Kim with Glen Doyle, Solo International Ethnic Music Festival, Indonesia, 2008
One time cane-cutter, meatworks labourer and documentary film researcher, World Music pioneer Kim Sanders has steamed up the coast of Sumatra in a tramp steamer full of rubber, survived border crossings with Georgian gun runners and been arrested for spying by a Macedonian Brezhnev lookalike. He has played on national radio in Bulgaria and national TV in Indonesia, with Gypsy wedding bands in Macedonia, in mosquito-ridden clubs in Gambia, tavernas in Greece, tea-houses in China and concert-halls from the Ataturk Cultural Centre in Istanbul to the Sydney Opera House.
In ’84/5 Kim spent eighteen months studying and performing in the Balkans, Turkey and Gambia and Senegal in West Africa where he played with the Libidorr Band. In ’93/4 he returned to Turkey and the Balkans and performed with Turkish/Greek group Phanari tis Anatolis (aka Bosphoros or Anadolu Fener), Zimbabwean mbira-player Stella Chiweshe and musicians from the Filip Koutev (Bulgarian State) Ensemble. He performed solo on Radio Sofia and recorded with Phanari tis Anatolis and Turkish singer Oguz Yilmaz.
In ’96 he toured Indonesia with Sawung Jabo’s innovative music/dance production Bayang-Bayang and returned to Indonesia in 00 and 03 with Indonesian-World group GengGong, in 05 and 07 with Trio Dingo and in 06, 07 and 12 as soloist. He has recorded in Indonesia with GengGong and singers Setiawan Djodi and Oppie Andaresta.
In ’00/01 Kim returned to Turkey to continue his studies in Turkish Classical, Sufi, Gypsy and folk music. He performed with Laz musician Birol Topaloglu and with the Turkish Ministry for Culture’s Istanbul State Modern Folk Music Ensemble. He was the subject of a short documentary on Turkish television. He returned to Turkey in 07/08 and studied with ney master Ahmet Kaya and Gypsy clarinetist Selim Sesler. Amongst others he performed with percussionist Okay Temiz and with the Turkish incarnation of Kim Sanders & Friends.
In 04 he performed in Beijing as a soloist and worked with pioneering Chinese World-Jazz ensemble Tianchuang.
In Australia Kim was co-leader (with Linsey Pollak) of Australia’s first World-Jazz band (Rabadaki, 79) and has since played with musicians from every continent except Antarctica (including Flamenco Dreaming, Nakisa, Okapi Guitar Band, Seaweed & Wire, Chichitote, Davood Tabrizi, Descendance and Balcano). He performed with Zülfü Livaneli and Fatih Kisaparmak (Turkey), Bahar (Iran) and the Bisserov Sisters (Bulgaria) on their Australian tours.
In the 90s he lead legendary “Gypsy-Afro- World” band Brassov and worked with Bulgarian folk singer Silvia Entcheva in the Silvia Entcheva Trio. He also performed in Australia with GengGong and led various ensembles featuring musicians including Indian tabla master Bobby Singh, Macedonian clarinettist Bobby Dimitrievski, Greek singer/bouzouki-player George Doukas and jazz masters Sandy Evans and Toby Hall.
Kim plays Macedonian, Turkish and Bulgarian gaidas (bagpipes), aardvark (Australian-Turkish- Bulgarian bass bagpipe); Bulgarian and Turkish kavals (long wooden flutes), saluang (Sumatran flute), furulya (Hungarian flute) and ney (Dervish flute); mey, duduk, guanzi (Turkish, Armenian, Chinese double reed instruments); zurna (Turkish/Balkan shawm); tenor sax; tin whistle; davul (dauli, tapan)(drum) and small percussion. He also arranges ensembles for special events, and composes music for films and stage productions.
Kim also taught gaida, kaval, mey, ney, duduk and theory.
“Masterly control of subtlety…very soulful playing” – Diaspora Worldbeat Magazine
“Sanders’ skills as an instrumentalist are impressive… (As a composer, his work is) new and genuinely exciting” – Chris Williams, fROOTS Magazine (UK)
“I will never view animals in quite the same way after seeing Sanders’ inflated menagerie of bagpipes. But it was the saxophone that most warmed the blood: a big, braying honking beast of a thing that could unexpectedly whisper sweet nothings in your ear” – John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald
“Virtually a force unto himself in world music scenes” – Drum Media
“…the magical voice of Kim Sanders’ saxophone” – Yogja Pos, Indonesia
“There are no more than a few Australian musicians who have made certain types of folk music their stamping-ground. Multi-instrumentalist Kim Sanders is one” – Australian Financial Review
“Kim Sanders was particularly effective on Turkish and Macedonian bagpipes, peeling off lines that were both inventive and convincingly idiomatic.” – John Clare, Sydney Morning Herald
“More, more, more!” – Kuranda Seyit, Australian Muslim News
Click here for a downloadable interview with Kim on the Jazz and Beyond Web site
and click here to hear Hans Stoeve of 2SER-FM talking with Kim
To hear some of Kim’s music, and links to videos, see the “Hear the music” page and the “Links” page.