Göksel Yılmaz  is a versatile musician, band leader, composer and arranger, influenced by traditional Turkish and Arabic music and Western styles such as jazz, blues and classical.

Göksel was born in the Netherlands. He spent part of his childhood in Antakya, where his parents are from. This ancient city, formerly known as Antioch, is located in an Arab region in southern Turkey. So Göksel grew up in close connection with Dutch, Turkish and Arabic language, culture and music. At a young age, he played the saz (Turkish stringed instrument) and specialised in Turkish folk music. During his secondary school years in Turkey, he played in a folk choir and founded his first music group.

Once back in the Netherlands, he formed the band “Anadolu Ezgisi” with whom he performed for over 10 years in the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey. At the same time, he started studying Classical Guitar at the conservatory in Enschede with concert guitarist, lutenist and composer Louis Ignatius Gall.

In 2006, he founded the “Göksel Yılmaz Ensemble” with which he performed in Belgium, Turkey, Indonesia, Switzerland, Germany, Cyprus and the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, they were invited to well-known festivals, music venues and theatres, including the Music Meeting in Nijmegen, the Dunya Festival in Rotterdam, RASA in Utrecht and Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. They gave concerts with Jan Akkerman and Eric Vloeimans. In 2011, they released their debut album “Gezgin” (the Traveller). Between 2013 and 2015, Göksel Yilmaz composed and arranged music for two dance performances by Internationaal Danstheater: Silk and Si-Lin. This was followed by a tour by the GYE and the IDT of more than 50 performances in the Netherlands, Belgium and Indonesia. In 2016, Göksel and his ensemble released a second album “Kan Zaman” (There was a time). This album reached the list of the best 20 records in the World Music Charts Europe. In May 2018, “Kan Zaman” was re-released by the well-known Turkish record label Kalan Music. In 2019-2020, he composed the music for the American film “The Hunter” (US, directed by Alexander P. Gutterman). In October 2020, Göksel Yilmaz released a solo single “Memleket Isterim” on Kalan Music. In 2021 and 2022, he and his ensemble in collaboration with the Matangi Quartet paid tribute to the Arab singer Fairuz by performing 2 intimate concerts in the Beauforthuis and Schouwburg Hengelo. Currently, Göksel is finishing his solo album that will be released in July 2023.

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