Joining George Lernis in concert will be GRAMMY®-nominated Turkish pianist Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol; vocalist Burcu Güleç; upright and electric bassist Bruno Råberg, and trumpeter Emiel de Jaegher.

George Lernis

Drummer, Percussionist and Composer

“Rich percussion on sounds that are both danceable and dreamy” – Jazz Weekly magazine

Born and raised in Nicosia Cyprus, George Lernis is a drummer, world percussionist, composer and educator who currently resides in the U.S. He has recorded and collaborated with prominent figures such as: John Patitucci, Antonio Sanchez, Dave Liebman, Anat Cohen, Tiger Okoshi, A Far Cry String Orchestra and Mehmet Ali Salnikol’s Whatsnext? big band, just to name a few. In addition, George performs regularly in venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and gives workshops at higher education institutions such as the Emerson College. Furthermore, George is now the Academic Assistant at the prestigious Berklee College of Music Global Jazz Institute where he works closely with master pianist Danilo Pérez.

Mehmet Ali Sanlikol

Grammy nominated composer and CMES Harvard University fellow (2013-15) Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol made his Carnegie Hall debut in April 2016 premiering his commissioned piece Harabat/The Intoxicated with the American Composers Orchestra. Other recent works have been heard at Tanglewood's Ozawa Hall, Jordan Hall and on A Far Cry string orchestra's recording Dreams and Prayers. He hails from Cyprus and Turkey, and is a multi-instrumentalist/vocalist, an ethnomusicologist as well as a full-time faculty member at New England Conservatory. Sanlıkol's first jazz orchestra album was JAZZIZ magazine's Top 10 Critics’ Choice 2014 pick, his second jazz orchestra album was DownBeat magazine's September 2016 Editor's Pick, “The Rise Up”, commissioned by NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman, received a 4 star review from The Financial Times, and his trio album “An Elegant Ritual” was listed among JAZZIZ's Top 10 July 2021 albums.

He has composed for, performed and toured with international stars and ensembles such as Dave Liebman, Bob Brookmeyer, Billy Cobham, Anat Cohen, Antonio Sanchez, Tiger Okoshi, Gil Goldstein, Esperanza Spalding, The Boston Camerata, The Boston Cello Quartet, A Far Cry string orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Okay Temiz and Erkan Oğur. Sanlıkol was a recipient of The Aaron Copland Fund for Music Program Grant twice in 2016 and 2020 with his unique jazz orchestra/combo, Whatsnext? and has been praised by critics all over the world for his unique, pluralist, multicultural and energetic musical voice. The Boston Globe noted that Sanlıkol’s “music is colorful, fanciful, full of rhythmic life, and full of feeling. The multiculturalism is not touristy, but rather sophisticated, informed, internalized; Sanlıkol is a citizen of the world”, “…and he (Sanlıkol) is another who could play decisive role in music’s future in the world.”

Burcu Güleç

For Burcu, her greatest joy in life has been discovering music through improvisation and sharing it with her audience. Growing up in the hub of Ankara, Turkey, Burcu was exposed to Turkish folk, traditional and varied Turkish music. She performed live over Turkish National Radio Television and many international Jazz festivals, spreading her voice all across Turkey. Burcu has graduated from Berklee College of Music and completed her Master's degree in Contemporary Improvisation at the New England Conservatory in Boston.

Burcu's music ranges from that classic Turkish of her childhood, to the various styles across the Middle East and Asia minor, Jazz, Improvisation, and electronic music. By drawing from the vast experiences of her life, Burcu's use of music seeks not just to entertain, but to educate, challenge, and spread diversity. In a world filled with strife, acceptance of diversity is sorely needed, and Burcu delivers.

Bruno Råberg

BRUNO RÅBERG is an internationally renowned bass player and composer. Since coming to the US from his native Sweden in 1981, he has made 11 recordings as a leader, about 30 as a sideman, and has performed with numerous world-class artists. Some of the distinguished musicians Råberg has performed/recorded with include Sam Rivers, Chris Cheek, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Kris Davis, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kenny Werner, Billy Pierce, Donny McCaslin, Adam Cruz, Bob Moses, Mick Goodrick, Ben Monder, Bruce Barth, Jim Black, Matt Wilson, Ted Poor, Bob Mintzer, and Mike Mainieri. Tours have taken Råberg throughout Europe, Scandinavia, USA, Japan, India, Africa, and Central America, and to jazz festivals such as Pori, Umbria, Monterey, Nancy, Bologna, Graz, Stockholm, Boston, and Cape Town. Råberg is currently leading several constellations of his own Bruno Råberg Trio and the Triloka Ensemble.

Bruno Råberg grew up in the countryside of Sweden. At 20, Swedish trombone virtuoso Eje Thelin drafted him. He stayed with Thelin’s group for 4 years and toured throughout Europe and the US, performing at the Monterey Jazz in 1976. During his 20s, Råberg performed and recorded with numerous renowned Swedish and European artists such as Bobo Stenson, Monica Zetterlund, Zpigniew Seifert, Nils Landgren and Ulf Wakenius. In 1981, Råberg left his performing career in Europe to come to the USA, thanks to a scholarship to the New England Conservatory in Boston. There he studied with Miroslav Vitous, Mick Goodrick, George Russell, and Bob Moses. He graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies with Distinction in Performance.

As an educator, Bruno Råberg stands out. He has been a professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston since 1986 and has traveled to Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Japan and Costa Rica as a clinician/performer for Berklee. Raberg teaches in the prestigious Berklee Global Jazz Institute lead by pianist Danilo Perez. In 2007 Raberg received the prestigious Berklee Fellowship Grant.

Emiel De Jaegher

Emiel De Jaegher is a musician, composer and educator from Chicago, Illinois, currently based in Rochester, New York. His music combines the intricate elements of musical performance with his passion for music cognition to create a unique experience as a performer and an educator. He was awarded Outstanding Trumpet Soloist by Wynton Marsalis in the inaugural Jazz Rudin Jazz Championship and selected as a member of the prestigious 2019 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program.

He placed third in the 2019 National Trumpet ompetition Jazz Division and placed as a semifinalist in the small classical ensemble division. He has performed at venues and festivals including Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, BBC Radio Foyle, Ulster Hall, Rochester International Jazz Festival, and the San Jose Jazz Festival. He is currently a Master’s student on a full tuition scholarship at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute under the direction of maestro Danilo Perez.