Musician Mehmet Ali Sanlikol's 'The Rise Up' Celebrates People Who Have Overcome Adversity

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Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol was inspired by an eclectic travel journal from 17th century Turkey. (Courtesy of the artist)
Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol performs a previous piece in Boston. (Courtesy of the artist)

"The Rise Up" is a new nearly-hour long composition from Grammy-nominated musician Mehmet Ali Sanlikol. The work is his most ambitious to date and combines jazz music and stylings with Turkish and Jewish musical influences.

The piece weaves together three stories from dark moments in Middle Eastern history that an individual or a people were able to overcome — or rise above.

"The Rise Up" also has echoes of the personal journey of Sanlikol, who moved to the U.S. from Turkey over two decades ago and has witnessed the impacts of increasing anti-Muslim sentiment on him and his community.

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol & Whatsnext? Featuring NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman will be performing "The Rise Up" at WBUR Cityspace on Friday at 7:30 p.m. 


Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, Grammy-nominated musician, composer, and a faculty member at the New England Conservatory.

This segment aired on May 16, 2019.


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