25th Istanbul Jazz Festival

Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and sponsored by Garanti Bank, the Istanbul Jazz Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2018. The festival will once again host leading names and new discoveries from the world of jazz, as well as the stars of contemporary music between 26 June and 17 July 2018. The festival will feature more than 250 names in 27 different venues around Istanbul.


The 25th Istanbul Jazz Festival will offer a festival experience full of discoveries in June and July with more than 50 concerts featuring veterans and new discoveries of jazz, well-known ensembles and new horizons of contemporary music.


The first surprise of the 25th Istanbul Jazz Festival is the Australian singer, lyricist, composer, scriptwriter, poet and actor Nick Cave, who has inspired countless artists throughout his career of forty-five years and his band The Bad Seeds. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, whom Istanbul audience have been eagerly waiting to see live again for years, will meet fans on Tuesday, 10 July at Küçükçiftlik Park with the support of %100 Music.


Other surprises of the festival this year include one of the undisputedly magnificent voices in rock history, Robert Plant and his band The Sensational Space Shifters; the voice behind marvellous ballads of love, melancholy, and rebellion, Benjamin Clementine; Melody Gardot with her category-defying music and expressive vocals; the phenomenal Caro Emerald, who brings the golden age of jazz and swing closer to popular genres with her high energy and voice; a quartet composed of saxophone, drums, keyboards, and bass guitar from Toronto taking bold steps in modern jazz, BADBADNOTGOOD; the piano virtuoso who brings his soul to jazz, Robert Glasper and his new band R + R = Now, and Avishai Cohen with his tunes blending modern jazz with Middle Eastern, Eastern European and Afro-American influences. The festival will also see performances by the bass guitarist who will bring different voices of jazz, funk, world music, blues and rock to Istanbul stages, Derrick Hodge; jazz trumpeter Christian Scott; multi-enstrumantalist Taylor McFerrin; a composer who brings together the elements of jazz, world music and Latin tunes, Omar Sosa, accompanied by
the Cuban-born Swiss jazz artist with her impassioned vocals and violin, Yiliañ Canizares, and the man behind Kendrick Lamar’s chart-topping hits, Terrace Martin.


Following the success of the first edition in 2017, the festival will once again organise Vitrin: Showcase for Contemporary Music from Turkey that supports successful musicians and ensembles of the local scene in their global outreach, with the sponsorship of SOCAR Turkey, on 27-30 June 2018. A group of international delegates composed of leading representatives of international music industry and journalists will explore contemporary music from Turkey together with the festival audience during the first four days of the festival.


One of the hallmarks of the festival, an over-night music marathon Night Out, on its 4th edition, will give the stages on the Asian side of the Bosphorus to the most promising independent artists of the local scene in 9 different venues. The free open-air event, Jazz in the Parks will go beyond its traditional venues Fenerbahçe Khalkedon and Fenerbahçe Park, and bring jazz music also to a newer park at the outskirts of Istanbul, Beylikdüzü Yaşam Vadisi Parkı on the European side of the city. The festival programme will also feature A Childlike Day with performances and workshops penned for children.



The 25th Istanbul Jazz Festival Press Meeting


The programme of the 25th Istanbul Jazz Festival was announced at a press meeting held on the evening of Tuesday, 10 April at Zorlu PSM Sky Lounge, the festival’s Venue Sponsor with the Highest Contribution. Speakers of the meeting were General Director of İKSV, Görgün Taner; Corporate Brand Management and Marketing Communications Director of Garanti Bank, Elif Güvenen; Istanbul Jazz Festival Director, Pelin Opcin, and Istanbul Jazz Festival Assistant Director, Harun İzer.


Taner said: “Today, if Istanbul is on the map of the world’s leading artists, Istanbul Jazz Festival has a great contribution on this. The festival celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and it will bring jazz and contemporary music to different parts of the city, streets, ferryboats, parks, and ensure that Istanbul audience meet with master musicians from all over the world and explore new horizons of music. I thank Garanti Bank for supporting the continuity of Istanbul Jazz Festival for 21 years.”


Güvenen said: “This year is very special, considering that the Istanbul Jazz Festival is celebrating its 25th year. It is not easy to capture and maintain success for such a long time, and with a rising graphic on top of it. We are lucky that we could be a part of this team for the 21 years of 25 as Garanti, and have a share in it. We have always been very glad to be the sponsor of the Istanbul Jazz Festival, which has been realised with great effort by İKSV, and will continue to feel the same way.”


