Mr. MehmetThe Godfather
Mehmet Tamdeger’s mentor was Mikkail Zilcan, who taught him everything the master craftsmen knew about cymbal making. Mehmet was born in the same small village outside Istanbul, Turkey where cymbal making is thought to have been developed in 1623. Zilcan taught Mehmet’s best childhood friend, Agop Tomarcuk, the same trade. After Mr. Zilcan’s passing, Mehmet and Agop established their own company, Istanbul Cymbals. Both men took personal care over the company, hand making and signing each and every product. After the death of Agop in a 1997 tragic boat fire, Mehmet kept control of the factory, selling cymbals under the Istanbul Mehmet name, while members of Agop’s family established their own company and produces the Istanbul Agop line. Our interview with Mehmet for the NAMM Oral History program was completed in Frankfurt Germany on March 30, 2006.
Bulent AkbayHead of A & R
Bulent Akbay was born in Istanbul and was interested in playing the drums at an early age. He played throughout school and like other drummers in the area he was always looking for a place to play. This need led Bulent to forming his own drum studio and school, which later included a retail element of the business. His connections within the percussion world afforded him the chance to meet and get to know the cymbal master Mehmet Tamdeger, who later hired Bulent as a product tester.
In a career spanning over 30 years, Paul has established himself as one of Europe’s leading drummers and is highly respected as a player, clinician and educator.
His playing and recording credits include internationally renowned artists such as Shaun Baxter, Frank Gambale, Guthrie Govan, Stu Hamm, Richard Niles and John Wheatcroft.
As a drum clinician, Paul has performed extensively around the world as an independent artist, and has also shared the stage with various legendary drummers, including Steve Smith, Manu Katche, Simon Phillips, Akira Jimbo, Gary Husband, Mark Mondesir, Sonny Emory, Erik Smith, Richard Bailey, Gary Chaffee and Steve Houghton.
Jonathan’s set-up includes the Session Series for mellow traditional cymbals sounds combined with excellent bright attack of the Mehemt Radiant cymbals.
Jonathan was only six years old when he took his first steps into the world of drumming. From that point on his knowledge and talent grew with him. Further into he career, Jonathan showed he wasn’t only just a drummer. He wrote, arranged, produced and performed backing vocals on a song for the Eddie Murphy/Arsenio Hall hit movie Coming to America for Paramount Pictures. After this he began his first association with pop legend Elton John, which led his to be part of two US tours, one European tour, a UK tour and the recording of Elton’s Sleeping with the past album. Jonathan’s drumming experience kept getting bigger and better and he can now say he has drummed for many well-known artists including The Jacksons, Lionel Richie, George Michael and Madonna.