The 26th Istanbul Jazz Festival ended

Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and sponsored by Garanti BBVA, the 26th Istanbul Jazz Festival ended with the last concert on 18 July. Since its beginning on 29 June, the festival featured more than 300 musicians in 20 days with more than 50 concerts in 27 different venues around Istanbul. The festival concerts were attended by almost 40,000 people.

Highlights of the festival

Joss Stone

Festival audiences met with many remarkable musicians and ensembles including Kamasi Washington, Snarky Puppy, Joss Stone, Jacob Collier, RYMDEN, José James, Aydın Esen, and many others. One of the most inventive musicians of the new generation, producer, composer and drummer Makaya McCraven, leading pianists of contemporary jazz Bill Charlap, master of improvisation Nubiyan Twist, brilliant vocalist of jazz, blues and soul melodies Mélanie de Biasio also took the Istanbul Jazz Festival stage.

Jacob Collier

Legend returned: Jazz Boat sailed to the Bosphorus after 9 years

The Busquitos, Jazz Boat

One of the most anticipated events of the festival, the Jazz Boat returned after nine years on popular demand. This seafaring concert where a voyage into the Bosphorus turns into a mesmerising musical excursion, took place on 14 July.

Brassist, Jazz Boat

Vitrin showcased the best of contemporary music scene in Turkey

Organised for the third time during the festival, ‘Vitrin: Showcase for Contemporary Music from Turkey’, sponsored by SOCAR Turkey, brought together over 30 musicians and ensembles of the contemporary local music scene with key figures of international music industry. 29 international delegates and journalists explored a variety of local sounds in various venues, and attended panels featuring key players of the local music industry. Vitrin delegates will award a band or two with the SOCAR Turkey Silk Road Tour Support Award, which is due to be announced in the following days.

Can Tutuğ Trio, Vitrin Showcase

The Festival Spreads Over Two Sides of the Bosphorus

The admission-free open-air event, Jazz in the Parks went beyond its traditional venues Fenerbahçe Khalkedon and Fenerbahçe Park, and brought jazz music also to a newer park at the outskirts of Istanbul, Beylikdüzü Yaşam Vadisi on the European side of the city. This year's winners of Young Jazz, a platform that allows young musicians and bands under the age of 30 to perform at the festival, Bilge Günaydın Trio, Bluemonk, Document1, Kazım Quintet, Minus Two and Standard Mafia showcased their talent in the parks.

Soul Brass Band, Ah Şu Cazlar Blues’lar

Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Awards

Ömür Göksel

Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to master jazz drummer Hasan Hürsever and one of the forerunners of the “crooner” style in Turkey, Ömür Göksel during the festival’s award night on Tuesday, 2 July.

Hasan Hürsever

U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Sabancı Foundation, UNHCR and Vehbi Koç Foundation came together for the festival’s new event, Ah Şu Cazlar Blues’lar

For the first time this year, local and international music ensembles brought the energy of music to a park in Halıcıoğlu near the Golden Horn. Ensembles from different geographies have once again underlined the universality and unifying power of music with their performances. This initiative born out of our belief that the arts and culture must be accessible for all, has enabled many refugees living in Istanbul to be among the audience.

With this event, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), Sabancı Foundation, UNHCR and Vehbi Koç Foundation, undertook a special cooperation for the fourth time. A number of NGOs working with refugees as UNHCR's collaborators also supported the initiative. In addition, five refugees worked at the festival as assistants in collaboration with UNHCR. The U.S. Embassy in Ankara was also among the supporters of “Ah Şu Cazlar Blues’lar”.

Fourth children's book from İKSV: Jazz in Colours

The festival’s children’s book Jazz in Colours, which was published with the collaboration of İKSV Alt Kat Learning and Interaction Space and with the support of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, takes its inspiration from the rainbow to introduce the colourful world of jazz music to the musicians of the future. The book was launched during A Childlike Day, the daylong event of the festival for families. Jazz in Colours, edited by Burcu Ural Kopan and with illustrations by Macide Damla Akyürek, features texts by Batu Akyol, Feridun Ertaşkan, Yekta Kopan, Sibel Köse, Pelin Opcin, Hülya Tunçağ and Buket Uzuner. Kenan Doğulu, Cenk Erdoğan, Zuhal Focan, Harun İzer, Ozan Musluoğlu, Ayşe Tütüncü and Fahrettin Yarkın are also featured with Q&A’s.

Festival spread over 27 venues

Among the venues that hosted the festival concerts were The Marmara Esma Sultan Mansion, old shoe factory Beykoz Kundura, and one of the oldest buildings in the Beyoğlu district Palazzo di Venezia.

Other festival venues included Feriye, Cemiyet, Nardis Jazz Club, Volkswagen Arena, Sultan Park Swissotel The Bosphorus, Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Zorlu Performing Arts Centre Turkcell Platinum Stage, UNIQ Open-Air Theatre, UNIQ Hall, Fenerbahçe Khalkedon, Fenerbahçe Park, Beylikdüzü Yaşam Vadisi and Salon İKSV.

Gaye Su Akyol, Night Out

Night Out took place in the most frequented venues at the Kadıköy district on the Asian side of the city: All Saints Moda Church, Bant Mag. Havuz / BİNA, Kadıköy Sahne, Kadıköy Cinema, KargART, Mecra, Moda Kayıkhane, Birlikte Güzel Moda Sahnesi.

This year’s festival campaign: Hands of Jazz in Istanbul

The promotional campaign, created by the advertisement agency Büro for the 26th year of the festival, reflects the diversity of the festival’s programme with the slogan, Hands of Jazz in Istanbul. The hands used in the campaign belong to jazz musicians Efe Demiral, Gülşah Erol, and Baturay Yarkın.