Jozi Levi, who’s musical interest started -when he could even hardly speak- by humming along with the 45-rpm singles that his father used to bring back from Italy, was born when Istanbul used to be the “real” Istanbul.

Along with being a true music lover, he also knew and loved to play in the streets in his childhood. But his ‘real’ meeting with music was when he started taking piano lessons at the age of 7. He was gifted; he could have kept on with classical music. However, he said goodbye to classical music and private piano lessons. He chose pop/rock genres and started to play keyboards and organ. During the same period, his interest in music blossomed into passion and it begun to grow up towards percussion instruments being inspired especially by the music of Carlos Santana. And then, this passionate child debuted in his high school, “English High School” with his band “Mini Monsters”.

In his early years, he played with his good friends like Hakan Behlil, Batu Mutlugil, Bülent “Canavar” Atlıoğlu, Roni Adut, Deniz Dündar, Harun Kolçak, Hamdi Demirel, Süleyman Ulagay, Rudolf ve Manfred Bergemann, Özkan Uğur, Galip Kayıhan on every possible occasion. When ‘music’ is your love, you cannot stick to one genre only. Jozi Levi was interested in Jazz, Brazilian and Latin music in his teenage years. He played “Fender Rhodes” electric piano for five years during his higher education in the UK and so did in his first band in Turkey “Jazz Junior”. He started collecting percussion instruments and tried to learn them on his own. Although he was an amateur musician, during the following years, he managed to perform in some music events in Istanbul, thanks to his extraversion. He met important musicians like the bassist Carlos Benavent, and the saxophonist Jorge Pardo of Paco de Lucia’s band and had the chance to play with them, on one or two occasions.

Uğur Yücel has been the key in his life to turn Jozi’s passion into a professional level. After taking part in Uğur Yücel & Sezen Aksu Show in 1992, Jozi had been a part of Kayahan’s all concerts and some recordings for 3 years. Good things have kept happening… He met the Brazilian percussion master Cyro Baptista and pianist Marcos Silva coincidentally. They helped him to improve his Brazilian music knowledge and percussion playing techniques.

In 1996, Pasaporte Latino was launched together with Melis Sökmen, Ercüment Vural, and Tuğba Önal. The band released an album and 2 music video clips, with its renewed members (Zeynep Casalini, Banu Kunt, Carlos Garcia Mayedo, Berna Anter, Serkan Özyılmaz, Şenova Ülker, Aycan Teztel, Mehmet Sezer, Cengiz Baysal, Volkan Öktem, Turgut Alp Bekoğlu, Eylem Pelit, Erhan Akhan) in 2000.

In 2002, the members of the band split up for new challenges. During the same year, the co-founder and the percussionist of the band, Jozi, attended the Akbank Jazz Festival, and Istanbul Jazz Festival with Emin Fındıkoğlu and Detant Project.

He participated in Volkan Konak, Kerem Görsev, and Kenan Doğulu’s album works, adding them a pinch of Brazilian tastes.

Jozi played piano and percussion instruments for 5 years in Ayhan Sicimoğlu & Latin All Stars, a band that was launched in 2003. During this period, he had the chance to meet and play with worldwide musicians like percussionist Rodrigo Rodriguez, trumpeter Amik Guerra, singers Armando Miranda and, Frankie Morales, and violinist Alfredo de la Fe.

In 2004 he co-founded the band, Cub@n-IST with his close friends Emir Ersoy, Cüneyt Akgün, Arda Baykurt, Cemil Tatlıpınar, Tunç Çakır.

Simultaneously, he took the leading part in the first Brazilian bloco, Bate Bumbo, in Turkey. He combined DJ playback music, Electronica, Latin House, Tribal House, and many more swingy styles with Brazilian music tastes. Later on, he returned to the fundamentals of the concept and organized shows in which he created unplugged repertories, consisting of only acoustic Brazilian Samba Batucada rhythms.

In the middle of 2008, he launched his Jozi Levi Brazil Project band in which he performs in styles of Bossa Nova, Pagode, Samba, MPB, and Baião. The band performed in several top venues of Istanbul, including the IKSV Istanbul Jazz Festival.

He started his corporate rhythm workshops for team building and arranged them for the most reputable companies and foundations in Turkey, as a moderator/educator.

Since 2010 he has been producing and presenting his radio show Musica Brazileria at Açık Radyo FM 94,9.

In 2013, he was awarded as an Officer with Brasil’s one of the most important honorific order, namely Ordem de Rio Branco for his support in spreading Brazilian music and culture in Turkey.

Jozi Levi 2015