World stars of jazz to meet in Istanbul in October

World stars of jazz to meet in Istanbul in October

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
World stars of jazz to meet in Istanbul in October

The 22nd Akbank Jazz Festival will bring together the prominent names of jazz music on the stage as well as providing new opportunities for young jazz talents.

One of the longest-running festivals in Turkey, the Akbank Jazz Festival, will offer a packed program in its 22nd season. The festival will wrap the city in many different colors of jazz between Oct. 3 and 21. 

The festival will host many world-renowned jazz musicians this year, and will also offer talented young musicians the chance to perform. Festival concerts will provide a great diversity of offerings for jazz enthusiasts, from classical jazz to avant-garde sounds, and from world music to the limits of electronic music. Some of the festival’s prominent guests will include Anthony Braxton & the Diamond Curtain Wall Quartet, Eleni Karaindrou, Ibrahim Maalouf and Gregory Porter. 

Masters of European jazz will come together at the 22nd Akbank Jazz Festival for a special concert. The ACT Jubilee Night, including Nils Landgren, a trombone virtuoso, vocalist and one of Sweden’s most significant contributions of to the jazz world; Michael Wollny, a German pianist, ECHO Jazz Award winner, and one of the most innovative musicians in postmodern jazz; Johan Norberg, one of the most respected guitarists on the Scandinavian music scene; Swedish Lars Danielsson, who has redrawn the limits of the contrabass; German drummer Wolfgang Haffner; Caecilie Norby, the jazz diva of Denmark, with her silky voice tone and perfect performance; Céline Bonacina, who is recognized as one of the most important baritone saxophonists in France; and Finnish trumpeter Verneri Pohjola, who charms the audience with solos full of lyricism, will present an unforgettable show on Oct. 6 at Istanbul’s Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center.

Karaindrou to perform at this year’s festival 

Another guest of the 22nd Akbank Jazz Festival will be Greek pianist and composer Eleni Karaindrou, known as an important composer of movie and theatrical music. Fans around the world admire her compositions for the films of Theo Angelopoulos, including “Eternity and a Day” and “The Weeping Meadow,” and she has recorded 20 albums. Karaindrou creates her particular musical sound by using local Mediterranean and Balkan instruments together with the instruments of Western classical music, and is one of the most acclaimed foreign musicians in Turkey as well. 

Karaindrou will perform Oct. 7 at Lütfi Kırdar, accompanied by a 31-member orchestra conducted by Maestro Ender Sakpınar. The concert will be dedicated to the memory of legendary Greek director Theo Angelopoulos, who was killed in an accident on Jan. 24. Karaindrou will perform pieces from the soundtracks of films including “Ulysses’ Gaze,” “The Weeping Meadow,” “The Suspended Step of the Stork,” “Eternity and a Day,” “Landscape in the Mist” and “Voyage to Cythera.” She is sure to make her mark with one of the most unforgettable concerts in the festival’s history.

Another star of the festival will be Ibrahim Maalouf, one of the most innovative jazz trumpeters today, who has added a new dimension to contemporary jazz. The musician successfully integrates the lyricism of Nordic countries with different colors of Eastern music, from jazz to rock and Arabic melodies to elegant improvisations. Born into a family that includes many distinguished artists, such as Nassim Maalouf and Amin Maalouf, the Lebanese trumpet master Ibrahim Maalouf will be onstage at Garajistanbul on Oct. 9. 

Recognized by musical authorities as “the next great male jazz vocalist,” Gregory Porter promises to deliver one of the best performances of the festival with his charming vocal style built on jazz, funk, R&B, blues, and gospel tones. His debut album “Water,” released in 2010, was very successful, and was nominated for the 53rd Grammy Awards in the category of “Best Jazz Vocalist.” Porter recently won the “Best Jazz Vocalist” award at the Django Reinhardt awards, organized by L’Académie du Jazz. He will perform at Babylon on Oct. 11 as part of the launch tour for his new album “Be Good.” 

A jazz legend 

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 a 17 hiatus. Braxton, who has released over 400 compositions and over 120 albums, 70 of which were made in the decade of the 1970s alone, will perform together with his Diamond Curtain Wall Quartet, including James Fei (sopranino, soprano and alto saxophone), Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet and other brass instruments) and Erica Dicker (violin) at The Seed on Oct. 17.

Young talents, professionals gather at festival

The JamZZ Akbank Young Talents Competition, which will be held for the second time this year as part of the Akbank Jazz Festival, invites young talents to compete for an international educational opportunity. In order to join the competition, which will give performers under 30 the opportunity to be a part of the festival and perform in a “Jam Session” together with professional musicians, candidates must submit one demo CD, their CV, a cover letter about their music style and one photograph to the Akbank Sanat in Beyoğlu, with the subject heading “Akbank Jazz Festival/JamZZ,” by Sept. 22. 

Jazz on Campus will be a festival within the festival, bringing jazz in all its different colors to university students. One of the most important activities in the festival, Jazz on Campus will take performances by surprise artists to university students in nine different cities outside Istanbul.