Opcin and İzer presented the festival programme and events. The press meeting was also attended by well-known artists and jazz musicians from Turkey.


Different experiences in diverse venues


Festival concerts will be held in different locations of the city, continuing to provide a whole new concert experience to the music lovers by turning unconventional spots into concert venues. Among the 27 venues that will host the festival this year are Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theatre, which has an unforgettable place in the 25 year old history of the festival and returns as a festival venue after a short break; and the garden of one of the oldeset buildings in Beyoğlu, Palazzo di Venezio, which will serve as a festival venue for the first time.


Other festival venues include Zorlu PSM Main Theatre, Zorlu PSM Drama Stage and Zorlu PSM STUDIO, The Marmara Esma Sultan Mansion, Garden of Palazzo di Venezio, Sultan Park Swissôtel The Bosphorus, Sakıp Sabancı Museum Fıstıklı Terrace, Sakıp Sabancı Museum the Seed, UNIQ Open Air Theatre, UNIQ Hall, Küçükçiftlik Park, Küçükçiftlik Bahçe, Beykoz Kundura, Fenerbahçe Khalkedon, Fenerbahçe Park, Beylikdüzü Yaşam Vadisi Park and Salon İKSV. Night Out programme will once again take place in Kadıköy’s most beloved venues: All Saints Moda Church, Ağaç Ev, Moda Kayıkhane, Baba Sahne, Club Quartier, Bant Mag. Havuz / BİNA, KargART, Moda Sahnesi and Zor.


Festival tickets to go on sale on Wednesday, 18 April


Tickets for the 24th Istanbul Jazz Festival go on sale on Wednesday, 18 April at 10.30 and are available from Biletix sales points, and also from the box office of İKSV (every day from 10.00-18.00 except Sunday), where tickes can be purchased without a service fee. Istabul Jazz Festival tickets can also be purchased from the 37th Istanbul Film Festival kiosks in Atlas and Rexx movie theatres on 18 and 19 April. Tickets with reduced fees are available for students.


Tulip Card holders receive special discounts of up to 25% on their ticket purchases. Priority sales for Black and White Tulip Card holders take place on 13-14 April, and on 15-16 and 17 April for Red and Yellow Tulip Card holders. For details please visit: iksv.org/en/membership-and-support/tulip-card-membership-programme


Istanbul Jazz Festival becomes the junction of music and music lovers once again in its 25th edition


For the past 25 years, Istanbul Jazz Festival has been bringing together the successful performers not only of classical jazz, but also of many different genres with the audience in Istanbul, offering a unique programme each year.


The festival campaign, created by the advertisement agency Muhabbet for the 25th year of the festival, reflects the diversity of the festival’s programme with the slogan, #25yearsofjazzandmore. In the posters, former participating artists of the festival from jazz and other genres are depicted together to underline the wide array of genres that the festival represents.



Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Awards


The 25th Istanbul Jazz Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to two veteran names of jazz, Nezih Yeşilnil and Şevket Uğurluer, as well as the harmonica artist Ahmet Faik Şener at the festival’s opening ceremony.


Known by his nickname Balarısı (Honeybee) Ahmet, the harmonica virtuoso of Turkey, Ahmet Faik Şener had his first harmonica in the first year of primary school. He formed his first ensemble Balarıları (Honeybees) with Şerif Yüzbaşıoğlu on piano and Şefik Uyguner on flute and himself on the vocals, accordion and rhythm instruments. Ahmet Faik Şener, who has interpreted almost all kinds of music from classical to folk music in radio studios, concert halls, casinos and even television screens with his harmonica, has also performed many compositions such as those from Malcolm Arnold and Marcello’s oboe concertos for harmonica.


Nezih Yeşilnil, who embarked on his music journey by playing the mandolin and guitar at a young age, started his jazz career with the contrabass, 1980 onwards. He worked with Erol Pekcan, Nükhet Ruacan, Tuna Ötenel, Neşet Ruacan and Önder Focan and attended the European tour with Jak-Janet Esim Ensembe in 1993 three times. He was part of the group that represented Turkey at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1996. Known in the international arena and having shared the same stage with many world stars in international jazz festivals, Nezih Yeşilnil continues to play with various jazz and ethnic music bands, besides his own trio.


