Arab-Turkish World Music at its Best

Anatolian lyricism, sung in Turkish, Arabic and Kurdish, comes alive in transparent arrangements. The Göksel Yilmaz Ensemble is known for their great rhythmic drive together with a lovely spectrum of sound blending warm expressive vocals with the tonal colors of acoustic instruments.

With their program Gezgin (The Traveller), the listener is invited to a musical journey through life, from yearning to uprising, from sorrow to intense love and joy. Songs from Turkey, Lebanon and Azerbaijan will lead you in this journey. Their repertoire also includes original compositions by Göksel Yılmaz, influenced by both traditional music and such western styles as jazz, blues, and classical music.

Since its founding in 2006, the Ensemble has played in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, Switzerland, and Turkey. They played in major festivals and theaters such as Music Meeting in Nijmegen, Dunya Festival in Rotterdam, RASA in Utrecht, and Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In January 2008, the ensemble gave a new year’s concert in Enschede, with one of the most famous classical ensembles from The Netherlands, the Valerius Ensemble. Göksel arranged two of his own pieces for string quartet and clarinet especially for this occasion. The two ensembles performed the two pieces together at the end of this special concert.

In the spring of 2010, the Göksel Yilmaz Ensemble gave a special performance with master guitarist Jan Akkerman in the adventurous Beauforthuis venue. The Ensemble released their debut album Gezgin (The Traveller) in 2011. In 2012, they gave another special concert with the well known Dutch trumpet player Eric Vloeimans, toured in Turkey, and performed on National Dutch Television. In 2013 and 2014, the Göksel Yilmaz Ensemble provided all of the music for the Internationaal DansTheater production of SILK, which tells the story of the Silk Road. Göksel wrote and arranged all of the music for this production, which was presented in 40 performances throughout Holland.

In April 2014, they were invited by the Erasmus House in Indonesia to perform in the cities of Jakarta and Solo. The tour in Indonesia lasted 10 days and was a great success. In the 2014-15 theater season, the collaboration with IDT continued with the performance of the youth version of SILK, called Si-Lin, in various theaters in The Netherlands. The Göksel Yilmaz Ensemble released a new album, Kan Zaman (There was a Time), in March 2016 and is maintaining a busy tour schedule of highly acclaimed international tours.

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“It’s a fine piece of chamber music with a strong Arab-Turkish component”
Mixed World Music Magazine


“Yilmaz’ dreamy sounds carry you to the middle east”
Rosanne de Boer, Fret Magazine

“The uplifting music of the Göksel Yilmaz Ensemble turns this show to something magical.”



“The music, written by Yilmaz, inspires extremely and sometimes reminiscent of the music of the French double bass player and composer Renaud Garcia Fons.”

Nanska van de Laar, Het Noord Hollands Dagblad

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