Baba Zula is a Turkish alternative musical group, founded in Istanbul in 1996. With a wide variety of influences and a wide range of instruments, they create a unique psychedelic sound.
Founded in 1996, the band features founding members Levent Akman and Murat Ertel as well as Coşar Kamçı, who replaced original member Emre Onel in 2005. BaBa Zula added live drawing artist Ceren Oykut into the mix in 2004. She left the band in 2010. Her presence onstage had added an important visual aspect to BaBa Zula's live performances. Akman, Ertel, and Onel originally formed Baba Zula as a side project of now disbanded Anatolian rock group Zen.
In 2005 Baba Zula was exposed to a wider international audience when they were featured in a documentary, Crossing the Bridge by Fatih Akin, which took an in-depth look at Istanbul's contemporary and avant-garde music scene.
Described as "Turkey's most beloved alternative music purveyors" Baba Zula create a unique psychedelic sound, combining Traditional Turkish instruments, electronica, reggae and dub. The core of their sound is the saz, a Turkish bouzouki like stringed instrument with a bright, high-pitched sound.
Baba Zula have performed at festivals such as the Roskilde Festival (Denmark), Sofia Film Festival (Bulgaria), Klinkende Munt Festival (Belgium), Arezzo Wave Festival (Italy), Images of Middle East (multi-city Denmark tour), Cologne Triennale (Germany), Printemps de Bourges (France), Şimdi/Now Festival (Germany), Era Nowe Horyzonty (Wrocław, Poland), the Boost Festival (Netherlands) and the Venice Biennial.
Murat Ertel - lead vocals, saz, other strings, theremin (1996- ),
Levent Akman - percussion, drum machine (1996- ),
Çoşar Kamçı - goblet drum (2003- ),
Emre Onel- goblet drum, sampler (1996-2003),
Ceren Oykut - live video (2004-2010),
Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare,
Alexander Hacke, bass guitarist of Einstürzende Neubauten,
Brenna MacCrimmon, Canadian Turkish-Balkan folk musician and vocalist,
Hüsnü Şenlendirici, clarinetist from Laço Tayfa,
Özkan Uğur, Turkish rock/pop musician from MFÖ,
Mehmet Güreli, Turkish writer-painter-musician