Meet The Folks
Folk Tours offers educational and entertaining music and dance events in the United States and in Turkey. Our goal is to use music and dance to build bridges between cultures.
We want to educate, enlighten and inspire students of all ages, genders, creeds and ethnic backgrounds. We also provide tours of Turkey with a special emphasis on seeing the sights, learning the history and experiencing the culture. We are a company run by dancers and musicians. We understand your needs!
Director - Choreographer Performer Musician Teacher Promoter
Tayyar Akdeniz was born in Kars, Turkey. He was raised in Ankara where he began performing as a child.He was influenced greatly and learned many dance and music styles from the Romany (Gypsy) population in his neighborhood in Ankara.He worked and toured with many Turkish dance ensembles throughout his childhood and adolescence and started teaching professionally at the age of 16. Tayyar learned, performed and taught hundreds of Turkish folk dances for National folk dance associations in Turkey. He toured extensively throughout the world with the prestigious Turkish State Folk Dance Ensemble and with other dance troupes.
He has performed on the stages of Bulgaria, Romania, the former Yugoslavia, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Russia, Mexico, Albania, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Cyprus and throughout the United States. He has learned dances from such well known masters as Duygu Aykal, Sonya Aslan, Gul Oya Arioba and Atlan Tekin. Tayyar has shared the stage with many very distinguished artists, musicians and singers, including Zeki Muren, Nida Tufekci, Arif Sag, Muhlis Akarsu, Izzet Altinmese, Ozay Gonlum, Belkis Akkale, Ajda Pekkan and Ibrahim Tatlises.
As a singer and musician, his skills with song, the baglama (lute), davul (drum) and kasik (wooden spoons) are much in demand. He has taught in Turkey at May 19th University, Samsum Municipal Conservatory and at Hacette University. His love of dance is evident in the sheer joy that he projects from the stage. His productions are of the highest caliber seen anywhere in ethnic dance and are virtually flawless.In 1989 Tayyar moved from Turkey to the United States, settling in New York. Since then he has worked tirelessly to keep a sense of Turkish culture alive in America, particularly for children.He has taught, organized and directed many folkloric activities sponsored by the Turkish American Youth Association, the Turkish Women's League of America and currently continues to make a positive impact with his astonishing capabilities as the Director of Cultural Affairs for the Federation of Turkish American Associations, Inc.
His files are teaming with certificates, awards, invitations, and letters of thanks from various organizations and Turkish heads of State. In 1994, he established the award winning Turkish Fine Arts Ensemble, Inc. in New York City and toured with the group throughout the United States.
Tayyar founded and owns M.E.D. Folk Tours, Inc., and is now devoting his time between Turkey and the United States. He is looking forward to sharing his love of dance and music and his knowledge of Middle Eastern culture through many dance and music events both in the USA and Turkey.
Folk Tours Team
We could never make camp happen every year without the wonderful efforts of these great people.Special thanks to Artemis Mourat and to the following; ?brahim Tunç, Kelly Webb, Miasia Johnson, Ariel Whitworth, Eloise Miller,(Sihibar) Eryq, Deborah Stearns (Zareen), Rebecca Habtour (Shems) Bruce Yekta and our other helpers. And special thank to our photographers; Carl Miller, Sarah Skinner, Dale Langdon, Pepe Zallet Elias, Lila Zallet Elias
our assistant Ayshe
Dear Dance and Music lovers ...
I am so excited to introduce myself as the new assistant of Tayyar and Folk Tours . I met Tayyar when he first came to the NYC. His dance partner was one of my very close friends and we spent many fun times together as a group of enthusiastic artists and performers within the Turkish community. I am sure many of you in the dance community know me as Ayshe, the lady who specializes in wings. Well, now I hope you will also come to know me in a totally new way!
Dear Friends of Folk Tours;
"I am so happy that Tayyar has found a lovely place for the next camp this May. It is going to be a superb camp this year with lots of wonderful teachers, dancers, musicians, classes and shows. I wish I could be a part of it. But my family situation is such that I cannot make the same time consuming commitment to Folk Tours that I have done in the past. As you can imagine, Folk Tours is a huge, full time job and I worked on it all year. But now between my touring schedule and caring for my aging parents, I just do not have the time for Folk Tours anymore. However, I wholeheartedly support the event and the Festival in Turkey and Tayyar and his great classes at Nourhan's studio. I will miss you all and I will be at all of these events with you in spirit. I am so glad that Folk Tours lives on and that our vision continues...to use music and dance to build bridges across cultures.With Affection; Artemis Mourat
Ibrahim Tunc Blanca Odalisca Nina Amaya Ariel Whitworth Team
Bruce - Webmaster :-)