It’s a night of music, poetry and sweet smiles

The Essentialist Church of Christ presents this special evening on Saturday, Oct. 24 and features troubadour Erse (Oz) Yagan

A night of music and sweet smiles, a night of poetry: you are invited to attend The Music and Poetry of Ecstasy, Saturday at the Essentialist Church of Christ in Vernon.

You’ll be lifted and inspired, you’ll be entertained and tamed. Your spirits will soar higher. And all of us will gain. It will  open up your heart.

This presentation brings together a troubadour, poets and poetry as well as classical and jazz groupings of musicians. Moreover, you will hear original and traditional songs and poems from the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the West. These offerings inspire humour, creativity and a profound open-heartedness.

Listen to our guest troubadour, Erse (Oz) Yagan, as he recites ancient plus modern poetry and plays the Nay, a traditional Turkish flute.

Yagan was born into a Muslim family and was immediately immersed in the Circassian tradition. Both his father and mother’s people had come to Turkey from the Caucasus, a fertile land existing in the Caucasus Mountains east of the Black Sea.

He subsequently became Christian at age 14, mostly, he says, because his father had also converted. Yagan immigrated to Canada from Turkey with his family when he was 14 1/2.

At 16, he became convinced that there was no God “out there.” He subsequently became an atheist until in his early 20s when through the study of yoga, he realized that God was within. Later he found that same message in the old Sufi poets who had attained oneness with their higher selves.

Yagan said he didn’t have a picture of himself to contribute to this story, but he added, “It doesn’t matter who I am. The important thing is the poetry and the poets behind the poetry. These are what I would like to share.”

Others participating in the program are flutist April Sheehan, pianists Hannah Jukes and Lucy Feldman, and Miriam Palfy, Mary Anne Kingsmill, Sharron Allen and James Paul.

Music and Poetry of Ecstasy takes place Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Essentialist Church of Christ, 2001-45th Ave., Vernon.

Entrance is by donation, and your donation benefits us all. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. — plan to arrive early, as the church is small. Refreshments will be available.