Şevket Uğurluer, the legendary name of the piano, started his music studies with the mandolin in elementary school and continued with the piano after trying various instruments. Uğurluer founded his first orchestral ensemble with Erol Büyükburç, Metin Ersoy, Kanat Gür and Salim Ağırbaş at the age of 17, and his own orchestra in 1961 after playing in major orchestras of the period. Uğurluer performed significant songs of the period as “Şevket Uğurluer and His Friends”, adapting folk and Classical Turkish music to jazz. Ana Beni Eversene, Not Responsible, Tombalacık Halimem and You were among his most notable records at the time. Uğurluer was the composer of the Turkey’s contribution to Eurovision Song Contest in 1991. He also hosted the TV show, “Anılarla Müzik”, for 20 years, introducing unforgettable jazz performances to the TV audience.


Festival to kick off with a special concert

The grand opening concert of Istanbul Jazz Festival on its 25th Anniversary pays tribute to the wide spectrum of Turkish jazz, which has morphed into many different forms through many timbres. A cavalcade of stars featuring soloists, composers, and ensembles that have been milestones in Turkish jazz history will be performing together for the first time, accompanied by TRT Big Band conducted by Kamil Özler on 26 June at Zorlu Performing Arts Main Theatre. The leading names of this special concert will  include Ali Perret, Ateş Tezer, Ayşe Gencer, Ayşegül Yeşilnil, Ayşe Tütüncü, Deniz Dündar, Emin Fındıkoğlu, Kerem Görsev, İlham Gencer, Neşet Ruacan, Nezih Yeşilnil, Nilüfer Verdi, Okay Temiz, Önder Focan, Sibel Köse, Şenova Ülker, Tuna Otenel, Volkan Hürsever and Yahya Dai will be featured in this concert either with their compositions or performances This concert will also lead the special projects planned to become a tradition in the coming years where countless singers and composers interpreting the jazz of Turkey from many different angles will be included.


Stars of the local music scene will shine at “Vitrin: Showcase for Contemporary Music from Turkey” between 27 and 30 June 2018


Vitrin: Showcase for Contemporary Music from Turkey will be held for the second time this year under the sponsorship of SOCAR Turkey on 27-30 June 2018. The series will focus on the successful musicians and ensembles of the local scene and will aim to provide them with a new opportunity to reach a wider international audience.


Vitrin: Showcase for Contemporary Music from Turkey, which builds on the objective of promoting the cultural values ​​of our country and enhancing the intercultural dialogue, was developed as a project that focuses on jazz and contemporary music. The rapid development of music production in Turkey and the multitude of recently emerging musicians lead to new projects not only in Turkey but also in the international arena, receiving great interest and demand. This productive environment in the local music industry has motivated the Istanbul Jazz Festival, to offer an effective international platform for emerging artists.







The series will feature more than 30 successful contemporary music and jazz artists and ensembles from Turkey. The concerts, to be held between 27-30 July, will be attended by prominent representatives of the international music industry, in addition to the festival audience. In parallel with these concerts, Turkey’s contemporary music scene will be introduced to the international participants with panels and seminars. The sectoral meetings to be held will bring more than 40 local and foreign music professionals together and establish relations that will encourage local artists to reach out to the international arena. One of the projects to be realised under Vitrin will be the Socar Turkey Silk Road Tour Support Award, worthy of 5,000 Euros which will be presented once again in order to support the international tours of the artists and bands participating in the programme.


Vitrin will feature concerts of the inventor and master of fretless classical guitar Erkan Oğur and his quartet, a talented pianist and singer as well as a composer Selen Gülün, jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and producer Çağrı Sertel, one of the most successful drummers of the Turkish jazz scene Ediz Hafızoğlu, musician who combines combines funk, R&B, rock and ethnic elements in his compositions Ercüment Gül, and Lara Di Lara and Levni’s brand new project Alike Places. Some of the most exciting and alternative names of the independent scene such as Kalben, Yüzyüzeyken Konuşuruz, Taner Öngür & 43.55, Islandman, Focan & Bıyıkoğlu Organic Expeditions, Nilipek and Melike Şahinwill give concerts in  various venues in Kadıköy and Moda within the scope of Night Out event.


