Creating music is a way for me to stay sane, a way to become aware of myself psychologically and physically. It’s a way to meet people and produce sound together. It’s how I research and create at the same time through spontaneous improvisations. It’s breathing and listening to myself as well as the person playing next to me. It’s the antagonist to the fast-paced city, a way to slow down. It’s a way to connect, yet not forget my own voice. It’s my re-imagination and portrayal of the world. It’s an experiment. It’s a way to draw attention to what’s being forgotten as a community. It’s how I remind myself what I felt, or share what I feel in the moment. It’s dropping everything and listening deeply. It’s not backing up from your dreams. It is to create without compromising!
Currently, it’s compositions for solo piano and jazz sextet, so I can share all this with anyone with an open ear. Thank you.
Engin born in 1986, was brought up in Istanbul, Turkey. His first musical influence was his grandmother, who played compositions by Schubert, Rachmaninoff and Chopin. At age 6, he started to learn piano and became very interested in the melodies and harmonies of romantic era composers.
Although music being a passion, his environment consisting of engineers and architects inspired him to take a similar path in life. He received a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Yeditepe University, a MBA from Bahcesehir University in Istanbul and spent multiple years working as a business developer in corporate environments.
In the meantime, he attended the summer jazz workshop program at New York University, followed by Bahçeşehir University’s Jazz Certificate Program in Istanbul. Through these experiences and exposure to new music, he met with minds alike and started to carve out more time from his professional life to study music.
Thanks to his studies with Istanbul’s music luminaries Baki Duyarlar and Güç Başar Gülle, he decided to quit working for corporate companies and follow his instincts to become a full-time musician.
In 2020, Engin received a BM in Jazz Composition with honors from New England Conservatory in Boston. Receiving musical wisdom from Frank Carlberg, Jason Moran, Ken Schaphorst, Ethan Iverson, Bob Nieske, Jerry Leake and Warren Senders, he released his debut album ‘Sequence of Emotions’ using a jazz sextet he formed in January 2020.
At the same time, through his three years long collaboration with Boston Experimental Theatre Company, he practiced Artaud and Grotowski (Poor Theater) principles, fused them with his jazz training, and co-produced multiple shows performing next to actors. ‘M(O)ther’ (improvised music & acted, August 2020), ‘Zahhak‘ (improvised music, March 2021). Engin was awarded Beneficent Society Scholarship in 2017 and his jazz compositions have been performed by Turkey’s National Radio Jazz Orchestra.
Currently, he resides in his hometown Istanbul, where he maintains his studio practice.