ASAF SIRKIS

drummer composer educator

BIOGRAPHY / DISCOGRAPHY / ENDORSEMENT

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BIOGRAPHY


Born in 1969 in Petah-Tikva, Israel, Asaf later moved to the town of Rehovot, where he spent his teens and early twenties. This was an influential move for Asaf, as it was here amongst the diverse cultural influences he found in Rehovot that Asaf began to show an interest in music and rhythm. In Rehovot he lived amongst people from North Africa, east and central Europe, and the Middle East. Living in Shaarayim, the Yemenite neighbourhood in Rehovot, Asaf was particularly drawn to Yemenite culture, music, and rhythms.


At the age of 12 Asaf began drum lessons, while also having a strong interest in playing electric bass. The music that influenced Asaf at the time still influences his writing and playing till this day; The Beatles, Police, Yes, Genesis, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Allan Holdsworth, and Weather Report to name a few.


1987 – 1990 Asaf did his compulsory national service.
Out of the army in 1990, Asaf started his professional career as a musician playing with many different young Jazz-Rock, Kleizmer, world music, and Free Jazz bands. During that time he co-operated with Israel’s local Jazz/world luminaries such as Harold Rubin, Albert Beger, Yair Dlal and Eyal Sela. Many of those early projects where recorded and released by a pioneer Jazz record label in Israel called Jazzis (founded by Adam Baruch). Around those years Asaf started to write music but it wasn’t until 1995 when he formed his first trio that he found an outlet for his writing.


In 1993 moved to Tel-Aviv. While making his living playing mainly Jewish music Asaf continued to develop his own voice as a drummer and composer until, in 1995, formed his own trio (featuring Kobi Arad on Keyboards and Gabriel Mayer on Bass) and recorded his first solo album ‘One Step Closer’ (independent). In 1996, Inspired by French Church Organ composers such as Olivier Messiaen, Maurice Durufle’ and Cesar Frank he formed a unique new band ‘The Inner Noise’ consisting of Church Organ, Electric Guitar and Drums (with Adi Goldstein on Organ and Amir Perelman on Guitar). The Inner Noise’s first project was commissioned by the Tel-Aviv City Council and was performed around Israel in 1997-8.


In October 1998 Asaf left Israel to Europe and eventually settled in London in April 1999. He soon become part of the UK Jazz and world music scene, and started working with Adel Salameh, a Palestinian aud player/composer with whom he recorded the album ‘Nuzha’ which featured Asaf’s Middle Eastern frame drum playing.  Soon after arriving in the UK Asaf re-formed the Inner Noise band with Steve Lodder (Church Organ) and Mike Outram (Guitar).  


In 2000 Asaf met Gilad Atzmon, which was the start of a major creative collaboration. With Atzmon they formed The Orient House Ensemble, and this band went on to record 7 albums (‘Orient House’, ‘Nostalgico’, ‘Exile’, ‘Musik’, ‘Artie Fishel & the Promised Band’, ‘Refuge’, and 'In Loving Memory Of America'). OHE’s album 'Exile' won the 'Best CD of the Year' category at the BBC Jazz Award 2003 and nominated for the ‘Best Band’ category in 2004. Asaf performed with The OHE in many prestigious festivals and venues in the UK and in Europe until April 2009 when he left the band to focus on his own writing and work with his trio.


In 2003 Asaf recorded the Inner Noise’ first album (‘Inner Noise’, Konnex KCD 5113). ‘Inner Noise’ is widely considered a groundbreaking album and the music has been described as a new gender - ‘Gothic Jazz’. The CD was chosen as one of the best albums of 2005 at the CHUOFM89 radio jazz station in Canada.


In 2006 Asaf started a unique collaboration with the highly acclaimed saxophonist/composer Tim Garland and has enjoyed making seven albums with him so far; notably 'The Mystery' (featuring Chick Corea and the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra), 'Lighthouse' (released on ACT, featuring Gwilym Simcock on piano), and 'Songs For The north Sky'. Asaf has tours around the world with Tim's various projects.


