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Jazz singer and composer Defne Şahin has developed a musical language that reflects her life in different countries.

Born in Berlin, the young musician has already lived in New York, Istanbul and Barcelona.


Defne Şahin recorded her latest album Hope with her longtime Berlin band consisting of Johannes von Ballestrem, Keisuke Matsuno, Simon Jermyn and Martin Krümmling. The album's lyrics are Defne's own and adaptations of poetry by American poet Emily Dickinson.

The result is a touching exploration of the dichotomies of life and death, love and longing, fear and hope, and the letting go of it all.

The album was created as part of a virtual residency of the Goethe-Institut under the aegis of Defne's mentor Becca Stevens, one of the most important singers of our time.

Defne Sahin studied at the Jazz Institute Berlin and at the Manhattan School of Music with renowned teachers such as Dave Liebman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Judy Niemack and Gretchen Parlato. She has performed internationally at festivals and major venues such as the legendary Carnegie Hall during her impressive career.

Defne Şahin's backing band consists of four fantastic instrumentalists:

Charis Karantzas is an accomplished guitarist based in Berlin, Germany. He had his first successes as a guitarist during his student years in Amsterdam before coming to Berlin to further hone his skills at the Jazz Institute. He tours regularly throughout Europe as a member of many commercial, independent and jazz acts. He works regularly in the studio as a studio musician and as a producer and mixer. His specialties are rock, pop and jazz.

Povel Widestrand is a Swedish pianist living in Berlin. After a basic classical education, he also studied at the Jazz Institute and graduated with top grades. As a member of various bands, he has been awarded numerous prizes at just 30 years of age, such as the young talent award of the European Jazz Week Burghausen and the Newcomer Award of Sveriges Radio.

Igor Spallati - born in Italy in 1985, he began playing double bass at the age of 19 and studied classical double bass in Italy with Silvio Bruni and Franco Petracchi. In 2010 he moved to Berlin to study at the "Jazz Institut Berlin" under the guidance of Greg Cohen, John Hollenbeck, Kurt Rosenwinkel and others. Among others, he has worked with icons of jazz such as Joe Chambers, Billy Hart, Nasheet Waits, Jorge Rossy, Fred Hersch, Ethan Iverson, Ambrose Akinmusire, Lewis Nash, Elias Stemeseder, Jay Anderson, Ronnie Burrage, Pietro Tonolo, Gabriele Mirabassi, Dado Moroni, Joe Hisaishi, Louis Bacalov and the HR BigBand.

Martin Krümmling is a young drummer and composer who convinces with his open sound aesthetics and his multilayered and distinctive sound. A semi-finalist in the prestigious 2012 Monk Competition, he has played and performed with jazz greats such as Ed Partyka, Lage Lund, Jason Moran, Dan Tepfer, David Friedman, Maucha Adnet and Bill Dobbins.

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