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Yunus Emre Institute Hosts Sufi Sounds and Harmonies Concert to Honor Yunus Emre

100 Guests Attended Concert ft. The Yunus Emre Tribute Ensemble

Washington, D.C. - On September 10th, 2021, the Yunus Emre Institute in Washington, D.C. hosted Sufi Sounds and Harmonies, a concert that honored the legacy of the 13th century poet, Yunus Emre. Sufi Sounds was held at Turkish Ambassador Hasan Murat Mercan’s residence in northwest D.C. The concert featured The Yunus Emre Tribute Ensemble, a group specially assembled to bring music to Yunus Emre’s poetic works. One hundred people from diplomatic, academic, public, and private organizations attended the commemoration.

Sufi Sounds and Harmonies was hosted in the concert hall of the Turkish Embassy Residence. Attendees were asked to follow COVID-19 protocols in accordance with District regulations to ensure that the event was safe. Guests were allowed in the Residence at 7:00 p.m. and encouraged to enjoy light refreshments in the reception area. At 7:30 p.m., everyone was seated and the concert was opened by the Yunus Emre Institute’s Public Relations Director, Casey Kim Çoşkun. In her remarks she explained that Yunus Emre wrote about “tolerance, peace, and love for all people regardless of their background or beliefs.” Ambassador Mercan spoke to the importance of 2021 being recognized by UNESCO and the Republic of Turkey as the 700th anniversary of Yunus Emre’s life. Director Casey Kim returned to the stage to introduce the Ensemble. The Yunus Emre Institute Ensemble consists of Merve Sarı (vocals), Eren Erdoğan (ney), Tamer Pinarbaşı (kanun), Ara Dinkjian (ud), John Murchison (bass), and Nezih Antaklı (drums).

The Yunus Emre Tribute Ensemble captivated their audience with Turkish hymns, Yunus Emre’s poetry, and their own original compositions. They started the concert with a poem by Yunus Emre called “Aşkın Aldı Benden Beni” and songs such as Ara Dinkjian’s own “Fly Away.” Throughout the concert, Merve Sarı commented on why certain compositions were important to the group and shared why they were inspired by Yunus Emre and Sufism. The Ensemble closed the concert with “Uyun Ey Gözlerim” by Sultan Murad III and “Güzel Aşık Cevrimizi” by Pir Sultan Abdel and Sebilci Hüseyin Efendi. Each song was punctuated with enthusiastic applause and the Ensemble received a standing ovation after they played their last song.

At the end of the concert, Mrs. Mercan presented Ms. Sarı with a tughra from Sultan Süleiman the Magnificent. A tughra was an Ottoman Sultan’s ornamental monogram, which was used as an official seal. Guests gave high praise for The Yunus Emre Tribute Ensemble’s enchanting musical performance and mingled after the concert to discuss their personal highlights.

Yunus Emre Institute is a Turkish cultural center located in Washington, D.C. and around the world. The institute hosts events and programs that educate the public about Turkey’s culture, history, and language. For more information about the institute’s mission or online programs, please email or follow @yeewdc on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Yunus Emre Institute Hosts Sufi Sounds and Harmonies Concert to Honor Yunus Emre

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