Omara Portuondo

15th International Istanbul Jazz Festival Features World Music and Jazz Stars

omara_portuondo_9Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts under the sponsorship of Garanti Bank, the International Istanbul Jazz Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Set to take place between 2 and 16 July, the International Istanbul Jazz Festival will be presenting nearly 40 concerts bringing together with the audiences prominent jazz artists around the world as well as esteemed figures of the pop, rock, folk and world music.

Once again, concerts of the 15th International Istanbul Jazz Festival will be spread across various venues in the city. In addition to the Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theater, Sepetçiler Kasri, Esma Sultan Palace, Hagia Eirene Museum, Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall, Istanbul Archeological Museum, Nardis Jazz Club and Istinye Park will be hosting the festival concerts this year.

The Jazz Boat, now a Festival tradition, will maintain its course with a wonderful Bosphorus Tour on July 6, Sunday while the "Street Concerts" will continue to take the jazz fever to the streets of Istanbul.

Sponsored by Garanti Bank for the 11th time, the 15th International Istanbul Jazz Festival’s program was announced with a press conference held at New Yorker Kuruçesme on Tuesday, May 21st. Afterwards, Yahya Dai, ground-breaking performer of wind instruments, gave a small concert to the guests of the Istanbul Jazz Festival Press Conference.

The 15th International Istanbul Jazz Festival starts with the Opening Ceremony at the Esma Sultan Palace on the evening of July 1, Tuesday. Tickets for the Istanbul Jazz Festival will be available for purchase at the Biletix retail outlets and IKSV building (Istiklal Cad. No: 64 Beyoglu) from May 24, Saturday on.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Tuna Ötenel

"The Lifetime Achievement Award" of the Istanbul Jazz Festival will be given to composer, pianist and saxophonist Tuna Ötenel. Tuna Ötenel has been contributing to the establishment of Turkish Jazz Music since the 1960’s. Having worked with world stars such as Herbie Hancock, Benny Carter, Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, Karyn Korg, Hilton Ruiz and Buster Williams, Ötenel lectures at Bilgi University and he contributes to raise young jazz musicians in Turkey. The award will be presented to Tuna Ötenel at the Opening Ceremony of the 15th International Istanbul Jazz Festival on July1st at Esma Sultan Palace.

Festival’s Artist in Residence: Living Jazz Legend Herbie Hancock

The Festival is hosting Herbie Hancock, a jazz icon who has shaped the music history, with two special concerts under the sponsorship of Dockers San Francisco. Festival’s artist in residence Herbie Hancock meets with the audiences at the Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theater on the night of July 2, Wednesday with his "River, The Joni Letters" project, last year’s Grammy Award winning "Best Album" featuring Hancock’s interpretations of Joni Mitchell songs. Hancock will be accompanied by two vocalists distinguished for their extraordinary voices, Sonya Kitchell and Amy Keys, alongside accomplished musicians like Dave Holland and Vinnie Colaiuta in this concert titled "The River of Possibilities".

A keyboard wizard who embraces genres like pop, rock and electronic music as well as jazz, Herbie Hancock will be giving another concert as a trio at the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall on the evening of July 3, Thursday.

Highlights of the Festival Program

Acting as a host to the greatest living artists of classic and contemporary jazz in Istanbul for the past fourteen years, the International Istanbul Jazz Festival will be once again the destination of world famous musicians this year.

A star with 20 million albums sold worldwide and 4 consecutive Grammy awards for "Best Male Rock Vocal Performance", Lenny Kravitz will be taking the stage at Kuruçesme Arena on the evening of Wednesday, July 30. In this concert organized in collaboration with BKM and the sponsorship of Garanti Bank, Lenny Kravitz will be meeting with his fans in Istanbul for the first time at the Istanbul Jazz Festival as part of the world tour for his latest album.

Another surprise of the Festival is the one of the greatest names of pop, jazz and R&B, the seven-time Grammy winner Al Jarreau In a concert sponsored by Emirates, Jarreau will be performing his repertoire from this year’s album "Love Songs" as well as his other classic songs at the Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theater on the evening of Wednesday, July 16. Before Al Jarreau takes the stage, four-time Grammy winner Dianne Reeves, one of the most important woman artists of vocal jazz who has also worked with legendary producer Arif Mardin, will be appearing before the audiences.

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, writer, human rights defender and among the most powerful voices of Brazilian music, five-time Grammy winner Caetano Veloso is one of the most special guests of the festival! A pioneer of Tropicalia, the most important music movement of the 1960’s after bossa nova, Caetano Veloso has created numerous movie soundtracks including his close friend Pedro Almódovar’s "Talk to her". Caetano Veloso’s concert at the Open Air Theater on Thursday, July 10 is one of the unmissable concerts of the festival.

A musician who has worked closely with jazz masters like Miles Davis and David Sanborn for many years, world famous bass virtuoso Marcus Miller will be at the Open Air Theater on the evening of Thursday, July 3. Taking the stage before Marcus Miller will be Tower of Power which has blended jazz, funk, rock and soul with a unique style for 40 years and accompanied artists like Elton John, Dionne Warwick and Smokey in their albums.