The detailed programme and the complete list of artists included in Vitrin will be announced in May.





Stars of the contemporary music


  • Melody Gardot
    Wednesday, 27 June, 21.00, UNIQ Open Air Stage


Having visited Turkey for the first time in 2009, Melody Gardot started writing music after surviving a serious traffic accident many years ago and held on to life through her songs, wholeheartedly believes in the healing power of music. Her fan base, which she cultivated through the highly successful albums she released in the course of last 13 years, is a testament to this belief. Melody Gardot’s performance is a glorious combination of her category-defying music, Philly influences, expressive vocals, and her real stories that she candidly shares.

  • Benjamin Clementine
    Thursday, 5 July, 21.00, Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Stage

Ever since his first introduction to the world as a passionate singer-songwriter and poet in 2013 on the stage of “Later…with Jools Holland”, Benjamin Clemente, an utterly inspiring artist who is the voice behind marvellous ballads of love, melancholy, and rebellion, managed to establish himself solidly on the emotional maps of listeners through his melodies. This new generation genius, whose music critics unanimously agree on being striking, won the Mercury Prize with his debut album At Least for Now in 2015. As he continues following in the footsteps of his heroes Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Nina Simone, he released his sophomore album I Tell A Fly last year, proving the astounding quality of his music once again. Benjamin Clementine’s theatrical performance through which he mesmerises the audience by banding music and literature together is an experience not to be missed out.


  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds // Lara Di Lara
    Tuesday, 10 July, 19.30, KüçükÇiftlik Park

The Australian singer, lyricist, composer, scriptwriter, poet and actor, as well as the dark prince of music who has inspired countless artists throughout the history of music, Nick Cave will take the stage with his legendary band The Bad Seeds after 17 years at the Istanbul Jazz Festival with the support of %100 Music. Nick Cave will be accompanied on stage by today’s most prominent names of post-punk: Warren Ellis, who is considered Cave’s musical soulmate; the old timers Thomas Wydler, Martyn P. Casey and Jim Sclavunos, and newcomers George Vjestica and Toby Dammit who joined in 2015 will be at the stage as one of the most original bands in musical history, The Bad Seeds. Before Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, the vocalist of 123, Dilara Sakpınar will warm up the stage with her solo project, Lara Di Lara.





  • Caro Emerald
    Thursday, 12 July, 21.45, Zorlu PSM Main Theatre


The glimmer of Caro Emerald will light up Zorlu Performing Arts Centre Main Theatre on this night. The excitement of watching Caro Emerald, who has been a part of our musical vocabulary since 2009 with such hits as “Back it Up” and “A Night Like This”, is undeniable. After topping the charts in a short amount of time and becoming a contemporary jazz phenomenon – also winning the hearts all over again with her 2017 EP’s Emerald Islands shortly followed by a Metropole Orchestra collaboration MO x Caro Emerald – the queen of electro swing will leave her mark on the festival stage at this special concert sponsored by Schindler. Emerald embellishes her vocals with improvised steps and is on course to become a sophisticated and timeless icon with her stage style. It is impossible not to fall under her spell.


  • Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters
    Tuesday, 17 July, 21.00, Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Stage


Robert Plant, the legendary singer of Led Zeppelin, is one of the undisputedly magnificent voices in rock history. With his one of a kind voice, which tells stories listeners never want to end, his innovative musical style which stretches from all the way back to his glorious days in the ‘70s with Led Zeppelin to his recent solo works, and his hypnotizing stage presence, Robert Plant will revisit the 25th Istanbul Jazz Festival after 11 years with his band The Sensational Shape Shifters to engrave another magical memory in music lovers’ minds. Sponsored by Matraş, this rendezvous where Robert Plant will play songs from his latest album Carry Fire in addition to his classics will be an experience to add to one’s musical atlas.


The meeting point of jazz lovers


  • Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain, Chris Potter
    Friday, 29 June, 21.30, Zorlu PSM Main Theatre

In another brilliant night that needs to be boldly underlined, three great names of jazz that have been known for their legendary works are coming together on stage on the 25th anniversary of the Istanbul Jazz Festival: Zakir Hussain, the tabla master who blends world music with jazz; Chris Potter, the doyenne who is declared as the most studied and imitated saxophonist on the planet by DownBeat; and Dave Holland, the bass guitarist and composer who is known for his genre-defying innovative music. This is going to be a dazzling night from a star trio of genius improvisations that has a sublime jazz language and telepathic effect on the audience.


