Jazz fest warms up Turkish capital
The Ankara Jazz Festival returned to the Turkish capital after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a year of hiatus.
In the opening of the event at CerModern in the city’s Sıhhıye central quarter, the festival tradition remained unbroken: The Turkish Air Force’s Eagles of Jazz Orchestra, accompanying the world-famous vocalist Yıldız İbrahimova, greeted jazz lovers with an exhilarating concert.
At the ceremony held before the concert, Turkish composer, piano and saxophone player Tuna Ötenel was presented with the Jazz Association’s 25th Anniversary Special Award.
Özlem Oktar Varoğlu, the curator of the event, emphasized that important steps have been taken towards the institutionalization of the festival.
The theme of the event is sustainability in jazz this year.
“Sustainability in life can be defined as the realization of the long-term effects of the work done and the wise use of resources and efforts,” she said, stressing the importance of the concept of sustainability in art and institutions.
“When we say sustainability in jazz, we wanted to draw attention to the synergetic stage performances created by bands focused on unity playing together for a long time and convey the enormous importance of the experience of large orchestras continuously supported by institutions on the stage,” she noted.
On the second day of the festival, the Turkish Naval Force’s Starfish Jazz Orchestra, one of the pioneers of the Great Orchestra tradition in the country, will take the stage tonight with prominent jazz master Ömür Göksel.
The weekend at the festival comes with a highly awaited name. The Saturday night concert of the festival will be performed by one of the most acknowledged jazz pianists of Turkey, Kerem Görsev.
He will perform with Volkan Hürsever on contrabass and Ferit Odman on drums.
Mostly consisting of Görsev’s own compositions, their repertoire is expected to please music lovers with the trio’s high energy and dynamic performance usually seen in all their concerts.
Görsev previously introduced different formats of acoustic jazz and orchestra arrangements and he has performed at prestigious festivals including Pescera, Vilnius, Umbria Jazz and Marciac Jazz.
On Oct. 17, Michiel Borstlap concert featuring Sibel Köse with the support of the Dutch Embassy to Ankara and the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry will take place at CerModern.
The album of the same name recorded by Borstlap, a Dutch composer widely considered as one of the finest pianists of Europe, and Köse, Turkey’s one of the top female jazz vocalists and jazz educators, will also be promoted with this concert.
The festival, which will end with Ayhan Sicimoğlu’s concert with Latin All Stars on Oct. 24, will host some events free of charge. But it was announced that ticket prices for paid concerts range from 85 Turkish Liras ($9.20) to 100 liras ($11).
The festival will also host events with audiences, jazz workshops and panels at various venues in the Turkish capital.