Thousands of New Yorkers flocked to the second edition of İstanbulive, held as part of the annual SummerStage concert series in New York, the Anatolia news agency reported Saturday.
The five-hour concert, dedicated to the memory of Arif Mardin, the late Turkish-born US record producer-arranger, also featured appearances by singer Emrah Kanısıcak and DJ Ozan Doğulu.
Mehmet Dede, one of the two organizers of Saturday’s concert with Serdar İlhan, said İstanbulive was aimed at “making Turkey’s diverse sounds and colors known in the US.” He said they estimated that at least 5,000 to 6,000 people came to this year’s concert, adding that it was a very joyful occasion in its entirety.
Pop singer-songwriter Doğulu, who capped the concert with a live set featuring songs from his eight studio albums, said backstage following his performance that the audience was very enthusiastic and he liked performing in Central Park. “The [collective] energy and keenness here is really different; and we also have a chance to send messages of peace to the entire world while presenting Turkish music to audiences here,” Doğulu said. “Being successful in New York means being successful globally and in this sense Turks who live in New York are people who have proved their success, so they have the right to … make their voices heard and İstanbulive is great motivation for them,” added the 36-year-old.
Duman lead singer Kaan Tangöze, also speaking backstage, said they were aware of the high-profile performances in Central Park as part of SummerStage and that they were pleased about being part of this year’s festival. The members of the group also said they hoped the İstanbulive concerts will continue in the years to come.
The New York-based Erşahin, who performed with his İstanbul Sessions project, made up of Alp Ersönmez, Turgut Alp Bekoğlu and İzzet Kızıl, said taking to the stage as an all-Turkish ensemble was a great pleasure.
Organizers Dede and İlhan said they would love to hold a third İstanbulive next summer, but added they needed serious financial backing to be able to do that. “This project needs a little government backing. At least we made a start. It will go on if [Turkey] wants it to,” İlhan said.