With the Inner Noise band Asaf made two more albums, We Are Falling (Konnex 2005) and The Song Within (SAM Productions/Egea 2007) which was selected as one of the best albums of 2007 at the ‘All About Jazz’ web-site by John Kelman. While developing his own compositions, Asaf formed the Asaf Sirkis Trio in 2007 which features Greek guitarist Tassos Spiliotopoulos and Israeli bassist Yaron Stavi. This trio has released three albums; The Monk in (SAM Productions/Egea, 2008), 'Letting Go' (Stonedbird Productions, 2010) and 'Shepherds Stories' (2013, Stonedbird Productions) which has been selected twice as one of 2013's best Jazz albums of the year at the All About Jazz website.


Since 2014, Asaf has been co-leading the SIrkis/Bialas IQ together with Polish composer/singer extraordinaire Sylwia Bialas (with Frank Harrison on keyboards & Kevin Glasgow on bass). Their debut album 'Come To Me' has been receiving some rave reviews and been selected as one of the best of 2015 by Mark Sullivan at the All About Jazz website.

In recent years Asaf has been studying Konnakol - the south Indian vocal percussion language - with master mridangamist Paramasamy Kirupakaran and has been integrating this system in his teaching, composing and rhythmic approach. Asaf has developed an easy, step-by-step method of practicing Konnakol that can help any western instrumentalist or vocalist of any musical genre and level to increase rhythmic awareness and focus. Nowadays, Sirkis is involved in a variety of educational work, bringing Konnakol as a useful tool of understanding rhythm to western music education. Notably he has given many workshops and seminars around the world on the subject and has a YouTube channel with some basic Konnakol tutorials.


Asaf played or has been playing around the world with artists such as: Dave Holland, Jacob Collier, Tim Garland, Celine Bonacina, Gwilym Simcock, Larry Coryell, Nicolas Meier, Jeff Berlin, John Abercrombie, Bob Sheppard, Norman Watt-Roy (off the Blockheads), Wilco Johnson, Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt, Mark Egan, Mark Wingfield, Natacha Atlas, Dave Liebman, David Binney, Gary Husband, pianist John Taylor, Norma Winstone, Kenny Wheeler, Andy Sheppard, Lenny Stern, John Law, Peter King, Stan Sulzman, Barbaros Erkose (Turkey), Dwiki Dharmawan (Indonesia), Bela Szakcsi-Lokatos (Hungary), Glauco Venier (Italy), Yuri Goloubev (Russia), Klaus Gesing (Austria), Eyal Maoz (NYC), Simon Fisher Turner, Phil Robson,  Mark Latimer, John Etherigde and more...

2017 has been a very busy year so far; Recording many albums for the Moonjune record label (U.S.) with international artists artists such as Dwiki Dharmawan (Indonesia), Mark Wingfield (UK/USA), Dusan Jevtovic (Serbia/Spain), Nicolas Meier (Switzerland/UK), Gilad Atzmon (Israel/UK), Markus Reuter (Germany), and more. Asaf is featured on Tim Garland's new album 'ONE' (album of the year on Jazzwise magazine) and looking forward to touring with that band throughout 2017. Asaf has also been touring with Arabic singer Natacha Atlas' band.

With the Sirkis/Bialas IQ - The band has been touring the UK playing all new music composed by Asaf and Sylwia Bialas and will be recording a new album this summer.

