ILHAN SAMI OZULU
İlhan Sami Özulu is currently celebrating his 49th year anniversary in music. He was born and raised in İstanbul, Turkey and started his music education in 1966 at İstanbul Municipal Conservatory of Music when he was at middle school. After his graduation from Kültür Koleji, in 1972, he enrolled at the University of İstanbul’s School of Economics. At the same time, he started to play guitar at various hotels, nightclubs and casinos in İstanbul and participated in several tours in Europe and all around Turkey.
İlhan formed his first band, “Evrim Folk Dörtlüsü”, with his brother İhsan in 1970, and recorded the first single record in 1971. In 1973 they changed their band’s name to “Evrim 5”, and recorded their second single with lyrics by Ümit Yaşar Oğuzcan, and Esmeray featured on lead vocal. With the success of this single, “Evrim 5” hit the charts on HEY Music Magazine’s Top 50 list for 16 consecutive weeks. İlhan İrem later joined the group as a lead singer. Among his many other accomplishments, İlhan received the TRT Best Composer Music Award in 1979, competing with 415 other composers.
In 1978, İlhan was the leader of the professional well-known band “Grup Evrim.” Grup Evrim performed various locations in Turkey until İlhan moved to the USA in 1992.
Between 1978 and 1981, he played viola at “Kültür Bakanlığı Devlet Klasik Türk Muziği Korosu” until he had to serve for the Turkish Armed Forces at General Staff Headquarters in Ankara as a Second Lieutenant. After completion of his military service, he rejoined his band “Grup Evrim.” At the same time, İlhan was also the Music Director of the Turkic World Research Foundation Music Ensemble, toured Europe and Turkey several times.
With his undergraduate degree in music, İlhan started working at İstanbul Municipal Conservatory of Music, later known as University of İstanbul State Conservatory, as both an instructor and a performer on the viola and guitar, and later the jazz orchestra conductor and arranger, between 1983 and 1992. He received a Master’s degree in 1991, and following with a Ph.D. in Radio/TV Broadcasting from the University of İstanbul, in 1995. İlhan received his second master’s degree, M.S. in Electronic Commerce from George Mason University in 2007, in addition to 5 associated degrees in Information Technology from Northern Virginia Community College. He is still continuing his Project Management education at University of Irvine.
İlhan, his wife Deniz and daughter İpek, moved to Washington, D.C. on July 20, 1992 and started working for the Voice of America as an International Radio Broadcaster. After working a short period of time at the Turkish Embassy, İlhan changed his career to Information Technology. Currently, he is working as a Senior Software Release Manager in Orange County, California.
He established and directed Turkish Music Choir in 2001, and supported Turkish Folklore Troupe of Washington, DC. Even though he changed his daytime career, Dr. Özulu still plays all kinds of Turkish and international music in both East and West Coast. He moved to the Greater Los Angeles Area on March 29, 2012, and established his own Internet Radio station ‘Radio OZULU’ on 12.12.12 and still broadcasting live from Southern California. Dr. İlhan Özulu is also the past president of Galatasaray DC and Galatasaray California.