Palya's first guest is one of the shining stars in today's rebetiko firmament. Çiğdem Aslan, who grew up in a Kurdish family in Istanbul, began singing her favourite Kurdish, Armenian, Greek and Sephardic songs at university. She later moved to London, where - among other things - she became a member of the now world-renowned She'koyokh Klezmer Ensemble. Her first solo album, 2013's Mortissa, evokes the Greek female singers of the 1930s who - despite the prevailing customs of the time - did not conceal their desire for hashish, alcohol and men; today, "mortissa” is the name given to an independent woman in Turkey who is unafraid to express her opinions freely. 'Absolutely stunning stuff... it is so infectious' - wrote the BBC's Cerys Matthews of Aslan, for the way she sings is truly intoxicating. She provides a wonderful example of how tradition can be made fresh and captivating without overwrought effort or a misplaced sense of modernity.
Presented by: Palace of Arts
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