Bayan Accordion

(or How an Azeri Boy from Tehran Ended Up Playing Irish Music on a Russian Accordion) I play a 3-row Russian bayan accordion. I started playing this instrument in 1998, while studying in Istanbul. One night, while I was visiting my brother (who plays the garmon (Azeri hand-made accordion). I noticed he had a bayan accordion. I asked my brother if I could borrow the accordion for a couple of days (and I've had it ever since). At home, I experimented with the accordion and tried to learn the structure and the keys. It was not as hard as I thought it would be. I could play some songs that I already knew on the piano accordion. At this time, I was playing bodhran (Irish drum) at the James Joyce Pub and had become familiar with Irish jigs and reels. I practiced Irish music almost every day. Knowing Azeri traditional music helped me to pick Irish music very quickly since our 6/8 rhythm is very similar to the Irish one. I also learned some tunes from visiting Irish musicians who I met at the pub. At another Irish pub, one night, I met Caglayan, John, Oleg and Elena while they were playing Celtic music. I was standing at the bar, listening to their music when suddenly, John asked me to join them. I did and learned the melodies as I played them. That night was the first time I performed with this accordion.