We had the good fortune of connecting with Sezin Ahmet Turkmenoglu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sezin Ahmet, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Being open to new ideas and viewpoints is one of the most important lessons my career has taught me. In this way, I have been able to expand my limits and I believe this is an endless journey.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I don’t prefer to say that one thing or another sets me APART from others. Instead, I’d like to think that we all have unique voices as human beings and we reflect this in whatever job/hobby/profession we do. Because of the fact that I grow up in Turkey, I grow up listening to the music that had been shaped up in Turkey. Turkish music is melody oriented in essence and it has a rich rhythmic structure as well. No wonder some of the great composers in music history were influenced by Turkish music such as Beethoven (The Turkish March), Mozart (Rondo Alla Turca), Dave Brubeck (Take Five), and Bela Bartok. Going back to my voice in music, my cultural background is heard in my music as well. How did you get to where you are today professionally? Simply by working. Over the years you keep working and gain more experience. I think one of the crucial steps in learning is to keep an open mind like I mentioned earlier. This helped me (and it still does) expand my perception as well as realize where I should put my focus on to be able to grow as a musician and human being. These both (musician and human being) are not separate from each other. Who we are as a human being is reflected on whatever we do.
This past two years I have been a part of many different projects and albums. One of these albums is by the great Jimmy Branly’s album called “The Meeting”. In this album, we recorded some of our original music as well as some of our favorite jazz standarts. You can listen to my tune “One Day” in this album as well. I am excited and proud about this project. Another project that I am proud to be a part of is the great Michael Carvin’s upcoming record. The album “The Art of The Trio” will be released in the upcoming months.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Mmmm this is a tough one to answer… I am not a type of person who goes out a lot since when I perform, I am always out. However, I would definitely take them to see live music at “Sam First”. It is a wonderful venue to see great artists perform. I would definitely take them to a Korean Barbecue place if they are into it. If they are not Turkish, I would take them to a Turkish restaurant to give them an idea of the Turkish Cuisine. I like to go to the beach and hiking as well. Some of my favorite beaches are Santa Monica Beach, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, and Laguna Beach. In terms of hiking spots, I like Sunset Ridge Trail in Altadena, Solstice Canyon in Malibu, and Griffith Park.
I also love seeing art so Getty Museum, LACMA, and Natural History Museums art great options to visit as well.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I believe every single person in our lives is crucial as we are to them. As human beings, I believe we touch each other’s lives more than we can imagine. My mother has always been very supportive whether it is about my career or life decisions. I am grateful for her. My mentors/friends Cenker Sarp, Alan Pasqua, Darek Oles, Otmaro Ruiz, and Jimmy Branly have helped me along the way by sharing their wisdom and experiences. I also would like to thank my beloved Angela for always being there during my continuous journey.
Jay Matsueda, Bob Barry, Manuel Cruces Camberos, Chef Ito, Ting Vogel.