Songs to speak at Istanbul Jazz Festival
Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the 24th Istanbul Jazz Festival will host leading names and new discoveries from the world of jazz, as well as stars of contemporary music. The festival will feature more than 200 names in 20 different venues across Istanbul between July 4 and 20.
At a press conference held on March 28, the festival’s director, Pelin Opcin, and the assistant director, Harun İzer, presented the festival’s program and events. At the press conference, which was also attended by well-known jazz musicians from Turkey, the 13-year-old young jazz pianist Hakan Başar performed with his trio.
The festival program includes a range of jazz, funk, world music, blues and rock performances, with highlights including the “Beyond The Memory” concert where famous stars will pay tribute to the cult flamenco guitarist and composer Paco De Lucia, with the young star of vocal jazz Kandance Springs; masters Jacky Terrasson & Stephane Belmondo; a legendary name of European jazz Nik Bärtsch; and two delightful voices from Africa, Fatoumata Diawara and Hindi Zahra. The “Junun” project, which had initially been led by Radiohead’s guitarist Jonny Greenwood, is among the guests of this year’s festival.
The 24th Istanbul Jazz Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Kamil Özler, the conductor of TRT Big Band, and Fatih Erkoç, one of the veteran names of Turkish pop and jazz music.
This year’s festival will feature a remarkable innovation titled “ViTRin: Showcase for Contemporary Music” from Turkey, which aims to focus on successful musicians and ensembles from the local scene for a wider outreach with the support of SOCAR Turkey. ViTRin will include several festival concerts from July 5 to 8 and will be open to the festival audience as well as leading representatives of the international music industry.
More than 30 artists and ensembles from Turkey will be featured in the concerts that will take stage at the festival within the scope of ViTRİN.
The music marathon “Night Out” and the free-of-charge open air event “Jazz in the Parks” will be held on the Asian side of Istanbul as part of the festival program. The festival will feature “A Childlike Day,” which is a special event that includes performances and workshops for children.
Among the festival highlights, on July 5, one of the most praised members of Blue Note records, jazz pianist Jacky Terrasson will be joined by the French jazz trumpeter Stephane Belmondo. The opening of the night will be by an act from Turkey. The new-born duo of contrabass player Kağan Yıldız, whom most jazz followers are already familiar with from Kerem Görsev’s trio, and pianist Can Çankaya, who took part in projects with numerous names of local jazz scene, will be on stage together.
On July 8, “Beyond the Memory” will be homage to de Lucia, by iconic musicians like Antonio Serrano, Carlos Benavent, Jose Mari, Nino Josele and Piraña, with whom the artist had collaborated in different stages of his career.
The founder of West Coast Get Down Collective, bass guitarist, vocalist and composer Miles Mosley, is known as one of the driving forces behind Kamasi Washington’s success. Mosley on July 7 will perform his latest solo album “Uprising,” in his rendition of how envisions the future of jazz.
The new discovery of Blue Note, Kandace Springs, will be on stage on July 10. The young musician will be followed on stage by a new project of the American jazz bassist Christian McBride’s New Jawn Quartet with their modern jazz explorations. Considered among the most productive of his generation of jazz musicians with over 300 records, McBride has proved his virtuosity with five Grammy awards he received.
On July 12, Havana Night, a night dedicated to taking the musical heritage of Cuba into the future, will host Cuban jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca and the 23-year-old Cuban neo-soul vocalist, a discovery of Gilles Peterson, Daymé Arocena.
The hottest star of African music who has accompanied many artists on stage ranging from Damon Albarn to Herbie Hancock, Fatumata Diawara will join forces with Hindi Zahra, a unique whizz of blending jazz and world music, on July 17. Happening under the duo’s ongoing project “Olympic Cafe Tour,” the night will bring together the power of two passionate female vocals.
Three-time Grammy winner and seven-time nominee, Dee Dee Bridgewater, who also holds a Tony Award for the musical “The Wiz.,” will visit the festival on July 18 with her special project, where she will pay homage to the musical heritage of her birthplace Memphis. The artist will perform songs by the blues and soul maestros like BB King and Al Green.
The American jazz saxophonist Donny McCaslin, an incubator of jazz and electronic fusions; Bill Laurance, the winner of the solo piano contest of 2009 Montreux Jazz Festival; Azerbaijani pianist Isfar Sarabski’s trio; Swiss pianist, composer and producer Nik Bärtsch; and Jazz drummer of Mexican descent Antonio Sanchez will be among other guests of the festival, as well as Turkish guests including Taksim Trio, Mehmet Ali Şanlıkol, Kerem Görsev quartet and Tuna Ötenel.
The festival concerts will be held in different locations of the city. The Marmara Esma Sultan Mansion; the garden of the French Palace in Beyoğlu; the historical Sultan Park area of Swissôtel The Bosphorus; and with its Cote d’Azur-like atmosphere, the Panorama Terrace of The Grand Tarabya will also serve as festival venues for the first time.
Other festival venues include Beykoz Kundura, Fenerbahçe Khalkedon, Austrian Cultural Office Garden, Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Salon İKSV, Uniq Open-Air Theatre, Zorlu PSM Main Theatre and Zorlu PSM Drama Theatre. Night Out is set to take place in Kadıköy’s most beloved venues, the All Saints Moda Church, Club Quartier, Dorock XL, Kadıköy Sahne, KargART, Living Room, Moda Sahnesi and Zor.
Tickets for the festival will go on sale on April 3.