Olcay Bayir

Fri 4th June 2021


Can't make it in person? You can book tickets to watch the live stream of this show via our partner Roots Live.


This is a socially distanced live show and we’re doing two houses!

The Early Show is 6.30pm (doors at 6pm)

The Late Show is at 9pm (doors as soon as we’re ready)

We are also live streaming the early show direct from the club, via our partners Roots Live, buy tickets on the link on the right. The show will be available for a week, so you can watch live or at your leisure.


Olcay Bayir

Olcay Bayir, vocals
Aurel Qirjo, violin
Huw Bennett, bass
Christian Prior, keys
Kostas Kopanaris, percussion

Music is in Olcay’s blood. Born in Gaziantep in the south of Turkey close to the Syrian border, Olcay grew up in Kurdish Alevi family, where traditional and communal music was highly valued. Around her she experienced the diverse but connected cultures and music of Anatolia – Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian, and Arab. Her childhood was characterized by transition. Moving every few years to different areas of Anatolia gave the young Olcay an insight into the diverse cultural and religious approaches of the region, and what it means to be Anatolian: “I believe that culture – more than religion or nationality – provides identity. I’d rather talk about traditions and regions, rather than specific religions and nations. You are you, whatever religion or country you’re from.”

Olcay (pronounced Oldj-eye) takes the audience on a journey into the heart of Anatolia. Using traditional and original songs from her highly regarded album Rüya (Dream), she and her band explore the music and cultures of a region that often remains a mystery but has always been a melting pot of cultures and full of music. Singing in Turkish and Kurdish, both rhythmical and deeply touching, Olcay takes us from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, meeting wandering ashik poet-bards and reaching the areas adjoining war-torn Syria once heavily populated by Armenians, to revisit her own Kurdish and Alevi roots, inviting us through the music to explore our own roots and changing identities.

Olcay work has been has been acknowledged through the PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music fund and Help Musicians’ Do It Differently fund.

‘One of the finest, most intriguing singers on the British world music scene...exquisite and uplifting.’ - The Guardian

‘Bayir is blessed with a magnificent, clear voice that beautifully colours her original repertoire, combining jazz and world music with Kurdish tradition. .. If the omens don't deceive, this fantastic singer is on the eve of a great international career.’ - Bas Springer, Mixed World Music, Netherlands May 2019

‘a heart-stoppingly beautiful and emotive voice’ - ☆☆☆☆ RnR Mazagine UK April 2019

‘a captivating voice style with a blend of passion and energy’ - World Music Central USA April 2019 See less

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England