Kurdish singer Aynur receives Mediterranean music award

Kurdish musician Aynur playing the daf.

Popular Kurdish singer Aynur is to receive the the Mediterranean Music Institute’s Master of Mediterranean music award at the organisation’s annual concert on 16 March.

From the Kurdish region in southeastern Turkey, Aynur was raised in Istanbul and grew up with the myths and poetry of the Alevis, a belief group in which music plays an important role in passing along faith and tradition. “Her music is based on these folk songs, many of them hundreds of years old, and focuses on the life and suffering of Kurdish people, and especially Kurdish women,” the MMI site said.

“By recognising great talents such as Aynur, who has overcome many difficulties in her career and has persevered in her quest, we try to set an example of a new generation of women musicians,” said Javier Limon, the artistic director of the Mediterranean Music Institute.

The organisation will also launch its Women in Action initiative, which seeks to raise awareness of female artists and to promote gender equality in the Mediterranean music scene.

Blending the music of her heritage with modern Western styles to create a sound of her own, Aynur’s music also helps preserve Kurdish folk traditions. Some of Aynur’s Western influences include artists as varied as John Coltrane, Mari Boine, and Tracy Chapman.