23rd Istanbul Jazz Festival opens
ISTANBULThe 23rd Istanbul Jazz Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), opened on June 24 with a concert by Damon Albarn, conductor Issam Rafea and the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians at the Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theater.
Many guest artists from Algeria, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Tunisia and the U.S. also took the stage during the performance, as well as Turkish rapper Ceza.
During the concert, one of the most shining poetic singers of our days, Julia Holter, and the master of the nine-string ardine harp, Noura Mint Seymali, performed the song “Feel You” together.
Also, Tunisian jazz and Sufi music singer Mounir Troudi and one of the most prominent rappers and producers of Syria, Bu Kolthoum, sang the song “Madah.”
Among the other performers on the stage were Algerian singer and renowned rai music performer Rachid Taha, outstanding Senegalese musician, singer and songwriter Baaba Maal, a musician from Mali, Bassekou Kouyaté, a rapper of Lebanese-Syrian origin, Eslam Jawaad, and young producer TALA, who blends R&B, electro and Middle Eastern influences.
With the collaboration of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), İKSV, the Vehbi Koç Foundation and the Sabancı Foundation, nearly 300 migrants living in Turkey were among the audience in the concert.
Performing a limited number of concerts and coming to Istanbul after appearing at the Holland Festival, the Royal Festival Hall and Glastonbury, this special project was presented by Africa Express as a joint commission of 14-18 NOW and the Holland Festival.