Minor Empire

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Variously described by reviewers as “trippy”, “dreamy”, “cinematic”, “stylishly hip” and “deeply exotic”, award ­winning Turkish ­Canadian group Minor Empire has racked up a lengthy list of plaudits for its seamless blend of Turkish traditional music and modern sounds. Its debut album, Second Nature, earned it a Canadian Folk Music Award for World Group of the Year, an Indie Music Award for Favourite World Artist of the Year and #1 spoton the Canadian world music radio charts.

Minor Empire’s ​sound is defined by the dreamy vocals of Ozgu Ozman which soar above a bed of pulsating grooves and organic instrumentation to create the airy psychedelic vibe. Exclaim praised the group for its “slinky, dub­y, knotty Turkish rhythms”. Le Devoir called their sound “refined” and said “Ozman weaves a most beautiful music from her Turkish roots”. Songlines UK praised “Ozman’s pure and sinuous vocals” and the “percussion that simmers with delicious intensity”. CBC Radio said, Minor Empire has “marked an important way forward for Turkish and world music”.

The group has recently created a fresh, conceptually-inspired sophomore album. With a lyrical worldview that addresses the turmoil of modern realities – mass migrations, cultural dissolution, and the resettlement of a spiritually homeless generation, the project is aptly named Uprooted. As a record of the voyage of the spirit, this album accesses springs of hope and passion through poignant imagery and epic tapestries of aural feast. The resulting sonic world oscillates between epic, intimate and inspirational episodes

Uprooted was released in October 2017 and hit #1 spot on Canadian radio charts soon after its release. Produced by co-lead and guitarist Ozan Boz, it features some of Canada’s finest musicians: Michael Occhipinti on guitar, Chris Gartner on bass, Ben Riley and Mark Kelso on drums, Patrick Graham on percussion, and Lina Allemano on trumpet. Uprooted was recently nominated for Independent Music Awards in two categories: World Beat Album of the Year, and World Album Producer of the year.

Minor Empire has showcased its captivating blend of ethereal vocals and transcending arrangements at prominent venues such as Yoshi’s in San Francisco, National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Banff Centre for the Arts, Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Hillside Festival, Luminato Festival, Sunfest, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Calgary Folk Music Festival, JAZZ.FM91 World Music Festival and Musikfest. The band was also featured on Identities, an award winning documentary series on Jazz FM.

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