Masterful fusion guitarist Okan Ersan takes listeners on a musical journey through outer space on Nibiru.
Okan Ersan was born and raised in Cyprus, earning a music degree from the Marmara University in Istanbul in 1994. Inspired by such guitarists as Al DiMeola, Scott Henderson, Robben Ford and Mike Stern, Ersan has developed his own individual style within classic fusion. In 2005 he made his recording debut as a leader with To Whom It May Concern, touring the United States and appearing at the Kansas City Jazz Festival. Over the next few years, he opened for such luminaries as DiMeola, Ford, Chick Corea and John McLaughlin in addition to performing with Dave Weckl. In 2011, Ersan recorded A Reborn Journey which included Weckl and Ernie Watts in the supporting cast.
Okan Ersan has since headlined at many international festivals, continued to grow as a musician and now, with the release of Nibiru, he has released his most adventurous and colourful work.
Okan Ersan is a Cypriot guitarist and composer who has headlined at prestigious International Jazz festivals including Leverkusener Jazztage, Penang Island Jazz Festival, Nanjing Jazz, Kansas City Jazz Festival, Carthage Jazztage, Aalener Jazz Festival, Ingolstadt Jazztage, just to name a few. As a respected artist, he has collaborated with a range of acclaimed artists such as Dave Weckl, Ernie Watts, Billy Paul, Rex Richardson, Fazıl Say, Joe Lynn Turner and Volkan Öktem.
Okan Ersan’s Mediterranean roots and mindset have provided the springboard for a successful international career as a guitarist and composer. His innate ability to create complex harmonies that fuse into smooth melodies provide an inspiring experience for the listener. His work has earned accolades from his peers and across the music industry and his high-energy electric fusion appeals to audiences all over the world. Okan Ersan is an experienced recording artist who is about to release his third album. Each album by Okan Ersan has pushed the musical boundaries for the next.
From traditional jazz fusion from the first album of his early years To Whom It May Concern fiery solos tinged with a distinctly eastern shine in his second album A Reborn Journey. Inspired to think extraterrestrially by the 1977 ‘wow’ signal, which is believed to be the first alien radio transmission, Okan’s latest album showcases futuristic jazz fusion with no limits. Featuring NASA recordings of space blended with sophisticated harmonies and solid tonality, his album Nibiru presents music that is ahead of its time.
Okan has been a Yamaha Guitars performing artist for almost two decades using his role as a successful musician to inspire guitarists and upcoming talents through workshops with Dave Weckl and Rex Richardson and as a music teacher. Okan Ersan is also an endorser and performing artist for YAMAHA and PRS Guitars along with ATC Acoustic Engineer Speakers and GHS Strings.
Ersan’s quartet with keyboardist Serkan Özyilmaz, bassist Eylem Pelit and drummer Volkan Öktem performs an original seven-part suite full of electronic excitement, colourful ensembles, and individual heroics.
Okan Ersan, a powerful guitarist and an imaginative composer, debuts a seven-piece work on Nibiru inspired by a signal received in 1977 that is believed to be the first-ever transmission from outer space. The most suitable music to depict a journey through the galaxies and the vastness of space is futuristic jazz fusion, an area that the guitarist explores with keyboardist Serkan Özyilmaz, bassist Eylem Pelit and drummer Volkan Öktem during the ambitious project.
Named after the mythical planet Nibiru, the program gives listeners an uncharted
perspective of the universe along with some dazzling music. Each of its seven chapters tells a different outer space story.
The opening “6EQUJ5 (Wow Signal)” starts with Morse code which seeks to translate the legendary outer space transmission from 1977. The rhythm is soon emulated by Ersan on guitar and the tight quartet which engages in intense interplay. Here, as on several of the pieces, the music is blended with recordings of space captured by NASA.
“As Far Away As Possible,” tells the story of light in space (which is used to calculate light-years) on a piece that is both brooding and beautiful while conveying the endless nature of space. “Deep Field,” which begins with some furious drumming from Öktem, has a mysterious feel and some raging guitar.
“Gravitational Waves” features a catchy rhythmic pattern and wild guitar playing. In contrast, “Transcending” is a quiet piece with a lyrical statement from Ersan.
“Nibiru” is an imagined greeting from the fictional outer planet to Earth. Its music, which is topped off by an attractive closing groove, is celebratory and welcoming. The suite concludes with “Space Jungle – Anunnaki” which uses some
otherworldly sounds to depict the natives of Nibiru on a desperate journey to save their planet.