Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Serdar Ilhan - Introduces Turkish culture to Americans

An Adman, graphic designer, promoter, manager and venue owner… Serdar Ilhan has moved to New York from Istanbul when he was 27. He simply was looking for some adventure as a young and brave man. Also, he was targeting to learn a new language. The year was 1989.

He had been unhappy about Turkey’s political situation then… “Those were the beautiful days actually.” he says and adds. “Now, I understand.” 

That young man who was looking for some adventure in the States became one of the most significant Turkish figures in New York in couple of years. He introduced Turkish culture to Americans. In brief, he became Turkey’s unofficial culture delegate in New York.

In the past 15 years he presented Turkish, Mediterranean and World Music at prestigious venues such as Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Florence Gould Hall. Serdar Ilhan is the owner of Drom, a venue that features live performances six nights a week, and besides the music, the clients enjoy Turkish and Mediterranean tapas at Drom.

Let’s go back to the beginning… Serdar Ilhan moved to New York with an undergraduate degree in Graphic Design and graduate degree in Photography. He opened an advertising agency. In his first years he had ran the agency in a successful way. However, Serdar Ilhan who is never satisfied with his successes entered the organization business in order to promote Turkish culture in the States. And with no surprise, he achieved.

Let’s continue... Serdar Ilhan is one of the producers of the annual NY Gypsy Festival and the Istanbulive, which is the biggest Turkish concert event in the States so far. In addition to all achievements, he is the manager of New York Gypsy All Stars.

At this point I have to tell that, besides Turkish music his biggest passion is Gypsy Music.

“I’m not a Gypsy, but my brother is” he says in order to emphasize the fact that almost all the adventurous people are gypsies in their souls in some way. 

Here's my longer article on Hurriyet USA daily newspaper in Turkish.

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