|Turkey Music Tour|
|Gaza Corner Archive|
Up, Up and Away in Cappadocia
Adah Bakalinsky, San Francisco
Traveling with Dore, coming into a new area where I can't speak the language nor read it; where millions of people are walking or using public transportation simultaneously, where I don't know in which direction to turn because everything attracts my attention, there is a heart-warming feeling knowing he is leading our group. Dore is the perfect group leader. he is unflappable, he has a good sense of humor, he is attuned to the needs of the individuals in the group, and he has done his homework. Over the years he has developed and he maintains his warm relationships with Turkish musicians, rug dealers, CD manufacturers, and various store keepers. This immediately transfers (for first timers) into an immediate feeling of being comfortable and at ease in a new setting. Dore is informal. One can opt at times to see another architectural marvel, or stay put and write travel notes, or rest. Going to concerts in small clubs like the Gitarcafe (no bigger than my living room), is something I never would have done on my own. But because Dore already had prepared the way, it gave us a sense of friendship and intimacy with the musicians. Long Live Dore Stein! ps He's an innovate dancer.
Cherril Landwehr, Klamath Falls, Oregon
This Turkey tour greatly exceeded my
expectations. I've been our tours before but nothing like this one.
This was not your average tourist type tour of Turkey. Our tour was
a rich tapestry of adventure, food, music and total immersion into the Turkish
culture. We walked and traveled on the street cars and trams with the
local people. We experienced and observed where Turkish people spend
their time. We stayed in and visited places that weren't frequented by tourists,
with the exception of the major places of historical significance that we
visited. I was surprised by how cosmopolitan and big Istanbul is. I
loved the parks with all the cats ...!
The crossing over to the Asian side of Turkey, for the Guitarcafe concerts was an amazing experience. I walked among the fruit, vegetable and fish markets in total amazement. I have never seen a more colorful market...! People in the streets, music and sidewalk cafes. It was WONDERFUL....!
Every day was rich in experiencing the sites, sounds and colorful landscape that is Turkey. Dore, your attention to detail was superb and the guides you chose were excellent. Your tour definitely helped bridge a gap between American & Turkish cultures.
Tim Olson, Redwood City
Francesca Archer aka 'The Aegean
If you want a taste of Turkey get on this tour! Today a vibrant land of stunning contrasts, full of exuberant color and historical splendor, Turkey represents the crossroads of many civilizations dating back millenia. The tour, led by Dore Stein, reflects his contagious enthusiasm for the music and culture of the country. A born leader, his organization was trumped only by his caring charm.
Bill Landwehr, Klamath Falls, Oregon
Dore - I was not inclined to join this trip with Tim and Cherril when they
started discussing it three (four?) years ago for several reasons. First, I am not as passionate about middle eastern music as they are. My tastes are a bit more conventional, so I wasn't sure I was going to be able to handle nightly concerts of music that often makes me think of fingernails on blackboards. I'm not hopeless when it comes to musical exploration, but once it gets too far off the beaten path,
I start to lose interest. Second, though I made a living putting together group
tours for others, I wasn't sure I wanted to visit Turkey as a member of a group.
To me, groups are crap shoots...some are good; some are awful...you never know. Third, I wasn't sure what kind of group leader you would turn out to be. Group leaders can often make or break a trip. Not everyone is good at it.
I am pleased to tell you that none of my apprehensions proved to be true. You are a fabulous leader...110% involved with making sure that people have a fantastic experience. I have been around many excellent group leaders, and you are as good as they come. Beyond that, the group was great. Everyone was a good sport, and there were no "bad" apples. Finally, the music part of the trip was super. While I might not have always liked the sound I was hearing, the instruments were intriguing, and there was no denying that the people playing them knew what they were doing, (I could appreciate that). Let me add something else about the music...music is an essential element in "feeling" what a country is like. If I am in India, I expect to hear sitars and Indian drums, not banjos. If I am in the Caribbean
I expect to hear steel drums, not violins. The same is true of Turkey. The music worked for me, and the musicians we had a chance to meet were as gracious and charming as they could be.
Regarding the itinerary, I think you have taken on a nearly impossible task and made it work. Turkey is a big place. It's not any easier to see Turkey in 2+ weeks than it is to see the U.S. Despite that, your itinerary gives people an excellent introduction to this fascinating country. The flights to Kayseri and from Izmir went a long way toward helping us maximize our time. The drive across Anatolia was long, but absolutely essential (even if it were possible to eliminate it, it would be a mistake to do so). The only suggestion I might make is to add one more night in Sirince. I did not get enough of this charming place. Also, I badly needed a "down" day to re-charge my batteries, and even though we got one at the end of the trip, I would have preferred having it earlier. I would also recommend that people extend their stay in Istanbul with one extra day at the end of the tour.
In summary, I would say the following to anyone considering this trip: If you love music with an exotic sound, you will have the experience of a lifetime. If you are not sure that Turkish music is your thing, you will still love this trip. Though music is an essential part of the tour, it is by no means the only thing happening. The music that you hear will enrich your experience, and the places that you see will change your perception of Islamic culture.
June LaRocca-Caroll, Greenville, South Carolina
My horizons expanded and I stretched
my limits on the 2010 Tangents Turkey tour. Not only did we explore the
richness of Turkey, from metropolitan Istanbul to surreal Cappadocia, to the
tiny village of Siringe, along the Silk Road traveled by Marco Polo, but we
also heard wonderful music. Dore arranged performances just for us
in various venues, including a cave, a small coffee house, and a pillared
hall. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Here are some
of my especially memorable highlights:
-the feeling of being connected to ancient roots, beyond my Italian heritage, to a larger collective consciousness
-the pre-dawn call to prayer echoing from mosque to mosque in Istanbul, in its simplicity and modal grace
-visiting Feradun, the instrument maker
-Okay Temiz, coaxing wild and wonderful sounds from his Seuss-like handmade instruments
-Siringe, high in the hills, where the local women sell their needlework on the street
-heaps of orange, green, brown, gold, and red spices and hundred of different kinds of olives at the Spice Bazaar
-bargaining for a hand hammered silver metal coffee pot with a bird on its lid
- after dark, the Hagia Sofia in lights from the roof of our hotel
-the drumming lesson with Okay in his studio
Jan Elise Sells Berkeley
was fortunate to be a member of Dore Stein's magical musical mystery
tour of Turkey in the Fall of 2010. Wow--I'd love to go with him again!
Turkey is such a rich, colorful, textured country, vibrant with ancient
sites, lilting sounds, and fragrant smells to delight the senses. And
Dore regaled us with aspects of Turkey we never would have been able to
experience without him--especially the music and the musicians, who
Dore knew personally. I was blown away by the landscape of Cappadocia,
my favorite region. And the people who guided us to the impressive
tourist sites were not only knowledgeable, but also warm and
personable, because they were old friends of Dore's. For me, this trip
was a big splurge, but it was worth every penny! I highly recommend it
to anyone--as long as you like/are able to walk! But Turkish food is so
delicious (and healthy!) it felt good to walk off the memorable meals.
Oh, yeah, and you need to love music, too! There are incredible and
diverse concerts every night! If you're considering going, I can assure
you, you won't regret it!