 

MORE ABOUT ASAF

Interview with Ian Patterson

Interview with Richard Sharma

Interview with Anil Prasad

Wikipedia

 


 

DISCOGRAPHY

Solo Albums

Asaf Sirkis Trio                                         

One Step Closer                   

Independent                             1998
Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise

Inner Noise

KCD 5113 2003
Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise

We Are Falling

KCD 5150 2005
Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise

The Song Within

SAM 9004 2007
Asaf Sirkis Trio

The Monk

SAM 9015 2008
Asaf Sirkis Trio

Letting Go

Stoned Bird Productions 2010
Asaf Sirkis Trio

Shepherd's Stories

Stoned Bird Productions 2013
The Sirkis/Bialas International Quartet

Come To Me

Stoned Bird Productions 2014

Co-leader/band Albums

 

Recordings with other artists


Israel, 1990-1998

Biological Madness                                  

Biological Madness                   

JAZZIS 1011                        1998
Odeon

Odeon

JAZZIS 1016 1991
Tact

Downtown

JAZZIS 1021 1992
Changes

Changes

JAZZIS 1022 1993
Return To Zero

R.T.Z

Independent 1994
Fantasy Jazz Trio

F.J.T

Independent 1994
Return To Zero

Back For More

Independent 1995
Eyal Maoz & Asaf Sirkis Duo

Freedom Has It's Own Taste

Independent 1998
Sirkis/Venier/Goloubev

Intermezzo

Artesuono ART054 2007
Law/Burgess/Sirkis

The Art Of Sound

33jazz 155 2007
SGS Group (Sirkis/Goloubev/Simcock)

Presents...

BA 176 CD 2008
Asaf Sirkis/Sassi Mizrachi/Kobi Arad

Vagabond

Binah 2010
Biolagical Madness                                   

Biological Madness                  

Jazzis 1011                          1990
Harold Rubin

Trialog

Jazzis 1021 1993
Rami Shuler Group

With One Breath

NMC1035-2 1993
Albert Beger Quartet

The Primitive

NMC 20288-2 1995
Harold Rubin

Blue Bag

Independent 1996
Albert Beger Quartet

This Life

NMC 20288-2 1997
Amir Perlman Trio

Trio 1997 Vol. 1

Fasson 005 1997
Christoph Spendel

The Three Worlds

Konnex 5088 1999
 

Recordings with other artists


U.K, from 1999

Adel Salameh                            

Nuzha                  

Arion 64500                          2000
Gilad Atzmon & The Oriant House Ensemble

Orient House

ENJA TIP-888839 2 2000
Eyal Sela

Sela

Magda 019 2001
Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

Nostalgico

ENJA TIP-888841 2 2001
Various Artists

The More We Know,
30 Years of ENJA Records

ENJA 9400 2001
Nick Homes

Not Tonight

Dogs Dinner CD 4403 2001
The Meier Group

Ribbon In The Wind

Elephant EL 2219 2002
Simon Fisher Turner

Swift

MUTE Records 2002
Phil Robson

Impish

Babel BDV2235 2002
Mark Latimer

Unhinged, Take 2

Spotlite SPJ CD 568 2002
Lee Gibson

Songs Of Time and Place

Spotlite SPJ CD 572 2003
Gilad Atzmon & the Orient House Ensemble

Exile

ENJA TIP-888844 2 2003
John Williams

Tenorama

Spotlite SPJ CD572 2003
Nick Homes

Indian Summer

Dog's Dinner DDCD4404 2003
Various Artists

Ballads 4 The World

ENJA 9500-2 2004
Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

MusiK

ENJA TIP 888848-2 2004
Tim Garland's Lighthouse

If The Sea Replied

Sirocco Music SJL 1031 2005
Nicolas Meier Group

Orient

NAIM Label naimcd 091 2005
Sue Kibbey

Sue Kibbey Sings Jimmy Van Heusen

KIBBE 002 2005
Simon Fisher Turner

LANA LARA LATA

MUTE Records 2005
Tassos Spiliotopoulos

Wait For Dusk

Konnex KCD 5166 2005
Giulio Risi

Deep Down Where The Heart,
Beats No More

Independent 2005
John Donaldson Trio

Music Box

Woodville Records WVCD 110 2005
Alcyona Mick

Around The Sun

ABCD 5018 2006
Gilad Atzmon Presents

Artie Fishel & The Promised Band

WMDCD 0011968 2006
Klaus Gesing

Heart Luggage

ATS Records CD-610 2006
Nicolas Meier Group

YUZ

Naim Records Naimcd 103 2007
Glauco Venier & Yuri Goloubev

Hommage À Duke

CALIGOLA 2083 2007
Tim Garland

The Mystery (featuring Chick Corea)

