Istanbul’s Jazz Festival to return in September
The lineup of the event was launched at a press conference on June 22. The festival will be organized in open-air venues throughout the city from Sept. 1 to 18 and will also present free concerts with the motto #cazhissediyorum, which means “I feel jazz.”
Görgün Taner, the general manager of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) and the organizer of the event, said, “The last one and a half year, which will be remembered as an unprecedented period, has once again revealed that culture and art is a basic need and should always be among the priorities. As life begins to return to its normal course, we can’t wait to come together at concerts. The 28th Istanbul Jazz Festival will also present a rich and varied program in parks and open-air venues across Istanbul, including free concerts for audiences of all ages. We will remember together how good art and music are for us.”
Also speaking at the meeting, Istanbul Jazz Festival Director Harun İzer stated that they planned to organize the festival in September by taking into account the current conditions.
“Despite the difficult conditions, İKSV will organize the Istanbul Jazz Festival in the city this year, with stage workers and different stakeholders of the cultural life. It will contribute to the revival of cultural and artistic activities and will bring musicians together with the stage and audience once again,” İzer said.
The highlights of the festival include singer, actor, writer and activist Angelique Kidjo’s “An African Odyssey.” Kidjo, a four-time Grammy winner and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, will take the stage on Sept. 6, 2021, at The Marmara Esma Sultan Mansion. The concert will be filled with African melodies, soul, funk, rap, samba, reggae, jazz and blues.
Melike Şahin, a songwriter and musician who is known for her original style on the local scene and has performed over 250 concerts all around the world, will take the stage at the Göztepe Özgürlük Park on Sept. 8.
Stefano Di Battista, one of the leading alto saxophonists of European jazz today, will commemorate conductor and trumpeter Ennio Morricone, who passed away last year, with his “More Morricone” concert on Sept. 14 at Sultan Park - Swissotel The Bosphorus.
The quintet led by Ferid Odman, one of the prominent figures of the Turkish jazz scene, has been entrusted with the event opening.
Turkish pop musician Kenan Doğulu will meet audiences on Sept. 15 at Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theater with a brand new concert after a long and mandatory break with “Possibilities,” which is the first jazz project in his career released in 2016. The album includes jazz rearrangements of many Kenan Doğulu hit songs by Ercüment Orkut, Can Çankaya and Bulut Gülen.
Arlo Parks will be at Beykoz Kundura stage on Sept. 10, while the band Altın Gün will bring Turkish melodies with their psychedelic interpretation to Vadi Istanbul on Sept. 16.
Pianist Karsu will meet her fans on Sept. 20 at Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theater with “Karsu Plays Atlantic Records,” paying homage to Ahmet Ertegün, an inspiring personality who founded the Turkish record label called Atlantic Records. Karsu will interpret hits by stars such as Ray Charles, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, the Bee Gees, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and Cher.
On Sept. 24 at Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theater, Dutch musician Niels Broos, who is widely regarded as one of the most creative jazz and electronic music keyboard players of our day, and Mabel Matiz, who has played an important role in the transformation of pop music in Turkey in recent years, are coming together in an exclusive project for the festival.
Jazz in the Parks will provide free concerts at Maçka Democracy Park, Habitat Par, Fenerbahçe Park, Beylikdüzü Yaşam Vadisi and Sanatçılar Park.
Tickets for the festival will go on sale on July 9 after the discounted presale period, which will start on July 6.