Atilla Engin

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Atilla Engin
Atilla Engin 1.jpg
Background information
Birth nameAtilla
OriginKayseri, Turkey
Jazz fusion
Jazz rock
World music
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger, percussionist, conductor, performer, educator
percussion instrument
Years activeSince 1966
Associated actsThe Istanbul Orchestra, Turquoise, Atilla Engin Group, Matao, New World Orchestra
WebsiteOfficial Home Page

Atilla Engin (b. 1946 Kayseri Turkey) is a Turkish American fusion jazz musician. From 1974 to 2001 he was active in Denmark as a musician and educator; he organized music festivals and represented Denmark as a musical ambassador. In 2001, he left Denmark for the United States, where he formed an orchestra.


Atilla Engin Group: Atilla Engin, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Uffe Markussen 1987

Recording and teaching in Copenhagen[edit]

Engin first played and recorded in Istanbul, moving to Copenhagen in 1974, and playing with several groups. He released his first album Turkish Delight with the band Matao.[1][2][3] They performed at Roskilde Festival in 1979.[4] His other group, "Atilla Engin Group", released five albums.[5][6][7] While he was recording and touring with his band, he also taught at the Copenhagen Jazz Conservatory, for four years.[8] Engin formed a band with 12 Copenhagen Jazz Conservatory students and they toured Turkey.[9] This project ended with a joint concert with The Istanbul Radio Big Orchestra at The Ataturk Cultural Center in Istanbul.[citation needed]

Atilla Engin and Copenhagen Jazz Conservatory students

In 1985 Engin was awarded the title Composer of The Year in Denmark.[10] In the same year, the Atilla Engin Group was appointed as Denmark's cultural ambassador to represent the country in conjunction with the European Music Year 1985.[11]

World to World Festival 1986. Left to right: Nana Vasconcelos, Birger Sulsbruck, Zakir Hussain, Ahmadu Jarr, and Atilla at the end of Jazzhus Montmartre show.

Engin established the World to World Drums And Percussion Festival in Copenhagen. Engin formed this festival in Copenhagen, with events taking place in Aarhus and Malmö, Sweden. The festival included performances by Zakir Hussain, Airto Moreira, Nana Vasconcelos, Peter Giger, Danny Gottlieb, and others.[12][13] He participated in an international festival in India, Tal Vadhya Utsav, in India.[14]


Tyrkis 1987
Tyrkis at the Midtfyns Festival Denmark 1987

He taught an evening class of 16 young musicians at the Rhythmic Evening School in Copenhagen in 1984, turning them into a band named Tyrkis[15] which performed at Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen. In 1987, Tyrkis won first prize at the Dortmunder Big Band Festival in Germany and released an album, My Little Chinese Love.[16][17][18]

Move to the United States[edit]

He left Denmark in 1989 for New York, and formed the New World Orchestra[19][20] and a six-piece group, Turquoise.[21][22] Engin left the US for Brazil in 2005.

His bands[edit]

Copenhagen 1977–89[edit]

MATAO 1977–81
  • Atilla Engin – Drums & Perc., comp. & arranger
  • Svend Staal Larsen – Guitar
  • Torben Gronning – Bass
  • Alan Stade – Keyboards
Atilla Engin Group 1981–89
  • Atilla Engin – Drums & Perc., comp., arranger
  • Svend Staal Larsen – Guitar
  • Mehmet Ozan, Percussion
  • Okay Temiz, Percussion – Featured
  • Arto Tunçboyaciyan, Perc., voices – Featured
  • Ole Matthissen, Piano, synth
  • Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Bass – Feat.
  • Hugo Rasmussen, Bass
  • Jens Jefsen, Bass
  • Niels Praestholm, Bass
  • Jens Melgaard, Bass
  • Ole Thøer Nielsen, Alto sax, flute
  • Simon Cato Spang Hansen, Tenor & Sopr. sax
  • Uffe Markussen, Tenor sax – Featured
  • Jens Winther Trumpet
  • Birgitte Møller, Tenor sax, voices

New York 1992–2002[edit]

New World Orchestra 1992–95
  • Atilla Engin – Percussion, composer & arranger
  • Ted 'Mino'Gori – Drums
  • Scott Brass – Bass
  • Ray Ippolito – Guitar
  • Todd Billingley – Keyboard
  • Todd Horton – trumpet
  • Patricia Englert – Flute
New World Orchestra Atilla Engin Caenegie Hall New York.jpg
  • Atilla's US Première in 1993
  • At The Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall)
Turquoise 1996–99
  • Atilla Engin – Djembe Drums, Perc., comp., arr.
  • Ray Ippolito – Guitar
  • Stephan Crump – Bass
  • Adam Klipple – Keyboards
  • Erik Lawrence – Alto sax
  • Dan Jordan – Tenor sax, Sopr. sax, Flute
  • Gilad – Percussion
  • Atilla Engin – Conductor, Perc., comp., arranger
  • Aaron Comess – Drums
  • GILAD – Percussion
  • Frank Colon – Percussion
  • Ray Ippolito – Guitar
  • Stephan Crump – Bass
  • Michael Wolff – Keyboards
  • Rave Tesar – Keyboards
  • Erik Lawrence – Alto sax
  • Dan Jordan – Tenor sax, Sopr. sax, Flute
  • Dan Willis – Tenor sax
  • Lauren Seviyan – Baritone sax
  • Frank Vacin – Baritone sax
  • Eddie Henderson – Trumpet
  • Chuck MacKinnon – Trumpet
  • Kevin Bryan – Lead trumpet
  • Todd Horton – Trumpet
  • Andrew Lippman – Trombone
  • Marya Lawrence – Vocals
Atilla Engin&Ist. Orch. at Concert Deanna's.jpg