On the evening of Saturday, July 5, the Archeology Museum will be hosting two magnificent Festival concerts! One of the most important composers of modern jazz, Carla Bley and her quartet will be accompanied by the rising star of new Italian jazz, trumpeter Paolo Fresu in a special project entitled "The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu". Before The Lost Chords, Paolo Fresu will be appearing before the audiences with his new project "Mare Nostrum" developed in collaboration with accordionist Richard Galliano and pianist Jan Lundgren.

Alongside ground-breaking musicians of jazz, influential figures of world music will be meeting jazz lovers in Istanbul at the 15th International Istanbul Jazz Festival.

The guest of this year’s "New Folks" series, which featured musicians like Antony and the Johnsons, Cocorosie and Kings of Convenience in the past Festivals, is one of the leading exponents of the folk movement, singer-song writer Rufus Wainwright. Wainwright will be meeting with his fans in Istanbul for the first time with his piano and his marvelous voice at the Hagia Eirene Museum on the evening of Tuesday, July 8!

On the same night, two renowned figures of the jazz world will come together on stage at the Archeology Museum. In this concert sponsored by Pirelli, jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon, who combines her eclectic musical taste with a unique dynamic performance, will be meeting Ivan Lins who has promoted Brazil’s reputation across borders with 27 albums and 250 songs recorded during his 35-year-long career.

The most important living member of the Buena Vista Social Club with thousands of fans worldwide, Omara Portuondo is a guest of the Festival with her latest project "Gracias"… Celebrating her 60th year in music, Portuondo will present an unforgettable Latin music retrospective in her concert at the Sepetçiler Kasri on the evening of Wednesday, July 9.

 One of the liveliest nights of the Festival will be the Mambo Night featuring The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra’s concert at the Esma Sultan Palace on the evening of Wednesday, July 2. In this concert sponsored by DHL, successors of The Big Three group founded in the golden years of Mambo, The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra with Tito Rodriguez Jr. and Machito Jr., will be thrilling the audiences in a night where they can’t resist joining in.

 Another guest of the Esma Sultan Palace is a leading performer of the Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) repertoire, Yasmin Levy  recognized for her soulful songs despite her young age. On the evening of Monday, July 14, Yasmin Levy will take the audiences on a journey from Sepharad music to Andalusian flamenco blended with the musical traditions of the Middle East.

The great table player Zakir Hussain meets Taksim Trio composed of Hüsnü Senlendirici’s clarinet, Aytaç Dogan’s qanún and Ismail Tunçbilek’s baglama at the Hagia Eirene Museum on the evening of Monday, July 7. This concert by National Heritage Fellow and Indian music’s international exponent Zakir Hussain and Taksim Trio is an unmissable opportunity for music lovers.
? One of soul music’s new stars who received great acclaim during his visit to Istanbul for the Jazz Festival two years ago, Raul Midón will take the stage at Istinye Park on the evening of Monday, July 14. Rising to fame with his "State of Mind" album produced by world famous producer Arif Mardin, the music of Midón, who has been blind from birth, reflects the influence of musicians like Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Prince and Jose Feliciano.

Istanbul Jazz Festival Special: The Nina Simone Tribute Concert

International Istanbul Jazz Festival pays homage to Nina Simone on the fifth anniversary of her death with a special concert? This concert with Al Schackman, Nina Simone’s musical director for 41 years, and the original group members accompanying four great jazz vocalists, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Stacey Kent, Raul Midon and Sibel Köse with Nina Simone’s repertoire will be a night to remember! The "Sing the Truth" night at the Sepetçiler Kasri on Tuesday, July 15 should not be missed by any Nina Simone fan

European Jazz Club Nights Continue

Turkish jazz musicians play an important role in the Festival with their outstanding projects. Together with internationally acclaimed European soloists, preeminent figures from Turkey will be giving memorable concerts as part of the European Jazz Club concerts at Nardis, one of best jazz clubs in Istanbul. Maff Falay’s project Turkey Meets Scandinavia as well as the collaborations between Sabri Tulug Tirpan and Wolfgang Puschnig, Önder Focan and Oliver Grönewald, Alp Ersönmez Trio with Alexandre Tassel, Sibel Köse Band featuring Jean-Loup Longnon, Burak Bedikyan Trio with Kestutis Vaiginis, Sarp Maden Quartet featuring Stephane Belmondo, Baki Duyarlar and Stanislav Mitrovic and Ataman-Vloeimans Experience constitute a part of the series.

Besides the European Jazz Club concerts, Nardis will also be hosting Young Jazz concerts, featuring talented young jazz musicians from Turkey. Now in its sixth year, Young Jazz concert series provides the young musicians interested in jazz with chance to perform in and experience an international jazz festival and brings together jazz lovers with young talented musicians. As always, Young Jazz promises to deliver surprises.

The advertisement campaign of this year’s edition of the International Istanbul Jazz Festival has been prepared by Alametifarika.
The official sponsors of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts are: Lead Sponsor Eczacibasi, Official Communication Sponsor Turkcell, Official Carrier DHL, Official Hotel, The Marmara.

Tickets of the 15th International Istanbul Jazz Festival will be on sale from Saturday, May 24. The Festival tickets will be available for purchase at:
– BILETIX sales points
– BILETIX call center (0216 556 98 00)
– www.biletix.com
– IKSV building (Istiklal Cad. No:64 Beyoglu)

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