Anatolian jazz goes to London venues
Anatolian Jazz and Roots Festival, a new and multidisciplinary music and arts festival in London, will kick off on March 13 and continue until the end of the month at various venues around the capital.
Aiming to shine a light on Anatolian jazz and roots culture from Turkey and its surrounding regions, the festival features a packed program of concerts, screenings, talks, dance, DJs and a pop up jazz-dining experience.
Among the events of the festival, a master of ceremonies will guide diners through a short history of Anatolian and Turkish jazz and food culture while introducing various parts of a delicious and varied menu on March 13. DJ Murat Meriç will be providing audio enhancement with Turkish jazz.
A talk by Francesco Martinelli on March 15 will explore the historical connections that explain why jazz is not external and extraneous to Turkey and Anatolian music.
The Yarkın Duo concert will be organized on March 16, bringing an altogether different dynamic and angle to the festival. Brother and sister Baturay and Nağme Yarkın combine classical with jazz traditions and even Argentinian tangos while never forgetting their Turkish roots and musical upbringing.
Erkan Oğur will take the stage on March 18 with his Anatolian Blues project, which is a continuation of a previous collaboration called “Telvin.” Oğur will be joined by Turgut Alp Bekoğlu on drums, Can Çankaya on the piano and Kağan Yıldız on bass.
The Timeless Concert on March 20 will be a piano and bass performance by Can Çankaya and Kağan Yıldız respectively. They will interpret classic jazz standards as well as dip into their own composition pool.
The documentary screenings will be on March 23. One of the screenings, “Lost Songs of Anatolia,” which has been hailed as the first musical-documentary, features around 20 musical numbers shot on location in various places around Anatolia and examines the influence of ancient civilizations, rituals and mythology of the land on traditional music and dance.
The other screening, “Jazz in Turkey,” explores the condition, evolution and interaction of Turkish jazz music and its musicians, in parallel to Turkish history. “Nublu,” about the underground club and live music venue in New York run by Turkish owner İlhan Erşahin, features big chunks of musical performances from Nublu Orchestra, Henry Threadgill’s Ensemble, Sun Ra Arkestra, Brazilian Girls, Jojo Mayer’s Nerve & more, while visiting the history of some of the earlier jazz clubs in the East Village.
The “Tritonet” workshop on March 25 follows on the idea of marrying music with geometry, mathematics and astronomy which has origins over 3000 years. Tolga Zafer Özdemir will show how to use a wheel to create musical harmonies. He will demonstrate how to use it by performing with Tritonet, his derivative interpretation of Circle of Fifth.
The Origins feat Barış Demirel concert will take place on March 26, featuring a range of wild instruments, including the Anatolian Kamancheh, the Kopuz (lute), kanun, clarinet, kaval, duduk, bendir and oud.
Funkbook a la Turc project, which aims to use Turkish themes and melodies along with the jazz harmonies and the improvisations over the forms of the tunes in the jazz-funk style will be on March 27.
There will also be a poetry and jazz performance on March 28. Turkish trio of guitarist Önder Focan, bass player Ozan Musluoğlu and poet Tice Cin, Dila Vardar, Dunja Botic join forces in pairing literature and music from the Turkish and Anatolian tradition.
The festival will be closed with Jazz Semai with Turkish DJ Debora İpekel, who will take the audience into the Anatolian desert with a musical journey from her co-owned Turkish record label and imprint Zel Zele.