Turkey is a country of diversity…it is Western as well as Oriental. Modern as well as ancient. It should come as no surprise, then, that a new generation of Turks, just as versatile, adventurous and unique has emerged.
Composer, producer, pianist, bassist and audio engineer Turgut Uygar Ovunc, aka “Nomad,” is one of these new Turks. Infusing Western music with traditional Turkish scales and rhythms, his musical journey has taken him from the digital world of synthesized music, to honky tonk bars in Nashville and everything in between.
His most recent musical endeavor is a collaboration with his wife, award-winning folk and Americana artist Mare Wakefield. Ovunc and Wakefield refer to their musical brew as Turget Bey. “It’s Turkana” quips Ovunc, “truly a fusion of east and west. We’ve taken the beautiful and sometimes plaintive melodies from the American folk style and interwoven elements of Turkish rhythm and meter.”
Turget Bey features flavors of Turkish and American folk music and captures the true diversity of these two musical styles, highlighting how two seemingly distinct musical elements can be joined into one coherent sound.
About the Members
Nomad Ovunc started his music education in Istanbul Turkey, with eight years at the Istanbul State Conservatory. He applied for and received a scholarship to Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music where he majored in Contemporary Writing and Production. Subsequently, Ovunc has collaborated with folk and pop artists, designed sound for video, and composed symphonic pieces that have been performed by the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra (under the direction of Stephen Gunzenhauser) and in Boston’s legendary Fenway Park.
Mare Wakefield’s music has been described as “Cozy brilliance … the merger of Maria McKee, Natalie Merchant, Shawn Colvin and Dolly Parton” (Louisville Observer). Her skill as a performer and songwriter has been recognized by many prestigious competitions and organizations including the International Songwriting Competition, Great American Song Contest, River Bluff Music Festival, Willamette Valley Folk Fest, Berklee College of Music Songwriting Competition and more.