Omar Faruk Tekbilek is one of the foremost Middle Eastern musicians. Known primarily for his work on the Ney, he is also a master of Middle Eastern percussion (Darbuka, Bandir, etc.), double reed instruments such as the Zurna and Mijwiz, and the guitar-like Baglama and Jura. In 1971, already an established musician in Turkey, Faruk toured Europe and the United States for the first time.
Eventually Faruk moved to Upstate New York, where he now lives. Since coming to the United States in 1976, Faruk has recorded and performed with several notable musicians including: Arif Mardin, jazz musicians Don Cherry and Karl Berger, and rock drummer, Ginger Baker. He has made concert appearances worldwide including the Kool Jazz Festival, and the Israeli Music Festival. Whirling marks Faruk’s debut as a solo recording artist.
Joining Faruk on the recording are Middle Eastern musicians Ara Dinkjian on Oud, Hassan Isikkut on Kanun, and Arto Tuncboyaciyan on percussion. Arto’s group, Night Ark, is an ensemble well known in Greece, Turkey, and other Middle Eastern regions. Brian Keane adds guitar and his subtle, atmospheric orchestrations. Whirling, like Faruk’s other recordings, is over an hour long and contains an oversized insert with photos.