Selim Sesler, once described as the "John Coltrane of Turkish Clarinet" plays at the Badehane Cafe ın Tünel Square every Wednsday night. Selim plays on a G Albert system clarinet, a unıquely Turkısh clarinet which really wails... you simply can't scream like this on a regular classical Boehm system Bb clarinet. I'd love to pick one up but I have to have pity on those that would have to listen to me learning it. I'm a fiddler, fercrissakes. Selım had been touring in the US for the last few weeks, so this was the big night for hungry fans. We weren't dissapointed - he had the whole club up and dancing.
While a lot of Turkish clarinetists strive to fuse the traditional sound with modern forms like jazz and DJ-mixes (file under "crap") Sesler has become remarkably successful by simply playing amazing music in the old traditional calga aesthetic. His CD on the Kalan label "The Road To Keşan" (available on the Traditional Crossroads label in the US) is a must have.
Sesler also worked with the Canadian singer Brenna Mcrimmon on her CD Karşilama, which is another incredible production - Brenna sings in fluent Turkish to the extent of singing in dialect, and this CD is played everywhere in Turkey - resturants, pubs, street vendors - on the basis that it is simply great music, with most people not realizing that it isn't a Turkish singer working with Selim.
And why not: the view from down the block by the Galata Bridge.