  • Felek Usta, 1971 Evren Records Turkey (Music, arrangement, vocals: Atilla Engin, Lyrics: Ömer Hayyam)[23]
  • Kumsalda, 1974 Yonca Records Turkey (Vocals: Özdemir Erdoğan (Lyrics, music, arrangement, drums, piano: Atilla Engin)[24]
  • Bütün İçkiler Benden Bu Gece, 1974 Yonca Records Vocals: Alpay (Lyrics, music, arrangement: Atilla Engin)
  • Turkish Delight, Group Matao, 1979 RA Records Denmark[25]
  • Atatürk's Children and Nasrettin Hoca, 1980 Fairytale Denmark[26]
  • Solens Børn, with Ariel(19), 1980 Pick Up Records[27]
  • Nazar, Atilla Engin Group, 1982 Danish Music Productions[28]
  • Memories, Atilla Engin Group (including Okay Temiz on percussion, Hugo Rasmussen on bass, Jens Winther on trumpet) 1984 Danish Music Productions[29]
  • Marmaris Love, Atilla Engin Group (with Okay Temiz), 1986 Danish Music Productions[30]
  • No Money No Honey, Atilla Engin Group (with Arto Tunçboyacıyan), Danish Music Productions
  • My Little Chinese Love, Tyrkis Big Band conducted by Atilla Engin, Stunt Records Denmark[31]
  • Melo Perquana, Atilla Engin Group (with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen), 1988 Olufsen Records Denmark[32]
  • Mosaic of Anatolia, Group Turquoise, 1999 Istanbul Records New York[33][34]
  • Moon Dog Girl by the Noodle Shop (John Kruth, Elliott Sharp, Atilla Engin and Jonathan Segel) 1999 Sparkling Beatnik Records[35]
  • Ocean of Emotion, The İstanbul Orchestra – Group Turquoise – Atilla Engin, 2009 Indie[36]


  1. ^ "In about group Matao and Atilla Engin".
  2. ^ "Matao Turkish Delight at Danish Library". Retrieved 2010-10-08.
  3. ^ "Turkish Delight at Danish National Library". Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  4. ^ "Atilla Engin's group Matao at the Roskilde Festival – Denmark 1979".
  5. ^ "The National Library of Denmark And Aarhus University Libraries". Info about Engin's albums
  6. ^ "Atilla Engin's Recordings".
  7. ^ "Atilla Engin's Recordings in Organic Music Japan".
  8. ^ "Atilla Engin – Teaching at Copenhagen Jazz Conservatory Denmark 1986–1989". Archived from the original on October 22, 2010. Retrieved September 18, 2010.
  9. ^ "Danish National Library".
  10. ^ "Composer of the Year 1985 Denmark". Atilla Engin. Retrieved 2010-09-18.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "European Music Year 1985 – Atilla Engin Group To Turkey". Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  12. ^ "World to World". Danish Music Magazine MM, Author Jens Jørn Gjedsted, March 1986, Info by Virtuelle Musik Bibliotek Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  13. ^ "World to World International Drums&Percussion Festival 1986-87-88 Denmark". Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved September 18, 2010.
  14. ^ "Tal Vadhya Utsav International Percussion Festival".
  15. ^ "Info About Tyrkis' Activities And Articles". Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  16. ^ "My Little Chinese Love". National Library of Denmark. Retrieved
  17. ^ "TYRKIS Big Band Winning 1. Prize in Dortmund". Retrieved 2010-09-18. Five news articles (from Denmark) about winning the prize, MM magazine's review mentioning the prize (marked in blue) and photos from the Dortmund Big Band Festival
  18. ^ "Music Magazine MM From Denmark Coded TYRKIS: A Phenomenon". Retrieved September 18, 2010.
  19. ^ "A celebration of Turkish Music".
  20. ^ "Atilla Engin's US Première at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall)". Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  21. ^ "A review of Turquoise's album Mosaic of Anatolia in All About Jazz".
  22. ^ "A review of Turquoise's album Mosaic of Anatolia in Jazz Review Magazine". Archived from the original on February 17, 2009. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  23. ^ "Felek Usta Atilla Engin".
  24. ^ "Kumsalda Özdemir Erdoğan".
  25. ^ "Atilla Engin MATAO Jazz/Rock/Fusion – Turkish Delight (Vinyl, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  26. ^ "Cover Art For Atatürk's Children And Nasrettin Hoca". Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  27. ^ "Ariel (19) – Solens Børn (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  28. ^ "Atilla Engin Group – Nazár (Vinyl, LP, Album) info at Danish National Library". Retrieved 2010-10-08.
  29. ^ "Atilla Engin Group – Memories (Vinyl, LP, Album) info at Danish National Library". Retrieved 2010-10-08.
  30. ^ "Marmaris Love info at Discogs".
  31. ^ "Tyrkis Big Band – My Little Chinese Love (Vinyl, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  32. ^ "Tracklist at Discogs".
  33. ^ "Mosaic of Anatolia at".
  34. ^ "Turquoise at CdBaby".
  35. ^ "Noodle Shop - Moon Dog Girl - Music".
  36. ^ "Ocean of Emotion info at CdBaby".

External links[edit]