Release Date: January 25, 2019
Catalog #: NV6202
Format: Digital & Physical
20th Century
Solo Instrumental

Toker Messing Around… With The Classics ;)

Hakan A. Toker piano

“Music is a game we play… It is to be respected, but not to be taken too seriously. It belongs to all of us. It is ours to create and recreate, to mess around with, as long as we give credit.” In his own words, Toker expresses the freedom that can be found within the written page of every musical score. A whole world can be discovered, rediscovered, and recreated in a single piece, and TOKER MESSING AROUND seeks to do just that.

Toker’s piano prowess is formed by both a formal education in classical performance and self instruction in jazz and improvisation. He knows the rules, and he knows where to bend them to create something entirely new. Take, for example, Elise has the Blues, an imaginative rendition of the famous Für Elise which pays homage to the Beethoven piece while bringing it into an entirely new genre, without any sense of disrespect. Or, Istanbul not Constantinople, a rendition of the catchy 1950s tune, which Toker combined with jazz sounds and traditional Turkish instrumentation to create a witty yet altogether astoundingly impressive performance.

Nothing is new under the sun — but it can be remade. From Bach to Bob Dylan, practically every musician has taken a former idea or melody and made it into something entirely new and fresh. This is the process of musical evolution, and Toker takes part in this while infusing some of his own wit, musical banter, and cultural voice into the mix.


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Artist Information

Hakan Ali Toker


Pianist, composer, and accordionist Hakan A. Toker is from Mersin Turkey. He studied classical music in Turkey and the United States, graduating from Indiana University School of Music (BM), where he double majored in piano and composition. Besides his formal education, he is mostly self-taught in the fields of improvisation, jazz, and world music.