Esra Kayıkçı is a Turkish singer-songwriter, bass player and archaeologist. In 2016, She released her first album ‘Bozgun Hatıra’, composed of her own compositions.
In 2017, she took the stage as a semi-finalist in the 50th Montreux Jazz Vocal Competition, one of the most prestigious competitions in the world, where Angelique Kidjo was head of the jury. In addition, she performed as a finalist in the Made in NY Jazz Contest, where Mike Stern, Randy Brecker and Lenny White were among the jury.
She graduated from the University of Trakya with a Bachelor’s degree in archaeology in 2018 and her thesis was on Women and Music in Ancient Greek. She also played double bass at CRR Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Nail Yavuzoğlu. She is expected to release her second album in January 2023.
Besides her career as a singer, she also dealt with archeology and took part at Allianoi excavations in Bergama, İzmir, which is a city in Turkey. In order to save Allianoi from sinking, she composed the song “Su Perisi “, the lyrics of which belonged to Nilay Yılmaz.
Esra Kayıkçı: Vocal, bass
Hakan Kamalı: Guitar
Bilge Günaydın: Piano
Engin Günaydın: Drums
About Bilge Günaydın
Bilge Günaydın is a Turkish jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, and arranger who lives in New York. She started her early education in music at Istanbul University State Conservatory and she had continued her classical piano education at this conservatory for eight years. After her graduation from Istanbul University Law Faculty, she decided to continue her education in the jazz music area. These days, She continues her master’s study in jazz composition with a full scholarship at William Paterson University in New Jersey. She studies with Bill Charlap, Cecil Bridgewater, and Peter Mcguinness. Bilge Günaydın’s debut album called “Daydreams” in quintet form was released by Turkish Label Ada Music and Japanese Label Inpartmaint digitally and as CD in 2020. All arrangements, compositions, and productions belong to pianist Bilge Günaydın in this album. She played this album project with her band at Ankara Jazz Festival, Akbank Jazz Days, and Istanbul International Jazz Festival. Also, she is excited about her second album “Sketches of Green” which will be released at the end of April.
In 2019, She won the Youth Jazz Competition that is arranged by Istanbul International Jazz Festival and she played with her trio in this festival in 2019. Also, She got a scholarship from “JM International” in 2015 and 2019. Through this scholarship, she attended the Jazz Improvisation Camp held in Norway. There, She studied with Randy Ingram and Olga Konkova and had the chance to play with Hayden Powell and Bendik Hofseth.
She was also a member of the Istanbul Youth Jazz Orchestra directed by Baki Duyarlar and her big band arrangements and compositions were played by this orchestra in the 24th and 25th Akbank International Jazz Festivals in Istanbul. Also, she played with Nicholas Payton as the pianist of the same orchestra.
In 2017, She attended Siena Jazz Workshop in Italy and she had the chance to play and study with Will Vinson, Susanne Abbuehl, Matt Mitchell, Stefano Battaglia, and many valuable musicians. Also, at the end of 2017, she got an invitation and she played her originals with her trio at Sibiu International Jazz Competition Festival in Romania.