Marcus Miller teams up with Turkish musicians for İKSV

Marcus Miller teams up with Turkish musicians for İKSV

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Marcus Miller teams up with Turkish musicians for İKSV

(L to R) Okay Temiz, Bilal Karaman, İmer Demirer, Hüsnü Şenlendirici and Marcus Miller pose at the press conference.

The Istanbul Culture and Art Foundation’s (İKSV) 19th Istanbul Jazz Festival will welcome highly respected musician Marcus Miller for the world premier of a special project to honor the foundation’s 40th anniversary throughout 2012.

Miller will be leading “The Istanbul Project,” which features his band’s members – Louis Cato on drums, Alex Han on saxophone and Federico Gonzalez Pena – as well as five master Turkish musicians, clarinet virtuoso Hüsnü Şenlendirici, master percussionists Burhan Öcal and Okay Temiz, prominent jazz trumpeter İmer Demirer and young guitar virtuoso Bilal Karaman.

Commissioned by the foundation, the project is will go before Turkish audiences on July 5 at the Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theater as part of the jazz festival.

The 19th Istanbul Jazz Festival itself will be held between July 3 and 19 with performances by jazz musicians from all over the world, while the Istanbul Project’s “world premieres series” is set to continue in subsequent editions of the festival.

Speaking at a May 28 press conference to announce the project, Istanbul Jazz Festival Director Pelin Opçin said that when the foundation decided on launching “the world premieres series,” they approached Miller especially because he knew the local jazz festival audience very well and because he had previously participated in the event.

Miller said the project was just the beginning of a beautiful relationship between the participating musicians and added that he believed music was a means of communicating with others with whom one does not share a language.

Temiz was also present at the press meeting, along with Demirer and Kahraman.

He selected the musicians
Explaining the first steps of the project, Kahraman said, “Marcus was presented by the foundation with a list of Turkish musicians he could team up with for the project, and he selected us from that list.”

Miller said the reason he chose these masters was that “their music touched” him. “All the musicians on the list were great, but there was something special about the tunes these guys came up with.”

After selecting his team members, the international jazz star asked the musicians to provide him with their own unreleased recordings; in the following stages of the projects, these recordings will be mixed with each other, as well as with Miller’s own music.

The band will start rehearsals in Istanbul after the musical arrangement process is completed.

Opçin said the extent of the project would not be limited to one Istanbul concert. “We are hoping and working with our international partners on taking the project to international audiences in the near future.”

Karaman struck the final note, saying that if it had not been for the foundation, it would not have been possible to bring these Turkish musicians together for a special project.

“Normally, this is done by producers who draw people with talent together for these kinds of projects, and we’ve got to thank the foundation for undertaking this mission,” he said.

For detailed information about the upcoming jazz festival, visit