Tolga was born in Istanbul in 1977 but grew up on a small island in the north of Holland. When he was eight years old he started studying classical guitar, and some years later he switched to electric guitar, and soon after started playing gigs with local rock bands. At age eighteen he moved to Amsterdam where he discovered Jazz and Django Reinhardt's Gipsy Jazz. He took lessons from time to time, but is mainly self-taught.
His first personal album 'Bohemia' (1999), was a big success, opening doors to many national and international festivals. Since then, he has played at some of the most prestigious festivals like the Montreux Jazz festival in Switzerland, and did numerous of concerts for radio and television. He got many invitations to play in Italy, and in the spring of 2005, he decided to move there all together. He is now living with his family in the mountains between Bologna and Florence.
In the meantime he kept developing his music, and has just finished his eight personal album 'Cama Onte'. On this CD, he is experimenting with a new instrument built specially for him by Dutch luthier Ger Boonstra; an acoustic double neck guitar; one of the necks is fretless. Partly thanks to this special instrument, the sound of Tolga's music nowadays is often oriental-flavoured. His music is often used by film and documentary makers, radio and television.
'Tolga shows an ever-renewed imagination, with fresh poetry and a stirring swing. Point Of View is one of the best swing manouche albums of the last five years.'
Serge Warin, Canal Blue
'Tolga is much talented, his pure articulation together with beautiful tone is a delight. His trio goes beyond and renews the genre with an assertive personal style.'
Francis Couvreux, Etudes Tsiganes
'Fascinating repertoire, catchy arrangements, virtuose and swinging improvisations and an incredible mastership.'
Akustik Gitarre, Germania
'Tolga is a musician who combines a unique and arresting style with a masterful technique. His music is striking yet remains pure and uncluttered.'
Turkish Daily News
'Beautiful, powerful, and most importantly, happy!'
Dmitry Shakin, Radio Vladivostok, Russia
'Hot Stuff played with passion!'
Michael Dregni, Vintage Guitar Magazine, USA
'definitely well played'
Neri Pollastri, All About Jazz
'With the resurgence of gypsy jazz both in Europe and North America, the Tolga Quartet adds another fine voice swingin' with the best of them'
Kirk Albrecht, Minor7th.com
Montreux Jazzfestival – Svizzera,Royal Albert Hall – Inghilterra, Shanghai World Music Festival - China, International Jazzfestival Terrassa – Spagna, Django Reinhardt Festival Torino – Italia, Shetland Folk festival – Scozia, Nardis Jazzclub – Turchia, SJU Jazzpodium – Olanda, PIT – Norvegia, Django Fest – Polonia, Pflasterspektakel – Austria, Killarney Summerfest – Irlanda, Blühendes Barock – Germania, Bansko International Jazz Festival – Bulgaria, Mavrovo Winter Festival – Macedonia, The Quecumbar – Inghilterra, Pori International jazz Festival – Finlandia, Manoujazz Fesival – Basilicata, Calagonone Jazz Festival - Sardegna, Bologna Jazz Festival - Italy, Fano Jazz festival - Italy, Ravenna Jazzfestival, Popiglio Django Festival - Italy, Stranger Than Paranoia Festival - Holland