Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 8 p.m.
GSU Auditorium, Boston University
775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston


Group Taxim Square is founded in 2009 in Boston. The Band’s members are Turkish and they are all from Berklee College. Each musician at the band has different backgrounds from classic music to jazz; composing to arrangement. The group’s repertoire includes different styles of Turkish and Mediterranean music and features folk, pop and jazz styles.

Burak Besir, voice, guitar, flute
Ekin Cengizkan, drums
Emir Cerman, hand percussion
Secil Isil Yucel, voice, violin
Utar Dundarartun, piano
Yaman Akdogan, bass guitar

Burak BesirBURAK BESIR (voice, guitar, flute): Today's Bests, Tomorrow's Brightest Stars…" This is how Burak and 5th Conservatory Project musicians featured to the audience and press at Kennedy Center in Washington. Representing Berklee College, Burak was one of the fifteen best musicians from all over US conservatories who took part at the 5th Conservatory Project in 2008. Born in Lefkosa, Cyprus, Burak graduated from Ankara State Conservatory with distinction. Following to that he completed his masters degree on performance at Royal Scottish Academy, studied with David Nicholson.

Receving the UK Young Concert Artist Award in 2003, Burak toured all over Europe and
gave recitals and concerts. He gave his first debut at Wigmore Hall in London. Burak
studied with Sir James Galway over the years. In 2007 he received "The Best Performer
2nd Prize" from Sir James Galway in Weggis. Besides his solo career, Burak has held
Principal and Second positions at Istanbul State Opera and Ballet and at Istanbul Borusan Philharmony Orchestra from 2003 to 2008. Receiving the “World Scholarship Tour” scholarship from Berklee College and his interest in composing, arrangement and
production led him move to Boston. Burak is the winner of Berklee Concerto Competition award in 2008. He received Arif Mardin scholarship from Berklee for his outstanding contributions and success.

At present he is studying Contemporary Writing and Production as a major. He arranged Mouquet's "La Flute de Pan Op15", and Smetana's "Moldau" into flute choir and both pieces are performed at Sir James Galway international flute convention concerts.
Burak composed and dedicated his two flute and piano composing "Sound From Anatolia" to Sir James Galway and Lady Jeanne Galway. The premier of “Sound From Anatolia” is performed at Sir James Galway's international flute convention in Switzerland in August 2010. Burak also plays at the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra and Video Game Orchestra as Principal Flute.

Ekin CengizkanEKIN CENGIZKAN (drums): Started to play drums at the age of 12. In 2000 started
to study drums and percussion at Yýldýz Technical University (YTU) in Istanbul. He did
private lessons with distinguished drummers like Þenol Küçükyýldýrým, Cengiz Baysal,
Selami Sevinç and Cem Aksel. In 2001 joined Turkish rock band called Anima. In 2005
made a record deal with Sony BMG/Turkiye. Album released in 2006 called "animasal".
Between 2000 - 2008 he played across Turkey with various bands in different styles. After graduating from YTU he's won a partial scholarship award from prestigious collage Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. He's now studying in Music Synthesis and Performance at Berklee. He is in search of the ways to use electronic elements and combining them in his drum set playing. At Berklee he has studied and will study with world reknowns musicians like Dave Dicenso, Mark Walker, Alberto Netto, Neal Smith, Rick Considine, Jeff Staut.

Emir CermanEMIR CERMAN (hand percussion): He performed at Atatürk Kültür Merkezi in 2002 for a tribute to Erol Pekcan as “the best new young player of the year, as well as in the closing concert of Istanbul Jazz Festival in 2003, and at the final contest for 2003 Roxy Music Awards with his group. He has a countrywide reputation for his score on Atatürk with a special video clip. The clip has been broadcasted on many national TV channels, also receiving 13,905 views on Youtube. In 2008, he received the Third Place prize at the Film Scoring Contest 4. He also produced, composed and arranged for the Berklee College of Music & CEV Concert in Istanbul, which was broadcasted live on national TV channels.

Secil Isil YucelSECIL ISIL YÜCEL (voice, violin): Secil Isil Yücel was born in Texas, USA in 1986. She was granted a full scholarship for Music Preparatory High School-Violin Department at Bilkent University, Ankara. She graduated with Honors Degree from Bilkent University, Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Department of Violin Performance in 2008. She was a member of the Bilkent Youth Symphony Orchestra, performed with many prestigious names such as Þefika Kutluer, Ayla Erduran, Valery Oistrakh, and toured across Turkey with Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull. She was the lead vocalist and the violinist of an Hip Hop/ R&B Band, Outa Control. After attending the 5-Week Summer Program of Berklee College of Music in 2008, she was granted a scholarship. She played with Berklee Musical Theater Orchestra in December 2009, and has been playing with Metrowest Symphony Orchestra as a guest member. She had the opportunity to improve herself in the area of composition during her summer internship as a personal assistant of the famous jazz pianist Tamir Hendelman in 2010. She is currently studying at Berklee, as a Songwriter/Professional Music dual major student.

Utar DundarartunUTAR DÜNDARARTUN (piano): Utar Dündarartun is a composer, arranger, and pianist from Ankara, Turkey, who studies film scoring and jazz composition at Berklee on scholarship. He graduated from Hacettepe University State Conservatory in classical percussion. Dündarartun has performed at many festivals in Turkey, including the 12th International Ankara Jazz Festival, the 7th Eskiºehir Jazz Festival, and the International Bursa Music Festival. He has composed and arranged over 30 pieces for symphony orchestra, and 50 pieces for brass and big band. He is currently recording an album with his band Betone. Says Dündarartun, “Human creativity and imagination really impressed my scope about music and history. To create something to [give to] humanity is
considerable reason for improvement.”

Yaman AkdoganYAMAN AKDOGAN (bass guitar): He picked up the bass guitar in high school and participated in concerts and festivals with the school band. After graduating from high
school, he got acceptance for Laboral Economics major at Dokuz Eylül University in Izmir. During his undergraduate years he studied jazz music theory and performance with well known jazz pianist and arranger in Turkey, Ömür Gidel. He played in concerts, clubs and jazz festivals with several local jazz bands. In 2008 he participated in Umbria Jazz clinics. In the same year he was accepted to the Berklee College of Music as a scholarship student. In 2010 he participated in Sienna Jazz Academy Summer Program where he studied with master jazz musicians Ferenc Nemeth, Avishai Cohen, Scott Colley, Anders Jormin, Ricardo Del Fra, Furio Di Castri, Paolino Dalla Porta, Marco Tamburini, Ettore Fioravanti. Now he is continuing his studies at Berklee College of Music and studying with great jazz musicians such as Ed Tomassi, Lin Biviano and Lincoln Goines.


Co-presented with the Howard Thurman Center at Boston University