Numan Elyer

Numan Elyer

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Darbouka player extraordinaire.

Numan Elyer is a multi-percussionist of Turkish origin and is now permanently based in London. His main instrument is the darbuka, although he is proficient in many others. He is a full-time musician who prides himself on his professionalism.

Numan Elyer is one of the pioneers of the new ‘all-finger’ style of darbuka playing and is fast gaining a reputation for himself in the UK. His range, ability and ear for all rhythms enables Numan Elyer to play many musical styles, not only those from the Middle East. As well as performing, he is a session player and teaches.

Started playing percussion in 1980.
Teachers include:
Pete Lockett
(tabla), Pratab and Prakash (ghatam& kanjira), Manjit Rasiya (tabla).
Many styles of music played including Turkish, Arabic, Indian, Balkan, jazz and pop.

Instruments Played:
Darbuka, Frame Drum (def), Bongos, Hand Cymbals,
Tambourine, Davul, Ghatam, Djembe.

Studio sessions and soundtracks:

  • Terry Hall & Mushtaq
  • Stereo MC’s
  • Oojami
  • Harold the Giraffe soundtrack (music for children – Life Education Centre)
  • Weight Matters for the Discovery Channel
  • Downright Adagio Inc (film soundtrack)
  • Balkanatics

Also plays for various belly-dancers including Jacqueline Chapman
and Khaled Mahmoud. Plays for belly-dancing classes.

Live Performances:
Has played with numerous musicians and multi-disciplinary ensembles in both Turkey
and England including:

  • Terry Hall & Mushtaq (inc BBC Radio 3)
  • Mukka (including at Buckingham Palace during Golden Jubilee concerts)
  • Natasha Atlas
  • Abdelkader Saadoun (including Womad)
  • Eduardo Niebla (including BBC television and radio)
  • Nara (UK, Europe and Canadian folk festival circuit)
  • Damask
  • Mozaik Orkestra
  • With own band at British Museum
  • With assorted classical Indian groups
  • In Turkey – numerous national TV and radio programmes
  • Royal Academy of Art – Turks exhibition

Own recordings:

  • Vuslat
  • Percussion Practice
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