Ilhan Ersahin


New York-based Swedish-Turkish saxophonist Ilhan Fredrik Ersahin is not only an eclectic musician and composer but also a successful club owner since 2002, the year he opened Nublu in Manhattan’s East Village.

Having started the Istanbul Sessions project in 2008, Ilhan Ersahin translates Istanbul’s eclectic energy in a unique way while combining elements of jazz, rock and dance music. 

In their latest album “Solar Plexus”, released on Nublu Records, the core members - bassist Alp Ersonmez, percussionist Izzet Kizil, drummer Turgut Alp Bekoglu - are joined by a set of respected guests, broadening textures and creating gripping soundscapes. They are French trumpeter and longtime collaborator Erik Trufazz, drummers Kenny Wollesen and Brandon Lewis, guitarist Dave Harrington, percussionists Mauro Refosco and Arto Tuncboyaciyan (also a singer), and trumpeters Ibrahim Maalouf and Nils Petter Molvaer.

Ilhan Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions has performed at many important places, from Brazil to New York Summer Stage to prestigious festivals in Turkey and Europe. Their first album featuring acclaimed French trumpeter Erik Truffaz came out in 2009, followed by their second album “Night Rider” in 2012. Their third album “Istanbul Underground” was released in 2016, with their latest one titled “Solar Plexus”, which presents “today’s” music with a cinematic style, following last June. The album was produced by Dave Harrington and Ilhan Ersahin and includes features from Erik Truffaz, Dave Harrington, Nils Peter Molvaer, Arto Tuncboyaciyan and Kenny Wollesen.


“…a highly distinctive new sound that connects the dense modal funk of Miles Davis’ Agartha group with the dervish whirl of Turkish and middle-eastern melodies and spikes it with a potent shot of dub electronics.”

In Jazzwise Magazine


“Hear this! Jazz has changed form”

In Le Monde

“The music of Istanbul Sessions is formidable renewal of today’s jazz. Can we call it jazz? Yes, This music performed with the energy of rock sound where you can find many influences like Miles Davis of 70’s or turkish percussions. They are good representative of 2010’s jazz: open to the world, passionate and fascinating.”

Patrick Duval, director of Musiques de Nuit