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Who is Gulcan Altan?

Gülcan Altan blends songs in multiple languages, the energy of her Caucasian roots, the Mediterranean culture, and her Turkish music education in her concerts, which she has performed both in Turkey and worldwide. She continues to stand as a unique presence in the music world.

She was born in Istanbul's multicultural and multilingual neighborhood of Samatya. Her childhood was enriched by this multicultural environment, growing up among Turks, Armenians, Greeks, Syrians, and Jews. Her roots trace back to the Circassian ethnicity. Her talent was discovered by her primary school teacher, and she began her amateur music career during her high school years, later pursuing it professionally while studying business administration at Trakya University.

In 2001, she entered Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory and graduated with honors. She started and developed her work in ethnic and world music during her conservatory years, leading to a diverse concert repertoire with songs sung in many languages. Gülcan plays the guitar, Classical Turkish Music Kemençe, and Diatonic Accordion.

In 2005, she pursued her Master's education in Music Education at Yeditepe University.

Her first Turkish album titled "Gülümser" was released in 2008, featuring interpretations of songs by one of Turkey's most prominent composers, Vedat Sakman.

In 2010, she released an ethnic album titled "Anlat," which included ten songs in ten languages. The first song of the album, "Dann'er Sip'o," was sung in Circassian, marking the first time a Circassian song was played on the streets of Istanbul.

Over the years, she has given concerts in various locations, including Athens, where she performed with the Istanbul Nazım Kumpanya Choir, the Maykop Music Festival in the Adyghe Republic of North Caucasus, Spain's Basque region, Switzerland's Foyer Handicap, and Cuba, among others. She has conducted research and worked on Adyghe and Abkhazian music in Adyghe and Abkhazia.

In 2011, she released the album "Gunef," featuring songs in Adyghe and Abkhazian languages, which became the first Circassian album to reach the top of the sales charts in the Anatolian lands where Circassians have lived for 150 years.

In 2012, she performed at a reception in Bilbao, Spain, with the presence of Basque and Turkish consuls. She also gave a concert in Stuttgart at Liederhalle, one of Germany's most important concert halls.

In 2015, she composed the Adyghe song "Çel'e Yegek'o" in memory of the Great Circassian Exile.

In 2018, she embarked on a concert tour titled "Kadim" in France and Cuba, featuring songs in ancient languages and the languages of disappearing cultures.

In 2018, she wrote and composed the Victory March for the 25th Anniversary of the Republic of Abkhazia.

In 2019, she received the title of "State Artist of Abkhazia" after performing in a concert in Abkhazia.

In 2020, she released her fourth solo album, "Devrim Şarkıları" (Revolution Songs), featuring songs in Russian, Spanish, Turkish, French, Portuguese, Greek, and other languages from various revolutionary events around the world.

From 2020 to 2022, she hosted and prepared the TV programs "Boyun Eğmeyen Şarkılar" and "Matruşka" on Sol TV.

In 2022, she initiated the "CAZ MAKAMI" project, presenting a stage and album of songs featuring Turkish music modes resonating within the original and free harmony of jazz music.

She continues her research on ethnic music and sings songs in many languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, English, Basque, Russian, Swedish, Greek, Arabic, Syriac, Ladino, Armenian, Kurdish, Georgian, Greek, Armenian, Laz, Adyghe, and Abkhaz. In her concerts, she skillfully blends and harmonizes diverse cultures using the unifying power of music.

Welcome to the colorful world of Gülcan Altan's music.


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