Istanbul to turn into city of jazz
During the 23rd Akbank Jazz Festival between Sept 25 and Oct 12, a total of 45 venues will host 280 musicians in 50 concerts, three panel sessions and six workshops.
The Akbank Jazz Festival, one of the longest running festivals in Turkey, will once again offer a full program in its 23rd year, complete with genre-bending music sure to delight music-lovers.
The festival will provide jazz-lovers with an acoustic experience in a wide range of sounds from classic jazz to avant-garde tunes and world music to the edges of electronic, said Akbank Sanat Director Derya Bigalı. “The program of the 23rd Akbank Jazz Festival includes many colors of jazz from the rising talents of the European jazz scene to the masters of jazz. As part of the festival, we will be honoring the musicians we lost recently with tributes. The documentary ‘Black February,’ filmed in tribute to the famous American artist Butch Morris who was in Turkey in 1992 for the second Akbank Jazz Festival, will be shown at the Akbank Sanat venue. Butch Morris will also be remembered throughout the festival with several events. We have also planned a tribute event for musician Behsat Üvez, the founder of the band ‘Barana’ that gave a number of concerts during last year’s ‘Jazz on Campus’ tour,” she said.
The festival will also feature events touching on the relationship between music and cinema, Bigalı said.
“The festival continues to present jazz fans new discoveries and this year, they will have the opportunity to bring out their artistic spirit and creativity. As an important part of the Festival, ‘Jazz on Campus’ has become a festival tradition and this year the tour continues with the addition of new cities and new names. From Nov. 4 to 19, Jazz on Campus will be visiting 11 different cities in addition to Istanbul and bringing the vibe and joy of jazz to the students of 19 universities,” she said.
Some of the names that stand out in the program of the 23rd Akbank Jazz Festival are Cassandra Wilson, Harriet Tubman, Enrico Rava, Mare Nostrum and Nicholas Payton, Mos Def, Mulatu Astatke, Sex Mob, Lost Fingers, Jehan Barbur featuring İlhan Erşahin and Jim Rotondi. The festival will take place between Sept. 25 and Oct. 12 while the events will be held in a wide variety of venues like Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center, Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, Akbank Sanat, Babylon, Babylon Lounge, Nardis, Garajistanbul, Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah and the Caddebostan Cultural Center. A total of 45 venues will host 280 musicians in 50 concerts, three panel sessions and six workshops.
Selections from the festival
Malawi-born English artist Malia, one of the most important soul jazz singers on the scene today, will be at The Seed on Sept. 25 for the opening performance of the jazz fest. Jazz masters will once again be an essential part of the program of festival this year. The event will honor legendary trumpet player Rava, who will be on the stage with his “Rava Tribe” project. Petrella, one of the world’s best trombone players, and drummer Fabrizio Sferra will also join Rava.
John Surman, one of England’s greatest English saxophone players, who has succeeded in creating a distinctive style since the 1960s, will bring his unique style to the festival with a concert.
Mare Nostrum, a project consisting of critically praised European musicians, Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, French accordion player Richard Galliano and Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren, will also perform at the festival. The “Sounds of the New World” section will feature Rotondi, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Nicholas, Astatke, Harriet Tubman & Cassandra Wilson, Mos Def, Chris Dave and the Drumhedz, as well as Rova Plus Presents: No Favorites!
Combining Sweden’s rich musical heritage with his unique improvised compositions and considered to be one of the most respected pianists of Northern Europe, Mattias Nilsson will also perform at Akbank Sanat. Another important artist at the festival is Elina Duni, who brings a brand-new approach to contemporary jazz music by focusing on her cultural roots through improvisation practices. Telling of her turbulent past and Albanian culture in powerful and inspiring songs, she will be on the stage at the same venue. Martin Fondse, who has created a new musical playground with this talent and his music and who blends composition, improvisation, and dialogue in remarkable balance will be joined by Dutch trumpeter Eric Vloeimans on the stage. As a jazz pianist, Helge Lien successfully distinguishes himself from the rest and he never hesitates to force the lines between different musical genres. The Helge Lien Trio consisting of Lien, Frode Berg and Knut Aalefjaer won the Norwegian Grammy Award with their album “Hello Troll” released in 2008. The trio will be at Akbank Sanat.
Selection from workshops
This year, the festival will once again host a number of workshops and panel sessions. In the “Tap Away” workshop held at Atölye Dans and accompanied by live piano, participants will find the opportunity to practice all the fine points of tap dance that first emerged in the 19th century in the United States and later spread to the rest of the world. “Jazz in the Hat” is a workshop given by İpek Yaylacıoğlu, the owner of “Wicked” design brand and Istanbul Fashion Academy where the participants will design hair accessories and miniature hats inspired by jazz icons and swing style costumes.
For more detailed information, visit www.akbanksanat.com and www.akbankcaz.com.