Turkey’s most distinguished jazz guitarist is a Pori Jazz veteran of many years. Born in 1955, Önder Focan started playing at 15 and got into jazz five years later. Since 1985 he has performed both abroad and in his home country. His debut album Jazz Guitar was released in 1994 on minidisk. That same year saw the release of his first cd, Erken by The Önder Focan Group. At the MIDEM Guitar Night in 1997 he played with Terje Rypdal, Seppo Tyni, Ximo Tebar and Jan Ackermann.
Beneath The Stars, with drummer Billy Stewart and organist Sam Yahel, came out the next year on Blue Note. Focan is so far the only Turkish artist on that famous label. He has made altogether nine albums as a leader, among them Reminisce, a beautiful duo work with bassist David Friesen in 2003, and Standard A’la Turc, a 2001 collaboration of Finnish and Turkish musicians. Both on Blue Note.