When I heard that Flamenco Guitarist Cuneyt Yetkiner is the entertainment for this year’s Bernice Adams Awards I was thrilled. The audience at the awards are in for a treat. I have covered a lot of local musicians over the last few years, and Cuneyt is one of my favorites. I have written about Cuneyt often enough that I can spell his name without checking it, and when I Googled him to get his bio for this I came on my own articles. (In fact, I have used this headline before, it works!)
There’s a good chance you’ve never heard Cuneyt. (pronounced June-8) Flamenco guitarists aren’t in great demand in Canada, but I guarantee that once you hear him you won’t forget him. He is a musician that the other musicians go out to listen to. Here’s a bit of his bio before I share some his work with you.
Despite the fact that he didn’t pick up a guitar until the age of 18, it seems that Juneyt was destined from birth to be a musician. His name, traditionally spelt Cuneyt, means “Soldier of Music” in his native Turkish, and has proven to be an extremely accurate prediction of his life path.
Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, Juneyt has been playing Flamenco guitar for 16 years and has been especially influenced by Paco de Lucia, Tomatito and Vincente Amigo. Drawn to the passion and raw emotion of the music, Juneyt plays mostly in the Nuevo Flamenco style popularized by Jesse Cook while staying true to the playing and picking techniques of the more traditional flamenco guitarists.
Juneyt began his career in music as a teenager, playing alongside many well-known musicians in Europe and performing as a studio guitarist on more than 15 albums. Since moving to Canada in 1999, Juneyt has composed music for two television documentaries, and has built his career as a professional musician playing gigs in and around his hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo. Both at home and throughout the greater Toronto area, his energetic style and incredible finger work have earned him an enthusiastic following.
An impressive guitarist, held in high esteem by many of his musical peers, Juneyt possesses a rare talent and a raw energy that electrifies the audience making him an exceptional performer to watch.
My favorite Cuneyt memory is him playing with Mary 5e on Halloween. Cuneyt was dressed as Elvis, Mary as Michael Jackson from the Thriller video. They ended the set with Coolio’s “Gangsters Paradise.” Think about it, Gangster’s Paradise on Flamenco guitar. The bar, packed with university students, fell silent and watched. It was nothing short of amazing.
The video below of Cuneyt performing “Hotel California” with Robbie Hancock was taken at a Friday afternoon jam at Mulligan’s.
If you aren’t attending the awards, you can catch him June 4th at The Burn’s Howf on Franklin at Saginaw.
June8 (Cuneyt) Yetkiner
Music with passion; entertainment with style
For bookings, contact: 519-589-8592 or [email protected]