Jazz stars gather for Akbank Jazz Fest
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Caecilie NorbyThe Akbank Jazz Festival, one of Turkey’s longest running festivals, is eagerly awaited by jazz lovers every year. Akbank Jazz would like to promote the long lasting values in the culture, Akbank general manager Hakan Binbaşlıgil said at a press conference where this year’s festival program was revealed.
“This year we will hold ateliers, panels and discussions. We will try to strengthen our long lasting cultural activities,” he said, adding that this year there will be jazz brunch events and competitions for young people.
Entering its 22nd year, the Akbank Jazz Festival will embrace Istanbul with different jazz tunes between Oct. 3 and 21, hosting many well-known international jazz musicians. The festival also offers new artists the opportunity to debut their work to a larger audience. Akbank Jazz has over the years developed a reputation for providing much appreciated musical diversity for jazz-enthusiasts by hosting a myriad of jazz performances, from acoustic to electric, from classical avant-garde, from world music to electornica.
This year’s festival was organized by Pozitif Live and will feature some prominent names, including Anthony Braxton & Diamond Curtain Wall Quartet, Eleni Karaindrou, İbrahim Maalouf, Gregory Porter and The ACT Jubilee Night.
Masters of European jazz will come together at the 22nd Akbank Jazz Festival for a special concert. The ACT Jubilee Night includes Nils Landgren, the trombone virtuoso vocalist and one of Sweden’s most significant musical contributions to the jazz world. It also features Michael Wollny, the German pianist, ECHO Jazz Award winner and one of the most innovative musicians in postmodern jazz, Johan Norberg, one of the most respected guitarist of the Scandinavian music scene, Swedish Lars Danielsson who has redrawn the limits of contrabass and the German drummer Wolfgang Haffner. Also performing on the ACT Jubilee Night are Cicilie Norby, the jazz diva of Denmark whose silky vocal tone ensures a perfect performance everytime, Céline Bonacina, who is recognized as one of the most important baritone saxophonists in France and Finnish trumpeter Verneri Pohjola whose solos reverberate with lyricism. The artists will come together to present an unforgettable show on Oct. 6 at Istanbul’s Lütfi Kırdar International Convention & Exhibition Center.
Another guest of the 22nd Akbank Jazz Festival is Eleni Karaindrou, the Greek pianist & composer who is one of the most important composers for movie and theatrical music. Having fans all around the world with her compositions for the movies of Theo Angelopoulos such as “Eternity and a Day” and “The Weeping Meadow”, Eleni Karaindrou is a composer who has recorded 20 albums until today with significant sales success. Eleni Karaindrou, who has created specific musical tones by using local instruments of the Mediterranean and the Balkans in harmony with the instruments of Western classical music, is one of the most acclaimed foreign musicians in our country as well.
Eleni Karaindrou will perform Oct. 7 at Lütfi Kırdar International Convention & Exhibition Center with the accompaniment of a magnificent orchestra that includes 31 members and will be conducted by Maestro Ender Sakpınar. The concert will be performed in memory of the legendary director Theo Angelopoulos, who died on Jan. 24, 2012. During the concert, Karaindrou will deliver a performance that consists of songs from the soundtracks of movies such as “Ulysses’ Gaze,” “The Weeping Meadow,” “The Suspended Step of the Stork,” “Eternity and a Day,” “Landscape in the Mist” and “Voyage to Cythera.” Her performance promises to be one of the most unforgettable concerts in the festival’s history.
Innovative musicians of the festival
Another well-known name on the festival’s program is İbrahim Maalouf, one of the most innovative musicians in jazz who has added a new dimension to modern trumpet playing. He successfully integrates lyricism of Nordic countries with different colors of Eastern music, from jazz to rock, Arabic melodies to elegant improvisations. Born into a family of many distinguished artists such as Nassim Maalouf and Amin Maalouf, the Lebanese trumpet master Maalouf will be on the stage at Garajistanbul on Oct. 9.
Recognized by musical authorities as the next greatest male vocalist of jazz, Gregory Porter promises to give a not-to-be-missed-performance during this year’s festival thanks to his charming vocals built on jazz, funk, R&B, blues and gospel tones. His debut album “Water,” released in 2010, made a great echo in the jazz world and earned him a nominee for “Best Jazz Vocalist” at the 53rd Grammy Awards. Porter also took home the “Best Jazz Vocalist” award from the Django Reinhardt awards, organized by L’Académie du Jazz. Porter will be on stage at Babylon on Oct. 11.
A jazz legend at the 22nd Jazz Festival
One of the legends of American jazz, Anthony Braxton, a musician, composer, philosopher and lecturer will be welcomed by the Akbank Jazz Festival again after 17 years. Braxton, one of the milestones of the jazz world has released over 400 compositions and over 120 albums, 70 of which were done with his musical groups during just 1970s, will take stage together with the Diamond Curtain Wall Quartet. The Anthony Braxton & Diamond Curtain Wall Quartet features Braxton on alto saxophone and other reed instruments, James Fei on sopranino, soprano and alto saxophone, Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet and other brass instruments and Erica Dicker on violin. They will perform at The Seed on Oct. 17.
The “JAmZZ Akbank Young Talents Competition” will be organized for the second time this year for all young talent, providing an opportunity for international education and the chance to meet prestigious jury members. In order to join the competition, which aims to give amateur young talents under the age of 30 the opportunity to be a part of the festival and perform a jam session on stage together with professional musicians, candidates must submit one demo CD, their CV, a cover letter about their music style and one photograph to the address of Akbank Sanat, Beyoğlu with the subject title Akbank Jazz Festival/JamZZ.