Evans, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Barron, Sonny Clark, Art Tatum, Scott Joplin, Thelonious Monk, Chick Corea and developing his etudes. While all these studies were going on, Başar was 10 years old when he gave his first concert within the 5th Pera Music Festival. Continuing her music studies and education life together, he made her first studio recordings in 2015 at İTÜ MİAM. In addition to international special events, he gave a concert at the age of 12 as part of the Istanbul Jazz Festival.
The concert series, which started with the “Akbank Sanat Young Talent” concert in February 2017, continued with the Izmir-European Jazz Festival, Istanbul Jazz Festival Promotion Night and Ahmet Ertegün Memorial Night. Afterwards, World Jazz Day, Zorlu PSM Jazz Festival, Ankara Jazz Festival, Istanbul Jazz Festival and Akbank Jazz Festival were the concerts that followed this series. During this time, he met names such as Ron Carter, Russell Malone, Eddie Gomez, Donald Vega, especially Chick Corea, and had the chance to do a workshop with Chick Corea before the Istanbul concert. After this meeting, Chick Corea’s views, who admire Hakan’s talent, are as follows:
“La releve est assurée.”
In February 2018, Hakan was entering his first recording, which will turn into an album in 2019, at Babajim Studios, this time with Turkey’s most important musicians Ferit Odman, İmer Demirer, Engin Recepoğulları and Kağan Yıldız. The last part of the recordings was completed with the contributions of Halil Çağlar Serin, and the statement made by Martin Hummel ,who is director of Ubuntu Music, when he came to Istanbul and the Hakan Başar Trio at another Akbank Art Concert, indicated the album date as 19 October 2019. The album, which was released by Ubuntu Music in London, was distributed by Equinox Music.
The album “On Top Of The Roof” was a very important start for Hakan. Because he was on an international platform for the first time, and this time the London Jazz Festival opening concert was Hakan’s second stop after the album launch. The concert on November 15, 2019 was held at Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho and received serious coverage in the British press. The interview by Mike Collins on behalf of London Jazz News was followed by the broadcasting of the album tracks on Jazz FM, one of the world’s most important jazz radios.
In 2020, which started very quickly with concerts, unexpected pandemic process brought its negativity. Although there were no concerts, the album On Top Of The Roof have been broadcasted on many jazz radios and interviews were held in the written jazz press. One of them was Radio Boğaziçi’s nomination of Hakan among the jazz musician candidates of the year. Hakan Başar’s explanations for the challenging pandemic process are as follows: “This period has been a new beginning for me again. Because I think that I got the necessary substructure with the preparations I have made so far. I switched to a different system. I can say that by making good use of this free time, I gained different opinions for my creative development by analyzing the compositions of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Ornette Coleman etc. Also, I have listened jazz guitarists such as George Benson, Pat Martino, Wes Montgomery, Bireli Lagrene. Besides, I try to enrich his music by listening to Debussy, Chopin, Bach and especially by studying Debussy.”
On the anniversary of his album, another surprise was awaiting Hakan. His recording which was made with Jimmy Haslip and Will Kennedy who are two invaluable legendary musicians of Yellow Jackets, came out in the world, again by Martin Hummel who is Ubuntu Music’s director, this time as “Hub Art Special Edition Single”. The views of Jimmy Haslip, Will Kennedy and Martin Hummel about this project are as follows:
“Hakan Başar is a brilliant young pianist and the New Hub Art project frames the beauty of his performances and his compositions.”
“The future is in the hands of the young and as we do our best to encourage, inspire, and guide those who we pass the baton to, we rest in the knowledge that the future is in good hands. The hands of Hakan with the spirit and soul behind those hands gives us confidence for the future.”
“Another dream comes true for this amazing young talent. And everyone should expect many, many more to come! Hakan is a truly gifted artist and a very special person. We love him!” he concludes.