The 19th İstanbul International Jazz Festival, which is set to run from July 3 through 19 with performances in some 20 venues, will present close to 50 concerts by around 300 performers from Turkey and abroad.
During the opening gala, Turkish jazz master Neşet Ruacan will be honored with a lifetime achievement award. Among the highlights of this year's festival are jazz great Keith Jarrett, bassist Marcus Miller, diva of neo-soul Erykah Badu and internationally acclaimed British singer Morrisey.
The first concert of the festival, which is an annual effort by the İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Art (İKSV), will be performed at the Marmara Esma Sultan by The Jamaican Legends, which will be accompanied by British-Jamaican reggae musician Bitty McLean.
On July 5, jazz legend Marcus Miller will take the stage at the Harbiye-based Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theater to mark the world premiere of “The İstanbul Project.”
In “The İstanbul Project,” Miller has teamed up with a group of hand-picked Turkish talents ranging from no-frills, 73-year-old creative mastermind Okay Temiz to fresh-faced guitar whizz Bilal Karaman.
Along with Temiz and Karaman, “The İstanbul Project” will present clarinet virtuoso Hüsnü Şenlendirici, percussion maestro Burhan Öcal and jazz trumpeter İmer Demirer. Drummer Louis Cato, saxophonist Alex Han and keyboardist Federico Gonzalez Pena complete a formidable jazz lineup.
On July 6, the festival will host the best-selling jazz musician in Germany and one of the finest trumpeters of his generation, Till Bröner, at the courtyard of the İstanbul Archeological Museum.
Presenting a festival within the festival, this year's program will also offer the Tünel Feast, which was launched in 2010 to great acclaim. Taking place on July 7, the event will feature numerous concerts, events and workshops by around 30 artists and bands in various concert venues and open-air stages across the cultural hotspot of Beyoğlu's Galata and Tünel neighborhoods.
On July 18, Keith Jarrett will appear at the Haliç Convention Center, which will be his first İstanbul outing in 16 years. The piano great, known for his unmatchable improvisations, will bring his legendary Standards Trio, in which he is joined by Jack DeJohnette and Gary Peacock, to his İstanbul gig.
Erykah Badu will be onstage on the night of July 13 at Cemil Topuzlu in what will be the eagerly awaited first-ever Turkish appearance by the four-time Grammy Award winner.
Other acts on the bill include Antony and the Johnsons, who will offer a symphonic take on a selection of songs from their four albums in a joint appearance with the Filarmonia İstanbul orchestra on July 9 at Cemil Topuzlu; and Grammy-winning American jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding, who will hit the Cemil Topuzlu stage on July 16.
The festival will be capped off with an eagerly anticipated concert by Morrisey. The British singer and lyricist, whose chart-topping 1988 debut solo album “Viva Hate” was rereleased this month in the UK, will appear center stage at Cemil Topuzlu for the festival finale on July 19.
Tickets for the festival are available through Biletix and at the ticket kiosk in the İKSV building in Şişhane. For more information and the full program, see http://caz.iksv.org/en/program/339