The 21st edition of the Akbank Jazz Festival in Istanbul kicks off on Thursday October 13. World-renowned jazz artists will be in town for concerts. Plus there will be workshops, panel discussions, competitions, jazz brunches and “Jazz at Campus” concerts.
Some of my favorite musicians for this year’s festival:
- 80-year old Serbian trumpet virtuoso Dusco Goykovich, who will perform at famous Jazz club Nardis (Oct. 19 and 20). He played with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Sonny Rollins, Duke Jordan, Slide Hampton etc. In 1964 he recorded his first album ‘Swinging Macedonia’, with music he originally composed inspired by the music of Balkans. The album is generally considered to be the cornerstone of Balkan Jazz. His latest album ‘Samba Tzigane’ came out in 2006. I love his warm sound. In Nardis Goykovich will be accompanied at his Nardis concerts by Burak Bedikyan on piano, Kağan Yıldız on bass and Ferit Odman on drums.
- French singer Isabelle Geffroy (31), who’s mixing jazzy styles, French variety, soul and acoustic. She’s better known by her by the nickname ‘Zaz’ and is certainly one of the hottest musicians in France. She became internationally known with her hit “Je veux”, from her first album, Zaz, released on 10 May 2010. Her concert is on Oct. 22 at the Lütfi Kırdar International Congress and Exhibition Center.
- Turkish jazz vocalist Esra Dalfidan from Amsterdam. She reinterprets traditional Turkish and Azerbaijani music in a different context. Dalfidan, born and raised in Germany, started musical lesson when she was 4 and played classical guitar till she was 19. She studied music therapy and worked for two years in neurological rehab before she moved to Amsterdam to change her focus to jazz singing and study at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. In 2006 she won the first price in the Dutch Jazz Competition for Vocalists. With her quintet: Esra Dalfidan’s FIDAN she performes regularyon international podia like North Sea Jazz (The Netherlands), Ankara Jazz (Turkey), Catania Jazz (Italy), Euro 21 (Germany) etc. She recorded two albums. She will take the stage on Oct. 22 at Akbank Sanat.
- Cape Verdean singer Carmen Souzahas a warm and swinging stage performance and a colorful style that bounces between Afro-Latin, world music and jazz.
She was born in Lisbon into a family of Cape Verdeans, and grew up bathed in a mixed language environment of Cape Verdean Creole, which her parents spoke at home, and Portuguese, perpetually immersed in the Cape Verdean way of life. Singing in her ancestors’ Creole language, and a mix of traditional African and Cape Verde rhythms and blending in contemporary jazz influences, Carmen released her intimate debut album Ess ê nha Cabo Verde in 2005 to critical acclaim. Her international breakthrough performance was at the 2005 WOMAD at Reading Festival. Later she had performances at a string of top world music and jazz festivals. Carmen’s concerts always highlight her sweet and versatile voice that glides effortlessly through a huge range with a jazzy sense of timing reminiscent of artists such as Rickie Lee Jones and Diana Krall, and with an incredible authenticity in her singing. Carmen’s show will be at Oct. 19 in Babylon.
“JAmZZ” Young Talents Competition
The Akbank Jazz Festival is also bringing amateur and professional jazz musicians together onstage through the “JAmZZ” Young Talents Competition, which will be organized this year for the first time.
Applications are being accepted in five categories – “Wind,” “Percussion,” “Strings,” “Keys” and “Vocals” and candidates must submit one demo CD featuring two performances, a short biography, a cover letter about their music style and one photograph by Oct. 5.
After a pre-selection process, a workshop will be held with those ranked in the “best performance,” “best improvisation” and “best interpretation” categories of the competition as determined by the grand jury. These talented young jazz musicians will take to the stage with professional jazz musicians as part of the festival.
When: from Oct. 13 to Nov. 3
On the website of Akbank Sanat http://www.akbanksanat.com/
Or directly to the program