Numan Elyer is a Turkish percussionist who is
starting to make a reputation for himself in the UK. He began playing the
darbuka some 15 years ago and in recent years he has vastly increased his
The darbuka, an hourglass shaped drum with a single
head, is best known in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, but its influence
is spreading fast. The flexibility of this instrument, in that it can be
played in many ways, means that it can blend with lots of different musical
styles. The traditional method of playing the darbuka, whilst effective is
somewhat simplistic although this still has a place in traditional music.
The new 'all-finger' style, as popularised by Numan, is fast gaining in
prominence. This new style is much influenced by classical Indian percussion
such as the tabla and gatam. The all finger style translates exceptionally
well to the darbuka and has much increased its range and uses.
In the West, percussion is generally perceived as just
part of the rhythm section, whereas in the Middle East a skilled darbuka
player is considered a virtuoso in their own right.
Numan started his career playing traditional Turkish
music in various folk groups around the South West of the country. He
subsequently moved to Istanbul where he studied under the county's leading
darbuka players. Since then, he has developed his own individual style, which
has evolved further following his move to the UK a few years ago.
Now settled in the London area, he has played with
several bands including, Mukka, Abdelkader Saadoun and various classical
Indian groups. He also plays regularly for some of Britain's best-known belly
dancers and runs darbuka workshops. In addition to the darbuka, Numan plays
davul, gatam, djembe, bongos and frame drum. This range, ability and ear
for all rhythms enables Numan to play many musical styles, not only those
from the Middle East. So far his playing has encompassed jazz, Latin and
Indian, as well as broad based Western European styles.
Numan can be contacted as follows:
or tel : 07960 047876