June 3, 2023

By Margaret Sheard ….

It is just as well that the Soulist Coffee and Music House in Alsancak holds most of their events late in the evening. 

We had another event to attend on the evening of the 18th January but were determined to be at the Soulist by 9.30pm when the party was to begin to celebrate the 3rd birthday of this great music venue, and we managed to time it nicely.

There were not too many people there when we arrived but within 15 minutes the place was full to overflowing with people who wanted to give their good wishes to Alper Cengiz and Roland Eyerich, who are the mainstay of the Soulist, and enjoy what was to be a fabulous evening.


Ed Sezener

So the music began with Alper & Friends, which included Alper (guitar/vocal), Dean Bridges (bass guitar), Bulut Abilek (drums) and Naim Korudag (guitar) who unfortunately had to leave following the first couple of numbers and he was replaced by the ever popular Ed Sezener (guitar/vocal).  

The Soulist is not a huge venue but its area gives a very intimate atmosphere with the music surrounding the audience.   I have seen Alper perform on a number of occasions, and I am overwhelmed how he puts his very heart and soul into his performance.  In my opinion he is a showman of the highest calibre and such a very nice person off stage.

Part way through the event while Alper & Friends were taking a break, another group took the stage, this was Rock Balance –  Engin Bahar; (Vocal/Guitar), Ersun Hoca: (Lead Guitar/Back Vocal), Menteş İnatçı; (Bass Guitar), Anıl Akgün: Drums, and they also gave a superb performance.

 Rock Balance 

Roland gave a short speech to the guests which is shown below :

Welcome to The Soulist on our 3rd anniversary.  Again what a year with ups and downs but a year with many highlights and our Soulist friends joining us.  We appreciate it so much, thank you.

The Soulist is the home of Jazz, Gypsy Jazz, Classic, Blues, Rock, Rockabilly, Soul and Reggae, it is the “Small Music Hall of Alsancak”.

Roland Eyerich

So, what happened last year – just a few points.   The Soulist has now become an integral part of the Cyprus jazz music scene, alongside Sarah’s Jazz Club in Nicosia.  Every Wednesday there is a jazz evening and a monthly matinee – Breakfast with Jazz event.   Classical concerts are held on the last Sunday of the month with the exception of the summer months, the next dates are 23rd February and 29th March.

For the second time the Friends Across Borders (FAB) festival was organised which now has a firm place in the festival schedule of Cyprus.  Over 50 musicians joined us for this 3-day Soulist Stage which gave a good result in aid of the charity Tulips/Help Those with Cancer Association.

Also for the second time the unique Soulist Christmas Market was held with 40 musicians during the 2-day event.  There was a great atmosphere with the market stalls with their Christmas lights – wow!

The Soulist also takes part in the Scottish/Caledonian calendar in Cyprus to celebrate St Andrews Day in November and Burns Night in January, always with special Ceilidh music and dance.  The Travelling Scots direct from the Highlands of Scotland will be joining us on Thursday 23rd January at 9.30pm.

The cooperation with RockCyprus from Nicosia/Limassol is a special recognition as a new platform (website) was created during Friends Across Borders (FAB) and The Soulist is now on their website.  At last we are creating “Soulist TV” on YouTube which will be presenting all of the high class musicians at the Soulist starting this year.  The man behind the camera is Dean Bridges.  Please subscribe to the channel and make it grow.

A big thank you to all the musicians coming to the Soulist and performing music for you, and special thanks to the Soulist Team – you have been fabulous.  Alper Cengiz, the man creating this place and making it so special and Adeleh his partner who supports him with so much love.  Alper and Adeleh are my team.    Not forgetting Davis, Richard and Victore behind the bar, and Dean for his support and giving us the idea for Soulist TV.

Thank you to CyprusScene – Margaret and Chris who always give us space for music events on their website and online Enewspaper.    Also Brian Joyce for his help with pictures in Cyprus Today.  We also thank Cyprus Observer and all of the others who give us their support.

Thank you.”

Alper’s partner, Adeleh, had made a lovely celebration cake and she presented this to him amidst much applause.   The cake was later shared with the guests.  Delicious, well done Adeleh.

The music then continued non-stop with some great songs, there were two further changes on drums with Ardar Baykurt and the last one Mert Damla Güclu from Blind Man`s Tale (BMT).  

By 12.45am we decided it was time to hit the road and head for home. Roland informed me that the music went on until 1.30am.

Congratulations to the Soulist for a great evening’s entertainment and we look forward to the 4th Birthday celebration next year.

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