Born in 1939, in Istanbul, Okay Temiz started taking percussion and tympanum courses at the State Conservatoire of Classical Music in Ankara. Launching his professional musical career in 1955, Temiz continued his studies at the Tophane Art Institute.
In 1967, the Swedish saga started. There he met trumpeter Maffy Falay. The two formed the group “Sevda.” In the meanwhile, he met the American trumpet master Don Cherry. This turned into a long lasting partnership. Temiz, together with the skilled bassist Dyani and the South African trumpeter Mongezi Feza, formed the group Xaba, which makes up a crucial part of his musical career. This very special group shortly gained an immense public attention with the three albums released in Scandinavia, U.S.A and Britain.
Forming his Swedish-Turkish Jazz group, Oriental Wind, in 1974, Okay Temiz surged further into multi-cultural music and reached a very appealing synthesis by blending European musical instruments with Turkish instruments.
Temiz continued his cultural activities in Sweden until 1990. During his efforts of applying the classical Turkish “makam” music to jazz, he discovered a number of Turkish musicians and helped them gain a universal standard in the music scene.
After 1993, Temiz continued his career in Finland where he recorded his album “Magnetic Band”, in which Temiz embraced the improvisational spirit of jazz with African and South American rhythms, and amalgamated this sound with traditional Turkish melodies.
To continue his struggles for spreading Turkish music all over the world and be able to cooperate with more Turkish musicians, Temiz decided to return to his homeland, in 1998. His insatiable energy and endless passion for exploring the unknown, added to his long time musical experience led him to engage in numerous projects. Among these, an album called Kuzeyden Güneye Yansımalar (Reflections from North to South) that included his compositions and was recorded together with Izmir State Symphonic Orchestra and a CD called Kutlama (Celebration) which was made for the 75th Anniversary of the Turkish Republic.
Okay Temiz came to know and worked together with top musicians who have mastered the rhythms of Africa, South America and India, in the meanwhile learning how to make and play their instruments like the quicca, berimbau, finger piano and talking drum. He has a wide collection of selfmade ethnic and electronic instruments including the hand-made copper drums, “Magic Pyramid” and “Artemiz”, which he has made of camel and sheep bells.
Okay Temiz still continues his mission of spreading multi-cultural music to wider audiences through the myriad of experiences he has gained over more than fifty years.