Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Yaltkaya, Cengiz (Refik)

Yaltkaya, Cengiz (Refik), pianist, composer; b. Istanbul, Turkey, 14 December 1947.  When he was 13, he moved with his parents to Geneva, Switzerland where he attended the International School of Geneva between 1960-1967.  His mother Fatma Zekiye Yaltkaya (1905-1968; born Fatma Zekiye Faruki) was a ceramic artist and puppet maker.  His father Omer Refik Yaltkaya (1907-1973) one of the founding members of the Istanbul Philharmonic was also an accomplished concert pianist.  Yaltkaya had piano lessons from about the age of five entering the Istanbul Conservatory of Music about that time.  During the latter part of his high school years in Geneva, he became interested in jazz meanwhile playing with local rock and pop bands.  Upon his graduation from high school in 1967, he arrived in New York City graduating from the School of Economics at NYU.  Between 1971-75 he studied arranging and composition at Berklee College of Music after which he went back to his native land Turkey for his military service towards the end of 1975. Upon his return back to New York in 1976, he joined the staff of Atlantic Recording Corporation as an arranger and producer where he worked until the end of 1986.  Between 1986 and 1995 he freelanced as film composer and musical theatre during which time he entered and became a member of BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop.  In 1995 he permanently moved to Los Angeles, California returning back to his original love of jazz performance.

While in New York, he studied classical piano with Thomas Simons and jazz piano with Johnny Bowden and Sir Roland Hanna.  At the same time he attended New School where he studied composition with Jimmy Guiffre.

Then when he was in Berklee College of Music, he continued his classical studies with Emanuel Zambelli and afterwards with Margaret Chaloff.  In the meantime he also continued his jazz education with Herb Pomeroy, Gary Burton, Mike Gibbs and Steve Swallow.  He also studied conducting and classical composition with John Bavicchi, William Maloof and Geranimus Kacynskas.  He was most influenced by his private studies with Charlie Banacos during that time period.  While he was working full time at Atlantic Recording Corporation, he attended Juilliard School of Music where he studied advanced orchestration with Charles Jones.

He is currently very active as a freelance jazz pianist and composer in Los Angeles where he frequently does live performances and recordings.

He has toured as a jazz pianist in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Chech Republic and Hungary.  He also attended jazz festivals in Morocco, Cuba, Chech Republic, Romania and Croatia.

Yaltkaya is the recipient of the Drama Louge Award for "The Drunk" as "Best Musical Director-1996" for the Chandler Studios. He is also a member of the BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, ASCAP, Local 47 and the Dramatists Guild.
He's produced or co-produced albums for Chaka Khan, The Dig, Carly Simon
Herbie Mann (several), Donny Hathaway, Bill Chinnock, Felix Cavaliere, and various others.

Dailey Pike and Cengiz Yaltkaya: Gigolettes (2001); Jazz Baby (2002); Visits (2003)

As sideperson:
Eldad Tarmu: Get Up Close (2000); Brandon Walker: Hollywood Jazz Collective (2000); Allen Kelinsky: Pacific Jazz Quartet (2000); June Angela: June Angela (2000); Peggy Judy: Peggy In Concert (2002); Joel Penner: Dragon Jazz (2002); June Angela: Sayanora Love Theme: Songs From Shotgun And Other Asiana (2002); Eldad Tarmu: Sandstorm (2003); Joe Gaeta: Venice Cafe (2003); Tony Moreno: Just 4 U (2003); Eldad Tarmu Quartet: Live Recording In B Flat In Berlin, German (2003); Jodi Fodor: California (2003); Eldad Tarmu: Exotic Tales (2004); Maurice Gainen: Jazz World Colors (2004)

Logical Secrets: Noam Ben Shaul, short film; Winter: Yitzhak Gol, short film (Winner of Duffy Award); Autumn Rain: Yitzhak Gol, short film; Luggage of the Gods: David Kendall, feature; Lady; Robert Mapplethorpe, PBS, short film; I Was A Teenage T.V. Terrorist: Stanford Singer, feature; Curfew: Gary Winick, feature; Punk: Carl Franklin, PBS, short; Deadly Manor: Jose Ramon Larraz, feature; Out of the Rain: Gary Winick, feature; Shades of Day: Vitaly Sumin, feature; Festival Fever, Willard Morgan, documentary (Winner of Enzian Award Florida Film Festival, 1995); Skystars: Rudy Djabbarzadeh, documentary

Commercial arrangements for Conoco, Monmouth, Maybelline, NY State (I Love New York), various others

Selena: Book and Lyrics: Brown Caldwell; The Monkey' Paw: Book and Lyrics: Paul Armento; Funny Kind Of Miracle: 10 min. Musical for BMI, Book and Lyrics by Neill Bogan; Dear Valdocs: Short Musical w/ libretto by Marilyn Seven Wings Theatre, One-Act Series; The Goose Sings Low: Book and Lyrics: Marilyn Seven; Star-Touched: Book and Lyrics: Frank O'Donnell; Heartfelt: Book and Lyrics: John D. Sanders, Showcase: New York Douglas Fairbanks Studio; Gigolettes: Written by Dailey Pike
Incidental Music:
The Tempest: National Shakespeare Company; Romeo And Juliet: National Shakespeare Company; Monday In The Park:  Wings Theatre, One-Act Series; The Knights Of The Round Table: Third Step Theatre Company; Romeo And Juliet: Arden Party Company (Ohio Theatre New York); Orphans: 23rd rep group Juilliard Drama Division; The Shameless Old Lady: Performance piece with poems by Helen Duberstein (Westbeth)

Contact information:
Cengiz Yaltkaya
1340 North Crescent Heights Blvd #7
West Hollywood, CA, 90046-4532
Telephone: (323) 650-7471

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