Yaşam Hancılar Band
Charlotte de Bourbonstraat 2
1055 WT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Peter Funcke (Tone of Voice)

Booking (The Netherlands and Turkey):

Booking (International):
Jacquie Derckx – Project Exchange




Turkish jazz musician Yaşam Hancılar embarks on a new chapter with the release of his second album

Amsterdam-based Turkish singer and guitarist Yaşam Hancılar is set to release his second album on 5 February 2017, followed by its official kick-off at the North Sea Jazz Club.

Strange Fish has ten tracks, including three self-penned compositions. Combining jazz and Brazilian standards with original tracks, this new album delves deeper than before. In one track, Hancılar, both a passionate musician and a socially-engaged one, examines the lifeless body of the little boy washed up on a beach in Bodrum, Turkey. “That something so horrible could happen in such a heavenly place… This deeply touched me”, says Hancılar.

While Hancılar’s debut album, Here’s To Life, mainly interpreted classics from the Great American Songbook, his sophomore album brings in more contemporary works from the world of jazz and Brazilian music, including his own. “I’ve been singing my whole life, but I’ve only just started writing and recording my own songs”, says Yaşam.

Hancılar grew up in a small town between Istanbul and Ankara in north-western Turkey. At eighteen, he moved to Istanbul to study engineering at the Technical University. “But in my spare time I kept myself busy with music”, says Hancılar. “I deliberately chose Istanbul because the city is a centre for music. In Turkey, if you want to be in a band or see a concert, you have to be in Istanbul. When I was studying, I was a singer and guitarist in a lot of pop and jazz bands”.

In 2006, he founded Jazz Mates, and embarked on his musical career. “All of a sudden, the ball got rolling”, laughs the musician “We were asked to perform for major national and international festivals, from Istanbul to Maastricht”.

In 2008, Hancılar took part in the Nardis Young Jazz Vocal Competition in Istanbul and the prizes started rolling in. “I had the honour of representing Turkey at the eighth International Young Jazz Artists Competition in Estonia. But Turkey doesn’t really have any proper training for jazz musicians so I moved to Amsterdam to study at the conservatory”.

Hancılar graduated three years ago and now runs his own music school in the Dutch capital. He has his own band and regularly tours the Netherlands and abroad. “I gave up my job and my whole life in Istanbul to study in Amsterdam and embark on this new journey but I haven’t regretted it once. It’s been a lot of hard work but I can’t imagine I’d have wanted to do it any differently and am ready for the next chapter!”

The band:

Yaşam Hancılar – voice
Christian Pabst – piano (album recording)
Orestis Petrakis – piano (live shows)
Marco Zenini – bass
Joan Terol Amigó – drums



Het Parool

EN- “Strange Fish has something for everyone, with its mixture of classical, Brazilian, pop and jazz.” 4-stars, Jan Jasper Tamboer, 17-01-2017, Het Parool

NL- “Voor het album Strange Fish zou een breed publiek belangstelling moeten kunnen hebben, met zijn mengeling van klassiek, Braziliaans, pop en jazz.” 4-sterren, Jan Jasper Tamboer, 17-01-2017, Het Parool


EN – “Hancılar’s warm, voluminous voice recalls a young Frank Sinatra, but employs a lot of Brazilian phrasing techniques, and above all, displays his own distinct quality.” Rainer Bratfisch, March 2017, Jazz Podium (DE)

DE – “Hancılars warme, voluminöse Stimme erinnert zwar bisweilen an den jungen Frank Sinatra, wechselt aber immer wieder in brasilianische Phrasierungstechniken, verfügt aber vor allem über durchaus eigenständige Qualitäten.” Rainer Bratfisch, März 2017, Jazz Podium (DE)

NL – “Hancılars warme, volumineuze stem doet soms wel denken aan de jonge Frank Sinatra, maar hij schakelt altijd weer over op Braziliaanse fraseringstechnieken, en beschikt vooral over een geheel eigen kwaliteit.” Rainer Bratfisch, Maart 2017, Jazz Podium (DE)

EN – “This fine international line-up makes for a melodic, lyrical and inviting album.” 8/10, Serge Julien, 15-02-2017,

NL – “Met deze fraaie internationale line-up zet Hancilar een melodieus, lyrisch en uitnodigend album neer.” 8/10, Serge Julien, 15-02-2017,

Nederlands Dagblad

EN – “Yaşam Hancilar’s voice combines the melancholic with the musically pleasant, English with Portuguese to make timeless world jazz.” Johan Bakker, 03-03-2017, Nederlands Dagblad

NL – “De zangstem van Yaşam Hancilar combineert melancholie en muziekplezier, Engels en Portugees tot tijdloze wereldjazz.” Johan Bakker, 03-03-2017, Nederlands Dagblad


EN – “Along with his trio, he has put together a CD with surprising songs.” Hessel Fluitman, 06-02-2017, Jazzflits

NL – “Samen met zijn trio heeft hij een cd met verrassende songs samengesteld.” Hessel Fluitman, 06-02-2017, Jazzflits


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