The 24th Istanbul Jazz Festival will finish with a concert on July 21, featuring the Syrian Women’s Chorus, composed of Syrian women who migrated to Istanbul.
In the concert, the chorus will accompany the Syrian saxophone player Basel Rajoub’s band “Sorina” and Sirojiddin Juraev, a master performer of long-necked lutes from Central Asia.
Basel Rajoub adapts oriental melodies on the saxophone with jazz tunes and will perform at the festival the night before the closing concert.
Rajoub’s project Soriana, which translates to “our Syria,” brings together well-known qanun virtuoso Feras Charestan and Andea Picccioni, the Italian percussionist who has previously been on tour with Bobby McFerrin and other musicians inspired by the Middle East’s rich culture.
Sirojiddin Juraev, known as a dutar virtuosu, an instrument specific to İran and Central Asia, will also join the concert.
The Syrian Women’s Chorus will perform their repertory consisting of songs in Middle Eastern languages.
Syrian refugees living in Istanbul will also be among the audience at the concert, which will take place with a special collaboration from the Vehbi Koç foundation, the Sabancı Foundation and the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV). This initiative is the result of a joint collaboration between the Istanbul Jazz Festival and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The Sakıp Sabancı Museum has been chosen as the concert venue.
A discussion will precede the concert on the meaning of the music for the refugees as well as the experiences of musicians abroad. Basel Rojoub, a doctoral student and researcher and musician Selda Öztürk and one of the members of the Syrian Women’s Chorus will share their views. Ethnomusicologist Evrim Hikmet Öğüt will moderate the discussion with simultaneous translation in both Turkish and Arabic.