Kezban Özcan, Leonard Cohen’s Personal Asst, Tells All – Well, Tells More About The Cat & Those Bearded Chaps

Left to right: Duchess, DrHGuy, & Kezban Özcan. Photo by Leonard Cohen

Kezban Özcan, Leonard Cohen’s personal assistant since 2007, has appeared frequently in entries at  Cohencentric and its predecessor sites. Kezban Özcan Talks About What It’s Like To Be Leonard Cohen’s Assistant is, in fact, one of the most popular posts among Cohen fans. Today [date of original post: Aug 29, 2014] she responds to a couple of questions from readers.

Leonard Entwined

The two bearded gents flanking Leonard Cohen in the above photo, posted at An Unrecognized Leonard Cohen Poses At Photographer’s Request – West Village, NYC July 28, 2014, are the owners of Entwine, the Turkish eatery in the background. They are also friends of Kezban, who testifies to the excellence of their offerings and recommends the place to anyone who finds himself or herself in New York.

Kezban & The Cat

As reported previously, Kezban confirms that our favorite Canadian singer-songwriter-icon & long-time canine lover is now the primary caregiver for a cat (see above photo) who had roamed the neighborhood and “got himself adopted” by Leonard Cohen.  Asked the name of the cat, Kezban writes,

The cat’s name is Jackson, but I like pronouncing it with a French accent, I have a feeling he likes that 🙂

Credit Due Department: First photo by Leonard Cohen. Second photo (at Entwine) by Enrique Avilés. Third photo (of DrHGuy, Leonard Cohen, and Jackson) by Penny Showalter.

Note: Originally posted Aug 29, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

What Is That On The Table In Front Of Leonard Cohen?

One of the videos shown at the Nov 6, 2017 Montreal Leonard Cohen Tribute Concert has a scene (see above screen capture) that has occasioned queries from fans about the device being used by Mr Cohen. While I didn’t know anything about the implement, I did know someone who might. And, sure enough, Kezban Özcan (who served as Leonard Cohen’s personal assistant) identified the apparatus as an absinthe fountain. Now, what is an absinthe fountain? That answer comes from the Absinthe Fever site:

An absinthe fountain, contrary to what one might think, is not for dispensing absinthe, but rather for dispensing water. Absinthe is rarely drunk neat, and an absinthe fountain is an accessory used to deliver the required amount of ice-cold water into a glass of the high-proof drink…

To the absinthe connoisseur, however, an absinthe fountain is more than just a decorative water dispenser. As all serious absintheurs know, a quality louche cannot be achieved by merely sloshing water into a glass of absinthe; instead, a steady drizzle is required to witness the exquisite transformation of colour and to accomplish the all-important release of essential herbal oils. Although chilled water may be poured (slowly!) from a jug or carafe, absinthe fountains have long served as handy accessories that help to unlock the beauty, power, effects and true taste of great absinthe.

“Just as is he – beautiful, both inside and out” Esther Park Meets Leonard Cohen: Oakland – March 3, 2013

Esther Park writes,

Since Leonard started touring in 2008, this is the third time that he has come to Oakland’s beautiful Paramount Theatre, and this was my third time seeing him there.  With each return, it seems like Leonard and his band are enjoying themselves even more, if that is possible, and it’s contagious!  The show on Sunday night was the best ever – the most passionate, the longest, and most FUN.  During Closing Time, people started dancing in the aisles and Leonard and the band seemed to love it – like it was contagious for them as well.  They came back for 3 encores, playing until just before midnight.

As for meeting Leonard, I feel so fortunate – and meeting this extraordinary man truly is an “experience.”  It’s hard to put into words.  The man is so gracious and kind and my extreme nervousness evaporated with his calming presence.  I was so grateful to have the opportunity to thank him in person for everything – the music, the poetry, the tours.

He was so humble – and thanked me too.  Then he was kind enough to sign my denim jacket – while still on my back.  Imagine – a Sharpie-massage from Leonard Cohen – an experience I could have gladly “tolerated” for several more hours. 😉  He took notice and seemed to really enjoy that I had a patch from the 2009 tour on the back of my jacket, and then took his time to do a beautiful job of signing his name above.  [DrHGuy Note: Readers first saw that jacket in 2009: Esther Park’s DIY Leonard Cohen Tour Jacket]

I gave him a hug and his angel of an assistant, Kezban, took a photo of us. After we said goodbye, I watched the two of them leave and walk down the street.  This is the image I keep remembering and love the most – Leonard Cohen walking down a Berkeley street through the rush of students and homeless people.  Strolling along in his long black trench coat which is beautiful up close.  Just as is he – beautiful, both inside and out.

The photo atop this post was taken by Kezban Özcan. The shots of the Oakland Paramount Theatre marquee and of Leonard Cohen walking away with his assistant, Kezban Özcan, were taken by Esther Park.

Note: Originally posted Mar 9, 2013 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Returns To LA & Mama’s Secret Cafe – 2013


Leonard Cohen & his personal assistant, Kezban Özcan, at lunch – Sept 25, 2013

Thanks to Gwen Langford, who alerted me to this photo. Originally posted Sept 25, 2013 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric