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Erkan Oğur

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Erkan Oğur (b. 1954) is a Turkish musician, playing Turkish traditional music and his own compositions. Oğur plays fretless acoustic guitar, electric guitar, kopuz, and bağlama.

Born in 1954 in Ankara, he spent his childhood in Elazığ, in the east of Turkey. During his days there he developed an interest in violin and bağlama, and started to practise regularly. On leaving secondary school in Ankara, with his father’s encouragement he started to study chemical engineering in Germany. He was introduced to guitar education in 1973. Oğur says he chose to become an average musician instead of a bad scientist. He invented the fretless classical guitar because he needed the freedom it provided to play Turkish melodies.

He returned to Turkey in 1980, to pursue his career as a musician, and started to study at the Conservatory of Istanbul Technical University. After his military service, he worked as an oud teacher. He gave live perfomances with Fikret Kızılok & Bülent Ortaçgil. His first album was Arayışlar (Explorations), released in Germany. In 1989 he went to the USA to work with local blues artists, and introduced the fretless guitar into blues. A year later he released his first album in Turkey, Bir ömürlük misafir (Guest for a Lifetime), which achieved some success. In 2001 he released the album Fuad with the Armenian musician Djivan Gasparyan.

Oğur still performs concerts in Turkey and throughout the world.

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