From Brooklyn to Beyoglu

It was Ilhan Ersahin, fearsome saxophone player and sometime sub for Paul Shapiro at BFE gigs, who introduced the band to his wonderful home country – Turkey. Brooklyn Funk Essentials headlined the 1996 Fuji World Music Festival in Istanbul, which was the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with Anatolian music and culture. Indeed, BFE’s second album, In The BuzzBag from 1998, was recorded during nine cold and snowy days in Istanbul, and it featured the 11-piece Turko-Romanian folk-band Laço Tayfas. One member of this group was a young clarinet virtuoso by the name of Hüsnü Senlendirici. Today, he is a mega star in Turkey and he still performs regularly with BFE, both live and in the studio.