audio-b ABCD 5020 2007
Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

Refuge

ENJA Records 2007
Dan Stern

Traces

Kvetch Records KVRJ 0001 2007
Tim Garland

The Northern Underground Orchestra

Jazzaction JA11 2007
Chyskyyrai

Vocal Evocations Of Sakha-Yakutia,
Siberia

SOAS SOASIS CD18 2008
Nicolas Meier

Silence Talks

NAIM CD 113 2008
Massimo Colombo

II Goico Delle Forme

CDH1515.2 2008
Sarah Gillespie

Stalking Juliet

SAM 9023 2009
Tim Garland's Lighthouse Trio

Libra

Glabalmix 1594 2009
Yuri Goloubev

Metafore Seplici

EmArcy/Universal 2009
Gilad Atzmon

In Loving Memory Of America

ENJA 1303 2009
Polly Scattergood

Polly Scattergood

MUTE 5099969467424 2009
John Law's Art Of Sound Trio

Vol. 4, Congregation

33 Records 33jazz193 2009
Nicolas Meier

Journey

MGPCD 002 2009
Simon Fisher Turner

Music From Films,
You Should Have Seen

Optical Sound OS.054 2009
Nicolas Meier Trios

Breeze

MGPCD 001 2009
Asaf Sirkis & Eyal Maoz Duo

Elementry Dialouges

Ayler Records 2009
Asaf Sirkis/Sassi Mizrachi/Kobi Arad

Vagabond

Binah 2010
Jonathan Cohen's Time Loves Changes Octet

Life Cycles

TLC 002 2010
Tassos Spiliotopoulos

Archipelagos

F-IRE CD 32 2010
Alex Hutton Trio

Legentis

F-IRE CD 53 2011
Yuri Goloubev Trio

Titanic For A Bike

Caligola 2145 2011
Carlo Nagni Quartet

Notturni

Independent 2011
John Law's Congregation

Three Leaps Of The Gazelle

33 Records Jazz 228 2012
Simcock/Garland/Sirkis - The Lighthouse Trio

Lighthouse Trio

ACT 9525 2012
Nicolas Meier Group

From Istanbul To Ceuta With A Smile

MGP Records, MGPCD 009 2013
Maciek Pysz Trio

Insight

33JAZZ31 2013
Norman Watt-Roy

Faith & Grace

Cadiz 2013
Tim Garland

Songs For The North Sky

Edition Records 2014
Fabienne Ambuhl Trio

Glitterwood

Traumton Records 2014
Mark Wingfield

Proof Of Light

Moonjune Records 2015
Alex Hutton Trio

Magna Carta Suite

F-IRE 2015
Noel Langley

Edentide

Independent 2015
Maciek Pysz

A Journey

Dot Time Records 2015
Marco Cortesi EUP

Spring Thing

PBR Records 2015
Celine Bonacina

Crystal Rain

Crystal Records 2016
Tim Garland

ONE

Edition Records 2016
Dwiki Dharmawan

Pasar Klewer

Moonjune Records 2017
Wingfield/Reuter/Stavi/Sirkis

The Stone House

Moonjune Records 2017
Dusan Jevtovic

No Answer

Moonjune Records 2017
 

New releases coming in 2017: Natacha Atlas, Dwiki Dharmawan, Mark Wingfield, Dusan devatovic, and many more.

 

ENDORSEMENTS

 

Asaf Sirkis endorses:

Istanbul Agop cymbals
Vic Firth sticks
Remo drum heads
Protection Racket cases

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