  • Kurt Elling Quintet with special guest Marquis Hill
    Friday, 6 July, 19.30, UNIQ Hall


The Grammy-winning artist who has 12 nominations under his belt and known as one of the most poetic and dynamic singers in contemporary jazz, Kurt Elling will crown the festival stage with special guest Marquis Hill who will accompany Elling’s high-scale voice and swanky lyrics. Hill, who is among the musicians that modernise Chicago jazz pioneered by Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and King Oliver, continues his career in New York since 2014 where he is heating up the jazz scene with his performances alongside such marquee names as Marcus Miller and Joe Lovano, as well as working on his solo projects. Elling and Hill have been collaborating on some of the most prominent jazz stages around the world and this is their first time playing together in Istanbul.


  • Avishai Cohen “1970”
    Tuesday, 3 July, 21.00, Sultan Park – Swissotel Istanbul


Discovered by Chick Corea, one of the most prominent pianists in the history of fusion jazz, Avishai Cohen is regarded as one of the essential names in jazz and classical music. Cohen positions his music on a balanced place between respect for tradition and the exuberance of embarking on new adventures. His tunes blends modern jazz with Middle Eastern, Eastern European and Afro-American influences. The festival will be welcoming Cohen at the unique atmosphere of Sultan Park, where he will be sharing the music from his exciting latest album 1970, which marks an adventurous departure for the virtuoso.






  • The Fred Hersch Trio
    Wednesday, 11 July, 21.30, Zorlu PSM Drama Stage


Fred Hersh, one of the most exploratory jazz artists of the 21st century, has been the constant center of acclaim in the past 30 years for his breathtaking solo recitals, bilateral and trilateral collaborations, and close to 40 albums. Citing the names of some of his collaborators, such as Joe Henderson, Art Farmer, Charlie Haden, Stan Getz and Bill Frisell, doesn’t even begin to summarise his success. Music enthusiasts will thoroughly enjoy witnessing the boundless music of Hersch, whom Jason Moran describes as, “Fred at the piano is like LeBron James on the basketball court.”


  • Fabrizio Bosso Quartet // Massimo Manzi Trio feat. Elif Çağlar
    Monday, 2 July, 20.00, 21:30 Palazzo di Venezia’s Garden


This night, which will take place in the historic atmosphere of the Venetian Palace, will begin with Massimo Manzi Trio, which features Domingo Muzietti on guitar, Massimo Giovannini on bass, and Massimo Manzi, one of the most prominent jazz drummers in Italy, on drums. Jazz musician Elif Çağlar will be accompanying the trio with her lively vocals. Following this performance, virtuoso jazz trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso, who has worked with the likes of Enrico Pieranunzi, Rosario Giuliani, Charlie Haden, and Carla Bley, will be taking the stage with his quartet. This authentic musical dialogue, which will be the first step in the State of Art project, will feature Julian Oliver Mazzariello on piano, Jacopo Ferraza on bass, and Nicola Angelucci on drums; musician friends of Bosso, whom he admires the most.


New generation of jazz musicians


  • R+R=Now:

Robert Glasper/Taylor McFerrin/Derrick Hodge/Christian Scott/Terrace Martin  

Friday, 6 July, 22.00, UNIQ Open Air Stage

For Robert Glasper, reflecting the times in his output is the golden rule for making music. Inspired by the groundbreaking approach of Miles Davis, the virtuoso pianist, who brings his soul to jazz, was one of the most exciting names in the neo-soul movement of the ‘90s. With his albums released through Blue Note, he received three Grammy awards. He continues to inject a high dose of jazz into R&B and hip-hop and through his new band R+R=Now he brings together his like-minded friends, namely multi-instrumentalist Taylor McFerrin, bass guitarist Derrick Hodge, jazz trumpeter Christian Scott, and Terrace Martin, the man behind Kendrick Lamar’s chart-topping hits. This will be the first-ever Istanbul concert of the newly established and ever-exhilarating band.


