Since the world music concerts of the annual Fethiye International Culture & Arts Festival really started to take off, we’ve been given some really special memories by many of the musicians that have performed – and we feel privileged to have been able to witness planned shows as part of the festival programme.
But, as always with live music, it’s the spontaneous coming together of different musicians who just set up, jamming together that really make you shiver with sheer happiness and appreciation. (If you’re a music fan, you’ll know what we mean with that.) With so many musicians from around the world wandering around Fethiye each May, chances are you’re gonna come across some such session. You won’t know where, or when, and it might be when you least expect it…but you know you’re gonna remember it.
Kaya Fest 2015
Last year, for reasons long forgotten, we didn’t make most of the evening world music concerts but, when we least expected, we were treated to a special night when some of the performers, Scott Jeffers and his band, Traveler, casually wondered into Deep Blue Bar, just as we were about to leave. Needless to say we didn’t leave and it was one of life’s fantastic, spontaneous moments.
In 2013, as part of the world music events, a world music afternoon was organised at the high church in Kayaköy. A glorious spring day where, although the afternoon had been arranged, musicians were left to come together, play music and sing. They didn’t know each other but it didn’t matter.
On that day we had music from Georgia, Bulgaria, Turkey, a British folk group…and a certain Mr Scott Jeffers, again. We had no idea who he was at the time (or who any of the other performers were for that matter), so he’s just called ‘the fiddler’ in the blog post we wrote about it. In that post, you’ll see a video where Scott Jeffers joins in with folk musicians, Marick and Louise Baxter and Chas Whittaker. What better setting…
Kayaköy is the perfect setting for live world music, and, yesterday, as part of this year’s Fethiye International Culture & Arts Festival, Kaya Fest was arranged. The Taste of Fethiye craft fair and some of the festival musicians coming together in one place, Poseidon Square, to make up Kaya Fest. From his Traveler World Music Facebook page, we knew Scott Jeffers was going to be performing again…there was no way we were going to miss this one!
And we didn’t…and we spied another little spontaneous moment that got us bursting with anticipation. As we milled around one of the bars, drinks in hand, a guitarist was just strumming, warming up. Scott Jeffers immediately went to get his violin and joined in, quietly. As these two musicians smiled at each other you couldn’t help but get excited that they might perform together for us all…
That guitarist was one half of Ibiza-based, amazing guitar duo, Los Vagabundos. They were first up and wowed us with high-energy (even that’s an understatement) acoustic covers such as Dick Dale’s Misirlou (aka the song playing during the opening credits of Pulp Fiction) as well as self-penned tunes; Alhambra sticks in our memory.
And then they did what we were secretly hoping for. They invited Scott Jeffers to come and play with them. A short introduction was given. These guys – Barish Kasiak and Denis Stern of Los Vagabundos and Scott Jeffers of Traveler – have been friends for three years after meeting annually at the Fethiye music festival. Well, how lovely that this event has brought them together, for a start. And in that time, they’ve talked about how they’ve wanted to play together in front of an audience.
Right place, right time and the Fethiye Festival has again given us special memories via Kaya Fest. Photos are one thing but let’s see the live performance…
On the Traveler Facebook photo album for yesterday’s coming together of these three musicians, Scott Jeffers said it was the highlight of Kaya Fest for him; crazy energy. Yeah, we can see why he thinks that! Lucky, privileged us that we were there to witness it all, eh?
And then we got the Scott Jeffers solo performance. As a regular at the Fethiye World Music Festival, we know what we’re going to be treated to these days – Scott’s just a true showman, so, as well as mesmorising violin-playing abilities we get the whole high-energy, camera-loving caboodle and we all stood and we all watched and loved!
Ahmet Erarslan was last to perform. Ahmet Erarslan is another regular on the local Turkish music scene and always pops up on stage at some point during the world music festival, so it was no surprise to see him there yesterday. He plays traditional Anatolian tunes on a tiny musical instrument that is part of the saz family. Research suggests it could be a cura; the smallest member of the bağlama (saz) family and the highest pitched.
Again, because Ahmet Erarslan is a regular, he and Scott Jeffers have come to know each other and we’ve seen them do impromptu performances on stage together in the past. How a violinist can just rock up on stage and join in with unfamiliar traditional Anatolian tunes being played on a cura is just one of life’s great mysteries…well, at least perhaps for those of us who don’t play musical instruments. (I’m not counting my position as recorder player as a 10 year old in the junior school choir as knowledge of musical instruments!) This happened again yesterday and these are the really special, unplanned moments that come from events such as Kaya Fest.
There’s a huge difference between knowing how to read music to play notes on a musical instrument and really knowing and feeling your musical instrument, that then makes it a part of you. Yesterday, Kaya Fest allowed us to be a part of the musical worlds of Los Vagabundos, Scott Jeffers and Ahmet Erarslan in the beautiful unique setting that is Kayaköy, and for that, we are very grateful.
And, for a few days each May, the Fethiye International Culture & Arts Festival brings to us musicians from all over the world which we get to enjoy completely free of charge. We’re very grateful for that and intend to make the most of the last couple of days of one of our favourite times in the annual calendar of Fethiye events.
Fethiye International Culture & Arts Festival – Useful Info
- Fethiye International Culture & Arts Festival runs for a few days each May. Dates are announced near to the time and advertised via the festival Facebook page.
- Kaya Fest was arranged as part of the Fethiye Festival and will hopefully continue to be a part of it in the future.
- If you like the sound of Los Vagabundos and want to hear more and find out more about the duo (it’s an interesting tale), this is the link to Los Vagabundos on You Tube.
- For more Scott Jeffers and Traveler info, he has an active Facebook page that you can head on over to, to give it a like.
- Fethiye Festivali 2015 was 14th May to 17th May