20 June 2009

Okan Frei

The Institute for Cultural Dimplomacy (ICD) recently sponsored German-Turkish Week, which was observed with a series of events held in Amerika Haus. I was there last Friday and caught the end of what appeared to have been a very provocative panel discussion on integration. More about that in another post.

I was lucky enough, however, to catch the full performance of Okan Frei and his band. I have seen a lot of concerts in my life and aside from the music, I think the factor that distinguishes a great performance from a bland or shitty one is the extent to which I am convinced that the performer actually enjoys what he or she is doing. I was really curious about how this particular set would go down, since Amerika Haus isn't really a concert venue and just a few minutes before, that room had been used for a serious discussion on identity, place, and belonging with respect to Germans with Turkish heritage.

I would have waved a sage stick around first, if you know what I mean.

In any case, the performance and the reception by the extremely mixed crowd proves that, like football, music really can bring people together . . . at least for a little while. Okan was so incredibly charming, engaging, and talented, that it was impossible not to have felt a connection with him and his music, as well as with everyone else who was enjoying it. So yeah, people were on their feet singing along if they knew the words, or just dancing along if they didn't.

What a wonderful way to end the evening's event.

And no, the attached video doesn't come close to capturing the energy of a live show, but I was too busy dancing to be bothered with trying to record the performance myself.

Soul Man Okan Frei with rapper Essa


  1. in my quotes quest i found one that said something about.

    What water is to the body for cleansing and betterment. Music does for the soul. It suggested a music bath daily. That one will stick with me for a long time.

    Golden of the Oaks was the first person who ever said to me he had a passion for music. Now i judge all performers for there passion in their work. Few have it but like this band when you see it you know it.

  2. Great quote. I am always nervous around people who don't listen to music. I just don't understand what a life without music would be like. It makes no sense to me at all. So yeah, here's to music baths!!