Jazz legend finally brings his music to Istanbul
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
American singer, songwriter and world-renown musician Stevie Wonder will bring his famous R&B rhythms, jazz beats and soul styling to Istanbul for the fist time on Sept. 15 when he performs at Küçükçiftlik Park.American singer, songwriter and world-renown musician Stevie Wonder will bring his famous R&B rhythms, jazz beats and soul styling to Istanbul for the fist time on September 14 when he performs a much anticipated concert at Küçükçiftlik Park.
Wonder will perform as part of the Garanti Jazz Green concert series, supported and funded by Garanti Bank, a patron of jazz and its related music genres in Turkey for the last 15 years.
Wonder is perceived as one of the biggest names in music history, with high album sales, high-profile collaborations, numerous charity works, countless television appearances and a decisive political impact. He has been a highly influential figure in popular music since his early career success in the 1960s thanks to his vocals, unique musical style and memorable compositions. Wonder released his very first album Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius, and with his single “Fingertips, Part 2” became the youngest artist in history to reach the top of the music charts. The groundbreaking double album, Songs in the Key of Life, was released in 1976 and remains one of the most recognizable and accomplished albums in pop music history.His Platinum album, Hotter than July, released in 1980, included “Happy Birthday,” a song that became the rallying song of Wonder’s efforts and helped make Martin Luther King’s birthday a national holiday. Wonder received a Golden Globe and an Academy Award in 1984 for the song, “I just Called To Say I Love You,” which was featured in the movie “The Woman In Red.” Wonder has inspired musicians the world over, producing incredible music despite going blind shortly after his birth due to a medical condition. Wonder has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from BET, the Thelonious Monk Institute and the National Civil Rights Museum, to name just a few. In 2010, Wonder was inducted into France’s prestigious National Order of Arts and Letters — an impressive addition to his list of other high profile honors. Since the beginning of his career Wonder has continued to released ground-breaking and classic records such as Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Fulfillingness’ First Finale, Innervisions as well as the groundbreaking album Songs in the Key of Life. He has composed unforgettable songs such as, “For Once in My Life,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” “Superstition,” “Sir Duke,” “Happy Birthday,” “I just Called To Say I Love You” and “Isn’t She Lovely?.”A multi-instrumentalist, Wonder plays the piano, keyboards, various synthesizers, harmonica, drums and other percussion instruments. The talented musician has played a significant role in bringing synthesizers to the forefront of popular music. Throughout his career he has used new texture and sounds, and encouraged Ray Kurzweil to create a synthesizer that would allow one to play orchestral sounds polyphonically.
Performances on stage
Wonder has kept a consistent performance schedule over the years, performing at major events around the world, including the Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics, the Halftime show at Super Bowl XXXII and at the Lincoln Memorial Celebration in honor of the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. In February 2009, Stevie was named the recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, and he performed his Library of Congress musical commission “Sketches Of A Life.” He joins a very select group of eminent composers who have received Library commissions, ranging from Aaron Copeland and Leonard Bernstein to Paquito D’Rivera.
As a live performance tour de force, Wonder continues to astound audiences around the world. In 2007 he embarked on his first U.S. concert tour in over ten years, which he dedicated to his mother and garnered rave reviews for. In a testament to the unimpeachable legacy of this international music icon, in 2010, a special release CD titled Love Harmony & Eternity debuted at number one on Japan’s International music chart. Wonder shattered all records for the Olympic Park Arena in Seoul, Korea, selling out in under 30 minutes.
Winner of 25 Grammies, including the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Wonder continues to be an inspiration for numerous musicians around the world in various genres ranging from jazz to pop. Wonder’s first concert in Istanbul will be held Sept. 14 at Küçükçiftlik Park. The Garanti Jazz Green series was initiated in 1998 to support the Istanbul Jazz Festival and has since aided in spreading a love of jazz music throughout the city since then. Garanti Bank will sponsor Wonder’s long awaited concert as part of the series’ 15th anniversary.