ⓘ Atilla Engin


ⓘ Atilla Engin

Atilla Engin was a Turkish American fusion jazz drummer. From 1974 to 2001 he was active in Denmark as a musician and educator; he organized music festivals and represented Denmark as a musical ambassador. In 2001, he left Denmark for the United States, where he formed an orchestra.


1. Biography

Engin first played and recorded in Istanbul, moving to Copenhagen in 1974, and playing with several groups. He released his first album Turkish Delight with the band Matao. They performed at Roskilde Festival in 1979. His other group, Atilla Engin Group, released five albums. While he was recording and touring with his band, he taught at the Copenhagen Jazz Conservatory for four years. Engin formed a band with 12 Copenhagen Jazz Conservatory students and they toured Turkey.

In 1985 Engin was awarded Composer of the Year in Denmark. In the same year, the Atilla Engin Group was appointed as Denmarks cultural ambassador to represent the country in conjunction with the European Music Year 1985.

Engin established the World to World Drums and Percussion Festival in Copenhagen with events taking place in Aarhus and Malmo, Sweden. The festival included performances by Zakir Hussain, Airto Moreira, Nana Vasconcelos, Peter Giger, and Danny Gottlieb. He participated in Tal Vadhya Utsav in India.

He taught an evening class of 16 young musicians at the Rhythmic Evening School in Copenhagen in 1984, turning them into a band named Tyrkis which performed at Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen. In 1987, Tyrkis won first prize at the Dortmunder Big Band Festival in Germany and released an album, My Little Chinese Love.

He left Denmark in 1989 for New York and formed the New World Orchestra and a six-piece group, Turquoise. Engin left the US for Brazil in 2005.

In 2010 he was diagnosed with cerebral haemorrhage, and sat in a wheelchair unable to speak. Atilla Engin died in Brazil the 2nd November 2019.


2. Discography

  • Moon Dog Girl by the Noodle Shop Sparkling Beatnik, 1999
  • Felek Usta Evren, 1971
  • My Little Chinese Love, Tyrkis Big Band conducted by Atilla Engin Stunt
  • Marmaris Love with Okay Temiz Danish Music Productions, 1986
  • Solens Born with Ariel19, Pick Up, 1980
  • Ocean of Emotion, The Istanbul Orchestra – Group Turquoise 2009
  • Memories, Atilla Engin Group Danish Music Productions, 1984
  • No Money No Honey with Arto Tunçboyacıyan) Danish Music Productions
  • Nazar Danish Music Productions, 1982
  • Turkish Delight, Group Matao RA, 1979
  • Melo Perquana, Atilla Engin Group with Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen) Olufsen, 1988
  • Mosaic of Anatolia, Group Turquoise Istanbul, 1999
  • Kumsalda Yonca, 1974 Vocals: Ozdemir Erdoğan Vocals: Alpay
  • Ataturks Children and Nasrettin Hoca Fairytale, 1980