Alicia Keys opens Istanbul Jazz Festival

Alicia Keys opens Istanbul Jazz Festival

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Alicia Keys opens Istanbul Jazz Festival

The 20th Istanbul Jazz Festival starts with Alicia Keys concert at Parkorman.

The annual Istanbul Jazz Festival starts today with a performance by Alicia Keys at Parkorman concert venue. This year, between July 2 and 18, the festival transports the centre of jazz to Istanbul with wide array of concerts from modern jazz to rock, folk and world music presented in impressive venues that reflect the cultural and natural texture of the city.

The festival hopes to bring jazz stars and audiences together with over 40 concerts that will take place in 14 different venues with the participation of over 400 local and international artists.

Among the concerts, on July 3, one of the finest of today’s jazz vocalists, Dee Dee Bridgewater meets with master jazz pianist and composer Ramsey Lewis to fill hearts with the soul of jazz. In this concert, three-time Grammy award winner and owner of seven gold records, Lewis will be playing his flawless tunes for Bridgewater who gives a fresh air to jazz standards with her silky voice and elegant style.

On the same day, one of the premiere pianists in Cuba Ernán López-Nussa, drummer Ruy Lòpez-Nussa and his sons, pianist and composer Harold Lopez-Nussa, Ruy Lopez-Nussa, and Felipe Cabrera will be on the stage at Feriye Restaurant. Standing out with their dynamic performances, the band has a large musical palette that sometimes extends the limits of jazz and Latin music in their collaborations with other solo musicians.

On July 4, at the Austrian Cultural Office, the next superstar of British jazz, singer, pianist and songwriter Anthony Strong will play for Istanbul.

On July 5, the Embassy of Germany Tarabya Summer Residance will be hosting Melody Gardot. Gardot’s music is a collection of many musical colors ranging from jazz and blues to country and folk. Gaining a huge following with her three albums and impeccable rendition of her hits such as “Baby I’m A Fool,” “Your Heart Is as Black as Night,” “If the Stars Were Mine,” Gardot will meet with fans.

With 85 albums, as well as Grammies and awards to his credit, Bob James will be on stage with David Sanborn, one of the most successful and inspiring saxophonists of all time. Among the best studio drummers of the world, Steve Gadd and master bassist James Genus will accompany them on stage at Haliç Congress Center on July 9.

On July 13, Sakıp Sabancı Museum hosts R&B and blues singer China Moses, who fuses blues and soul classics. Also a producer and songwriter, Moses has become one of the brightest stars of the jazz world with her latest albums. Clarinet and saxophone virtuoso Anat Cohen and her quartet will be opening the night.

Tunnel concerts of the festival

Having presented a festival within the festival for the last three years, the Tünel Feast will be organized this year as “Tünel Concerts.” Among the guests of the concerts to be held in different venues in the Tünel area are Matthias Eick, Roos Jonker, Bruut!, Salvatore Bonafede Trio, Tin Men and The Telephone, Maffy Falay Quintet, Dilek Sert Erdoğan and TBC Brass Band among others.

Master musician Ergüven Başaran’s special project Swing Unltd. will heat up the night with swing classics. Composed of saxophonist Ergüven Başaran, trumpeter, arranger and pianist Aydın Özarı, trumpeter Halil Yiğit, trombone player Elvan Aracı, drummer Önder Erol and acoustic bass guitarist Nezih Yeşilnil, Swing Unltd’s songs are arranged by Emin Fındıkoğlu.

Bass guitarist Taylan Cemgil who has recorded and played with Sarp Maden, Tolga Tüzün, Selen Gülün, Ali Perret, Cengiz Baysal, Tuluğ Tırpan and Yavuz Akyazıcı, will be on stage. He went to the Netherlands to pursue his studies on music and sound analysis. He continued his studies on bass guitar at Amsterdam Jazz Conservatory. He makes studio recordings and gives club performances.

Can Ercan takes the stage at Nardis. He became interested in jazz during his university days. He studied jazz guitar with Can Ercan, Peter Bernstein, Ben Monder, Tomaso Lama, Pietro Condorelli, Roberto Nannetti, and harmony with Ömür Gidel. He won a scholarship from Siena Jazz Fondazione. He won a prize in Nardis Young Jazz Guitar Contest. Ercan renders jazz standards, as well as his own compositions and arrangements.

Festival poster

The visuals of the 20th Istanbul Jazz Festival poster were composed by Orhan Pamuk. The author’s handwriting and the seagull motif featured in his drawings and patterns are used on the festival poster designed by Erkmen. A special video message by Erkmen regarding the design of the festival poster was shown at the press meeting. “Orhan Pamuk was interested in drawing before writing, and he never lost his connection to it as a writer. In his notebooks where he writes down his novels there are patterns that seep through the pages, and there are writings that seep into his drawings,” Erkmen said.

“Pamuk regularly features seagulls and crows in his drawings and patterns. I chose the seagull as a symbol of Istanbul and my personal connection to jazz. The seagull detail in the image I chose comes from a bigger drawing. In that way, as the seagull flies fast on the white blank of the page, he carries Istanbul with him as he flaps his wings and shrieks while Orhan Pamuk’s fluttering handwriting accompanies him.”

The Istanbul Jazz Festival is also presenting a special publication to audiences for its 20th anniversary. The magazine will feature information on this year’s program as well as articles and op-eds by artists from Turkey. The magazine will be available in June. The festival CD, which will be produced in collaboration between the Istanbul Jazz Festival and EMI Turkey, will feature selected works by the artists in this year’s lineup.