While jazz may have originated in the African American communities of New Orleans, today it is enjoyed and celebrated in every major city around the world. From November 3-19, Istanbul will get its chance to be in the jazz limelight with the 27th Akbank Jazz Festival, which will host over 200 artists in performance halls, cultural centers, restaurants, hotels, and galleries citywide.
This year’s program welcomes both the famous and the up-and-coming, both classical jazz and genre-fusion musicians, to cater to the tastes of all music lovers. One of the most anticipated performances is that of the Jazz Epistles, South Africa’s first bebop jazz band formed in the years before apartheid, later forced into exile by the government and regarded as a powerful symbol of resistance. Other musicians will bring a blend of styles to the stage, including the Authentic Anatolian Project with fusion jazz, and Bonobo with his downtempo beats.
The celebration of the jazz festival will go beyond concert venues to smaller and more intimate settings, such as MSA’s Restaurant, Pera Palace Hotel, Bizim Tepe, and Tamirane. A number of workshops and programs will be offered, including lessons on the Lindy Hop, a dance craze that started during the golden age of jazz and continues to be popular today.
Upholding one of its main pillars of social responsibility in the culture and arts, the festival committee will also go to schools across Turkey to reach out to young people and educate them in the music genre. The “Jazz in High Schools” program will connect notable musicians with students for discussions and jazz style and instruments. “Jazz on Campus” will bring the festival to universities in eight cities in Turkey between November 20 and December 1.
Jazz is an evolving, charismatic music genre that has the potential to get any music lover swaying to its rhythm. The Akbank Jazz Festival in November is sure to bring this energy home to Istanbul.
To find out more about the program events, visit akbanksanat.com.