Cengiz Baysal

Independent / Session

At the age of twelve, Cengiz Baysal began playing drums when Sarp Maden, a leading guitar player in Turkey today, convinced him to start a band. It was not long before Cengiz took on drumming passionately and got serious with his music. Two years later, the band they formed won first prize in a national competition held by the Milliyet newspaper.

Cengiz studied at Musicians Institute where he graduated with the "most improved student of the year" award. He continued studying music at Los Angeles City College and received his Bachelors degree graduating from Berklee College of Music (98 Summa Cum Laude).

After school he had a very active performing career. He was the house drummer for Istanbul Jazz Center where he performed with greats such as Lee Konitz, Mark Murphy, Dave Samuels, Alan Harris, Eve Cornelius, Chip Crawford, Dena De Rose and Paula West. Notable artists that he has worked with as a sideman includes Mercan Dede (2003 European tour), Kerem Gorsev, Oguz Buyukberber, Ayse Tutuncu, Demirhan Baylan, Tuna Otenel, Okay Temiz and Izmir Symphonic, Cemal Resit Rey Big band, Nicholas Simion, and Nguyen Le.

Cengiz is well known to Turkish rock and roll audiences for his work with the band Duman. Between 2002 and 2016 he recorded four studio albums and one live album with the band. He was the touring drummer for the band between 2007 and 2016.

Since 2016 Cengiz lives in New Jersey with his family and collaborates with artists from NJ and New York. These days you can see him perform with Jared Pauley (New Album "On Capitol Street", where he shares the drum seat with legendary Mike Clark), Eldad Tarmu's "Flying South Trio", PJ Parker.