İzzet Kızıl is one of the foremost percussionists of Turkey, specialising in darbuka and near-eastern percussion instruments. While fluent in folk and classical rhythms from Turkey, the the Middle East, the Balkans, and India, Kizil has an open contemporary perspective and has developed his own style. Within Turkey and internationally he has played and recorded with many respected artists.
Born in the city of Diyarbakir, in the east of Turkey, he grew up in an environment of Kurdish, Farsi and Sufi rhythms. Later he moved to Istanbul, playing darbuka folk music. There he learnt about open concepts of east and west from jazz drummer Burhan Tonguc Baba. Interest in Indian rhythms led him to Bombay to study with Taal Yogi Pandit Suresh Talkwalker, where he learned about approaches to sensitivity and technique.
He is a member of İlhan Erşahin's "Istanbul Sessions" New York - Istanbul trip hop jazz group. Forays into creative improvisation have seen him play with Butch Morris's "Nublu Orchestra", and alongside Trilok Gurtu, Adam Rudolph, Tani Tabaal, Karl Berger, Oliver Lake, Kenny Wessel at ISCMS conference Istanbul 2010.
Kizil played regularly for Natacha Atlas, and for eight years he worked alongside Turkish kanun master Göksel Baktagir in the leading Turkish Ottoman classical music ensemble, Istanbul Sazendeleri. Kizil is a member of Theodossi Spazzov's "Balkan Winds" project, comprised of virtuosic musicians representing all of the Balkan countries.