Erdal Erzincan is the Eddie Van Halen of the Turkish lute called the baglama, if only when he performs in the tastefully flashy fretboard-tapping selpe style. Known best outside Turkey for his instrumental improvisations with Persian kemenche virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, Erzincan sings and plays both secular folk and Sufi devotional music. A member of the Alevi lineage, which mixes elements of Sufism and Shi’iism, Erzincan accompanies spiritual songs called nefes on his seven-stringed instrument, which is considered a direct link to the divine for both player and audience. At the same time, Erzincan maintains the Anatolian folk tradition as practiced in Erzurum, where he was born in 1971. Mostly, though, he is a wonderful and often downright funky improviser who spins spellbinding tales through his instrument.
Tue., March 12, 7 p.m., 2013