Istanbul to get into jazz groove for 25th festival
ISTANBULCelebrating a quarter century of improvisation and music, the Akbank Jazz Festival will be organized between Oct. 21 and Nov. 1 this year with acts from all over the world.
Throughout the festival there will be 55 concerts, four panels and 13 workshops at 16 different locations, including the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, Akbank Sanat, Babylon Bomonti, Volkswagen Arena, The Seed, Caddebostan Culture Center, Stage Moda, Summart, Nardis and the Zorlu Performing Arts Center.
David Sanborn, one of the most inspiring and successful saxophone virtuosos of all times, will go before jazz enthusiasts on Oct. 31 at Zorlu PSM.
John Scofield and Joe Lovano made a sensation in the world of jazz when they reunited after 20 years. This time, they will share the stage at the festival on Oct. 25 at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall.
Combining a sense of rhythm inherited from his Ivorian origins with academic studies, Manu Katché is considered one of the rare percussionists to combine African rhythms and classical drums. He will perform in the company of Norwegian contrabassist Ellen Andrea Wang on Oct. 22 at the Cemal Reşit Rey.
Another guest of the 25th Akbank Jazz Festival is Grammy-winner Bill Frisell, who has left his mark on jazz history. The artist will offer an unforgettable performance on Oct. 23 at the Zorlu Performing Arts Center.
Another Grammy winner, David Murray, composed a three-part-suite following the death in 2013 of his close friend Mehmet Uluğ, who had led the artist to visit Turkey 25 years ago. On Oct. 27 at Babylon Bomonti, the artist will perform his “Mehmet Uluğ Suite,” as well as a work composed in memoriam of Butch Morris that will constitute part of his album to be recorded at the Babajim Istanbul Studios in October.
Selected as the jazz artist of the year and the jazz trumpeter of the year by famous jazz magazine Down Beat, American trumpeter Dave Douglas, one of whose albums also won an album of the year award from the publication, will perform his compositions with jazz, classical music, folk, electronic and Klezmer music patterns on Oct. 21 as part of a world tour for his new album, “High Risk.”
One of the most followed jazz pianists thanks to his unique style, Aaron Goldberg will perform on Oct. 27 at Nardis.
American singer and composer Lizz Wright, one of the most significant ambassadors of Scandinavian music; Susanne Sundfor, a powerful female vocalist; Carmen Lundy, a guest of the festival from London; Poppy Ackroyd; and Turkish artist Jülide Özçelik will be among the highlights of the festival.
Among the festival surprises this year is Squarepusher, one of the most important representatives of electronic music. The unusual project by famous bass guitarist Tom Jenkinson blends fusion jazz with drum’n’bass in his compositions to change the approach to electronic music even by the most conservative jazz lovers. Music lovers will have a chance to see the project for themselves on Oct. 29 at Babylon Bomonti.
New Yorker DJ Andy Butler’s musical project Hercules & Love Affair created a new style by blending electronic dance music with extraordinary vocals. Together with Anthony Hegarthy’s impressive vocals, the album “Blind” has set apart the duo as a cult hit with music varying from disco to house, acid and synth pop on Oct. 20 at Babylon Bomonti.
Considered one of the pioneers of Indie music, the Scottish group Belle & Sebastian will be on stage Oct. 30 at Volkswagen Arena.
The Kerem Görsev Quartet, which consists of masterful Turkish jazz artists Kerem Görsev, Kağan Yıldız, Ferit Odman and Engin Recepoğulları will perform Görsev’s compositions on Oct. 24 at the Caddebostan Cultural Center.
Standard A La Turc, which was established by some of the most important Turkish jazz musicians such as Yıldız, Odman, Önder Focan and Batuhan Şallıel, will reinterpret traditional folk and arabesque genre songs in a jazz environment on Oct. 26 at Nardis.
The Jazz on Campus event, which is held every year, will be held between Nov. 3 and 14 this year at universities in eight cities. With Jazz Workshops at High Schools, youngsters will have the opportunity to become better acquainted with jazz and its instruments.
Akbank, which will conduct a new project tying together music and art especially for the 25th year of the festival, will present a retrospective look at the festival’s quarter-century history with the “25 Years of Akbank Jazz Festival with Illustrations” project, which has been prepared by the country’s best illustration artists.
The highly rated Tingvall Trio is one of the major names within the festival program and will perform Oct. 31 on the Akbank Sanat stage.
Formed by drummer Markku Ounaskari and pianist Samuli Mikkonen, the Kuára Duo has succeeded in transcribing Finland’s traditional melodies into jazz standards. The duo will perform one of its most highly anticipated concerts on Oct. 21 at Akbank Sanat.
The festival will also host free-of-charge panels titled “Astrays,” “Jazz on the Radio,” “Origins of European Jazz,” “Jazz Stand of the City for 25 Years,” as well as workshops titled “Body Music with Kids,” “Jazz Music with Kids,” “Drum & Bass Magazine // Guitar Magazine” and “Istanbul Lindy Hoppers: Swing Jazz.”