Istanbul Jazz Festival kicks off at Zorlu PSM

Istanbul Jazz Festival kicks off at Zorlu PSM

Istanbul Jazz Festival kicks off at Zorlu PSM

The 25th Istanbul Jazz Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), kicked off on June 26 with an opening ceremony and concert at Zorlu PSM. 

During the night, the Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to the masters of jazz music, contrabass player Nezih Yeşilnil, pianist Şevket Uğurluer, and harmonica artist Balarası Ahmet, while TRT Big Band performed a concert paying tribute to a wide spectrum of Turkish jazz. 

A cavalcade of stars featuring soloists, composers, and ensembles that have been milestones in Turkish jazz history such as Ali Perret, Ateş Tezer, Ayhan Öztoplu, Ayşe Gencer, Ayşe Tütüncü, Ayşegül Yeşilnil, Barış Ertürk, Burak Cihangirli, Deniz Dündar, Emin Fındıkoğlu, Enver Muhamedi, İlham Gencer, Kerem Görsev, Kristian Lind, Neşet Ruacan, Nezih Yeşilnil, Nilüfer Verdi, Okay Temiz, Önder Focan, Sibel Köse, Şenova Ülker, Tamer Temel, Tuna Ötenel, Volkan Hürsever, Yahya Dai performed together for the first time in concert. 

This year, the festival will feature over 50 concerts with veterans and new discoveries of jazz, well-known ensembles, and new horizons of contemporary music across 27 different venues. 

Among the first week’s performers will be one of the most accomplished Turkish musicians, Selen Gülün, whose compositions are performed by some of the most esteemed orchestras in the world and who is known for being a talented pianist and singer as well as composer. She will bring her solid project, “Women’s Matinée” to the festival stage on June 29 at Zorlu PSM. 

The project was developed throughout the years and resulted in an album with the same name in 2017. The album has been given life by more than 10 female artists who have contributed with their compositions, instruments and vocals, and is a first in Turkish musical history. 

The next concert on the same day will be performed by Cross Currents Trio, consisting of Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain, and Chris Potter at Zorlu PSM. 

The Erkan Oğur Quartet will take the stage with the Shahin Novrasli Trio on June 30 on the Sakıp Sabancı Museum’s Fıstıklı Terrace. 

Novrasli, an Azerbaijani classical pianist who has played on prominent jazz stages around the world, will be the first act of the night. Novrasli’s music, which marries exotic and smooth melodies with sharp harmonies, is the result of the intersection between his classical training. Following Novrasli, folk jazz and blues artist Oğur will grace the festival stage. 

The festival will also see performances by genre-bending bass guitarist Derrick Hodge, jazz trumpeter Christian Scott, multi-instrumentalist Taylor McFerrin, composer Omar Sosa, Cuban-born Swiss jazz artist Yiliañ Canizares, and Terrace Martin, the man behind Kendrick Lamar’s chart-topping hits. 

The biggest name to feature at this year’s festival will be Australian singer, lyricist, composer, scriptwriter, poet and actor Nick Cave, who has inspired countless artists throughout his 45-year career, and his band The Bad Seeds. They will perform in Istanbul on July 10 at Küçükçiftlik Park. 

The festival will continue until July 17.