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.
Horacio 'El Negro' HernandezArtist
Cuban drummer Horacio Hernandez has his own “El Negro” range as part of Istanbul Mehmets Signature Series.
Horacio Hernandez also know as “El Negro” has always been a dedicated drummer and performer. In Horacios younger days he was known to spend all his time in Havana recording studios, often not returning home for weeks! When slightly older, Horacio moved to New York and began playing it clubs for $50 a night. Once legally allowed to work in New York and able to travel, Horacio was approached by Latin jazz piano master Michel Camilo. This was a huge step for Horacio and he was given the opportunity to play on many tracks, which ended up being some of the most influential Latin jazz recordings of the ’90s. Horacio Hernandez is recognised as a extraordinary drummer and has won many awards throughout his career, including a Grammy.
Rick Latham plays the Istanbul Mehmet Traditional Hat Trio. The Hat Trio is a set of three Cymbals including two top hat cymbals and one bottom hat cymbal with removable rivets. This set has been put together so you can combine the cymbals however you desire to create five different outstanding sounds. By combining the Light Top and Medium Top you will receive an overall very light and washy dark sound which allows for softer playing. The Light Top and Bottom without Rivets delivers a warm and dark, fat sound with a soft touch. By using the Medium Top combined with the Bottom Cymbal without Rivets will be very clear and precise and produce a tight sound. The Rivets can be used in the bottom hat combinations to add extra spice and create distinctive sounds. Great Cymbals, ideal for experimental drummers!
Rick Latham is known for performing, recording, producing and teaching and is respected by many musicians around the world. Rick has a creative flare and signature drumming style that is recognised world wide. After over 30 years of professional drumming, Rick became one of music’s greatest session drummers, recording several tv theme scores as well as a number of other hits. Rick has been associated with some famous musicians such as bluesman B.B. King, Quincy Jones, rockers Neal Schon, and Pat Travers as well as jazz all-stars Bill Watrous, Larry Carlton, Paul Smith, Howard Roberts, David Friedman and David Samuels. Now Rick has his own jazz group, Rick Latham and the groove doctors, his demanding schedule continues… erforming, recording, composing, producing, and conducting master-classes.