  • BADBADNOTGOOD // Zara McFarlane
    Saturday, 7 July, 20.30, 22.15, KüçükÇiftlik Bahçe

Zara McFarlane will be the exciting opening act of this night, which will take place at the KüçükÇiftlik Bahçe. With her radiant voice that has the timbre of early Nina Simone and Roberta Flack, she became one of the new stars of the British jazz scene and garnered great attention after getting nominated in the “Best Act” category at MOBO Awards with her debut album Until Tomorrow. Her third and most current album Arise, released last year, was hailed as her most personal and autobiographic to date. Following the impassioned vocals of McFarlane, who masterfully blends the Caribbean and reggae traditions into jazz and creates a unique texture, BADBADNOTGOOD of Toronto will take the stage with songs that prove their assurance in taking bold steps in modern jazz. The band continued its collaboration with Kendrick Lamar through its work on the soundtrack of the mega-smash film Black Panther and is also known for its covers of hip-hop hits. As a quartet composed of saxophone, drums, keyboards, and bass guitar, BADBADNOTGOOD invites the audience to an exceptional night under the stars where they will open the doors wide to an unforgettable musical celebration.


  • Julian Lage Trio
    Wednesday, 11 July, 19.00, Zorlu PSM Drama Stage

Discovered at the tender age of 8, Julian Lage’s genius was so impressive that he was the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary Jules at Eight in 1997. The following year, he was a featured guest on the stage with Carlos Santana and at the age of 13, he performed at the Grammys. His success continued into his adult years, and at the age of 30, this young jazz virtuoso boasts an impressive résumé that includes collaborations with such great names as Gary Burton, Jim Hall, David Grisman, Béla Fleck and Charles Lloyd, as well as three albums as a band leader. Julian Lage, whose next project we feverishly anticipate, will be sharing his impeccable technique with the festival audience.


  • Parisien-Peirani-Schaerer-Wollny “Out of Land”
    Thursday, 12 July, 20.00, Zorlu PSM Drama Stage

One of the most charismatic quartets of European jazz, Parisien/Peirani/Schaerer/Wollny is a band that likes to push its boundaries as well as the instruments they play. Swiss singer Andreas Schaerer, German pianist Michael Wollny, French accordionist Vincent Peirani, and French saxophonist Emilie Parisien have reinforced their bright careers through this project and crowned it last year with their album Out of Land. The quartet will be playing Out of Land in its entirety, which starts with knocking listeners out of their feet and ends with an epic closer. The band invites the audience to explore the riches of this album through a highly characteristic performance, which will take place at Zorlu Performing Arts Centre Drama Stage. As is customary with projects of this nature, this might end up being a performance one may never see again.


  • Knower // Surprise Artists
    Friday, 13 July, 21:00, 22.30, Beykoz Kundura

In recent years, Beykoz Kundura has become one of the most popular venues in the festival showcasing the transformation in modern jazz by hosting such acts as Kamasi Washington, Ibeyi, JUNUN, and Bokanté, and once again will be the venue of choice with some of the most exciting acts taking the stage. The headlining act will be revealed on a later date, but the opening act will be Knower, the electronic music duo that will get you moving by subjecting you to their dizzying dynamism. As is the case in every year, transportation to the venue will be provided by toll boats, details can be followed on caz.iksv.org/en. This event will be realised with the kind collaboration of Beykoz Kundura.




Different voices from different geographies


  • Erkan Oğur Quartet // Shahin Novrasli Trio
    Saturday, 30 June, 19.30, 21.00, Sakıp Sabancı Museum Fıstıklı Terrace


Shahin Novrasli, who played on prominent jazz stages around the world, will be the first act of this exquisite night. Novrasli’s music, which marries exotic and smooth melodies with sharp harmonies, is the admirable result of the intersection between his classical training, which he began at an early age, and his traditional folk inspirations that stem from his Azerbaijani roots. Following Novrasli, Erkan Oğur will be gracing the festival stage. With his idiosyncratic instrumental skills, Oğur, the folk, jazz and blues artist, inventor and master of fretless classical guitar, who intimately distills the melancholy of being human into his music, promises a splendid musical experience that will once again touch everyone’s heart. Through the heavenly combination of Can Çankaya, Matt Hall, and Turgut Alp Bekoğlu, who will accompany Oğur on the stage, a summer night on which emotions will find voice awaits the audience.


