Sound of jazz to echo in Istanbul
ISTANBULThe 23rd Istanbul Jazz Festival will kick off with a special project on June 27 with a highly anticipated performance from Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, conductor Issam Rafea and The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians at the Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theater.
Coming to Istanbul after an appearance at the Holland Festival, the Royal Festival Hall and Glastonbury, the special project will be presented by Africa Express as a joint commission of 14-18 NOW and the Holland Festival.
The 23rd Istanbul Jazz Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), will continue until July 25. This year’s festival will once again host leading names from the world of jazz and stars of contemporary music in different venues around Istanbul.
On June 28 at Küçükçiftlik Park, the king of disco and funk, the face of the Fender Stratocaster, and the composer of songs by Madonna and others, Nile Rodgers, will give his first concert in Turkey together with his group CHIC.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra will warm up the night with psychedelic pop and indie rock beats.
During an award ceremony on July 11, the 23rd Istanbul Jazz Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Özdemir Erdoğan and Ergüven Başaran at the Austrian Cultural Office Garden. Following the ceremony, Başaran will take to the stage with his swing group Swing UNLTD. Erdoğan will take the stage on July 12 at the Uniq Open-Air Theater.
On July 13, the festival will host trumpet virtuoso and musician of many talents, Nicholas Payton, who will take to the stage with his trio, joined by multiple Grammy-nominated American vocalist Jane Monheit, at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum.
Kamasi Washington, the new master of the saxophone and modern jazz, will perform on July 14 at the Beykoz Kundura (the former shoe factory), which is being used as a festival venue for the first time this year. The concert’s support act will be XL Recording’s new star of the music world, the soul, downtempo project of French-Cuban twins, Ibeyi.
On July 15, Uniq Open-Air Theater will witness another special project, French Quarter, which features the most exciting stars in the French jazz scene: Airelle Besson on trumpet, Emile Parisien on saxophone, Vincent Peirani on accordion, Thomas Encho on piano, Thomas Brameris on double bass and Anne Paceo on drums, revealing the best bits of contemporary French jazz to festival-goers. In the second part of the evening, Hugh Coltman will deliver a homage to the inner world of Nat King Cole with songs from his “Shadows” album.
The second week of the festival will open on July 18 with Cyrus Chestnut, Buster Williams and Lenny White at Zorlu PSM Drama Stage.
On the same night, the Branford Marsalis Quartet and Kurt Elling will be on the stage at the Zorlu PSM Main Theater.
On July 19, Zorlu PSM Drama Theater will also host Mexican jazz drummer Antonio Sanchez, the creator of the soundtrack to the film “Birdman.” Jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, drummer Mark Guiliana and John Scofield, one of the greatest sources of inspiration for jazz guitarists, will take the stage at the Main Theater on the same night.
Ernest Ranglin, a living Jamaican legend, founding father of reggae and creator of energetic ska melodies, will present an upbeat concert with his legendary group on July 20 at Küçükçiftlik Park.
British singer-songwriter Laura Mvula will perform together with Jacob Collier, heralded by The Guardian as “jazz music’s new messiah,” in the historical garden of the German Embassy’s Tarabya Summer Residence on July 22.
Joss Stone, an incredible voice in British music, will also return to the Turkish stage on July 23 at Küçükçiftlik Park.
For the closing concert of the festival, Allan Harris, Roy Hargrove and Roberta Gambarini will perform with the TRT Radio Big Band at the Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theater on July 25.
Jazz in the parks
The festival is also offering six hours of non-stop music with eight acts on two stages in Fenerbahçe Park and Fenerbahçe Khalkedon on Istanbul’s Asian side on July 17. The event will feature concerts by groups including The KutiMangoes, The Hot Sardines, Brassist and finalists of the “Young Jazz” competition, Geeva Flava, the Hacettepe Jazz Band, the 95th Jazz Ensemble, the Ersin Özer Quartet and the Naimian Trio.