  • Adam Bałdych & Helge Lien Trio with Tore Brunborg “BROTHERS”
    Wednesday, 4 July, 21.00, Sultan Park – Swissotel Istanbul


Adam Baldych, one of the most prominent violin virtuosos in contemporary jazz who literally created his own language by breathing new life to jazz violin, meets Helge Lien Trio and Tore Brunborg on the Istanbul Jazz Festival stage. Norwegian jazz pianist and composer Helge Lien, who will join Baldych on stage, is admired for his music which blends Bill Evans’ piano style adorned with melodic lines, Keith Jarrett’s exploratory storytelling, and Brad Mehldau’s nuanced expositions. The third artist of the night, composer and saxophonist Tore Brunborg, is another star of the Norwegian jazz scene. This fantastic trio will be playing songs from their album Brothers, which was released last year, on a summer night worthy of Sultan Park.


  • Anat Cohen & Marcello Gonçalves
    Monday, July 9, 19.00, Zorlu PSM Drama Stage

With his clarinet and saxophone, Anat Cohen considers the performance arena as a celebration space and knows darn well how to make the audience a part of the celebration. Cohen will be accompanied by Brazilian guitarist Marcello Gonçalves, with whom he was nominated for a Grammy for their album Outra Coisa. The duo will breathe new life to groundbreaking composer Moacir Santos’ songs. The high energy of this stirring night, where breathtaking melodies that blend Brazilian tunes and jazz elements take center stage, will put the audience under a spell.


  • Omar Sosa & Yilian Canizares “Aguas”
    Monday, 9 July, 21.00, The Marmara Esma Sultan Mansion


Omar Sosa, who always pays tribute to his African and Cuban roots through his melodies, freely brings together the elements of jazz, world music, hip-hop and electronic music in his compositions. After his early youth when he used to secretly listen to American jazz while living in Cuba, he made successful albums to keep this forbidden love alive. Having respect for multiculturalism as his code, he contributed a great deal to Latin jazz through his compositions. A seven-time Grammy nominee and piano virtuoso who gives more than 100 concerts every year around the world, Omar Sosa finally brings his exuberance to Istanbul Jazz Festival. Accompanying him with her impassioned vocals and violin will be Cuban-born Swiss jazz artist Yilian Canizares; a rare talent who embellishes her love of classical music with jazz and salsa rhythms.


Leading names of contemporary & jazz music from Turkey


  • Çağrı Sertel “Instant” // Alike Places

Wednesday, 27 June, 22.00, 23.30, Salon İKSV


Çağrı Sertel’s interest in music goes back to when he was 12 years old when he started playing keyboards before culminating in a strong career. On this festival night at Salon, jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and producer Çağrı Sertel, whose structurally unrestricted music is a masterful display of his expressions on life, will be playing songs from Instant, which harbors ethnic elements in its modern jazz and progressive style. Before Çağrı Sertel, Lara Di Lara and Levni’s brand new joint project Alike Places will put you on board with indie R&B, IDM and hiphop sounds.



  • Selen Gülün “Kadınlar Matinesi”
    Friday, 29 June, 19.00, Zorlu PSM Drama Stage


One of the most accomplished Turkish musicians whose compositions are performed by some of the most esteemed orchestras in the world and who is known for being a talented pianist and singer as well as a composer, Selen Gülün brings her solid project, Women’s Matinée, to the festival stage. The idea for the project materialised for the first time in 2011 when Donne in Musica asked Selen Gülen to perform with Italian musicians a selection of works by Turkish female musicians during the Donne in Jazz festival. The project was developed throughout the following years and in 2017 resulted in an album of the same name, Women’s Matinée. The album is given life by more than 10 female artists who contribute through their compositions, instruments and vocals, and is a first in Turkish musical history. Selen Gülün’s dynamic music that features a variety of styles blending the classical with the modern is the pillar of this solidarity.


  • Ediz Hafızoğlu “Nazdrave” // Surprise Artist

Friday, June 29, 22.00, 23.30, Zorlu PSM Studio

Ediz Hafızoğlu, one of the most successful drummers of the Turkish jazz scene who, this year, released his sophomore album 13, which he dedicated to the limitless power of change, will bewitch you with his songs that masterfully communicate his changing moods that evolve from darkness to light and chaos to order and his music which he brings to life without getting caught up in boundaries. The opening act of the night will be announced later.


  • Night Out

Thursday, 28 June, 19.00, Kadıköy-Moda


After three sold-out editions within the scope of the festival, “Night Out” concerts to be held under the sponsorship of Vodafone Freezone will spread through the most frequented venues of the Kadıköy district on the Asian side of Istanbul such as Club Quartier, All Saints Moda Church, Moda Kayıkhane, Moda Sahnesi, Baba Sahne, Ağaç Ev, KargART, Havuz, Zor, with concerts by the most thrilling and alternative names of the independent music scene; Kalben, Yüzyüzeyken Konuşuruz, Taner Öngür & 43.55, Islandman, Focan & Bıyıkoğlu Organic Expeditions, Nilipek, Melike Şahin and many others.


Children meet at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum on “A Childlike Day”

The festival will once again organise a special event for children. On 7 July, at 14.30, children will spend an eventful Saturday when they have fun as they discover their musical leanings through concerts, workshops, training programs, and exhibitions, the details of which will be announced soon.



Festival organises more events to spread jazz on its 25th anniversary


In addition to the concerts and activities mentioned above, the festival will also feature a variety of admission-free programmes created to enhance access of jazz in the festival’s 25th anniversary.


  • Pre-festival talks

May – June, various venues

Within the scope of the 25th Istanbul Jazz Festival, a series of talks prepared by the academician Orhan Tekelioğlu will be held in May and June. Among the topics to be discussed at these talks to be hosted by the popular jazz clubs in Istanbul, are the history of jazz festivals in Turkey, development of jazz in Turkey, programming and booking, and new generations’ taste in jazz music. The programme of these admission-free talks will be announced in May.


  • Activities for refugees

The festival will once again collaborate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to welcome refugees based in Turkey, in its concerts. In 2016, the festival hosted refugees in Damon Albarn & Syrian Musicians Orchestra concert, and last year, in the Basel Rajoub & the Syrian Women’s Choir’s performance.


  • Instructor trainings for musicians

This year, the Istanbul Jazz Festival will undertake an “instructor training” for professional musicians, in collaboration with the Boğaziçi University. Within the scope of this project, academics from Boğaziçi University will give pedagogical traning to professional musicians who want to organise musical activities for children. The project will culminate in the selection of trainers from among the applicants, who will then take part in the projects on “A Childlike Day” at the 25th Istanbul Jazz Festival.


Supporters of the 25th Istanbul Jazz Festival


The 25th Istanbul Jazz Festival is organised with the support of the Festival Sponsor Garanti Bank as well as a number of different organisations. Vitrin Series Sponsor is SOCAR Turkey. İKSV’s Venue Sponsor with the Highest Contribution is Zorlu Performing Arts Centre. Among the festival’s performance sponsors with the highest contribution are Türk Tuborg A.Ş., SOCAR Turkey and Matraş. The festival’s other performance sponsors are SCHINDLER, Vodafone Freezone and DHL.


Automotive Sponsorship for the festival is provided by Volvo Car Turkey. Jazz in the Parks concerts are sponsored by Vodafone Freezone. Türk Tuborg A.Ş., Clifford Chance, Yegin Ciftci Attorney Partnership and Mastercard also offer their support to the festival.


Various concerts within the festival are organised with the contribution of Italian Culture Institute, Italian Embassy, Norwegian Embassy and Consulate General of Israel.


The 24th Istanbul Jazz Festival also receives support from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Beyoğlu Municipality, Kadıköy Municipality and Beylikdüzü Municipality. Vitrin: Showcase for Contemporary Music from Turkey is also supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.


The Leading Sponsor of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts is Eczacıbaşı Group, Official Communication Sponsor is Vodafone Turkey, Official Carrier is DHL, Official Hotel Sponsor The Marmara Collection, Insurance Sponsor is Zurich Turkey, Health Sponsor is Acıbadem Health Group, and Service Sponsors are Navitas, GFK, bluechip Creative Events, directComm Marketing Group and AGC.

Start Time

00:00 am

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Finish Time

00:00 am

Tuesday, July 17, 2018