Feature: Jazz festival rocks Istanbul's summer nights with super melodies

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-14 16:28:11|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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ISTANBUL, July 14 (Xinhua) -- "I can't believe," a man from the audience said in tears.

"Is that real?" A young woman mumbled with admiration. "I have been waiting for this moment for my entire life."

On Tuesday night, the concert area located in a park of central Istanbul had already been teeming with audience, hours before the long-awaited performance of their idol.

The crowd brought down the house when the 60-year-old Australian legendary singer Nick Cave and his band The Bad Seeds appeared on the stage.

The euphoria reached its peak when Cave asked a number of his fans to join him on the stage and sing Stagger Lee, one of his iconic songs, with the band.

"Listening to them live in our own country and singing with Nick Cave on the stage was something unbelievable and an unexpected occasion for all of us," Asli Korkmaz, a young yoga teacher, told Xinhua on the scene.

Jazz melodies returned to the city's hot summer nights, embracing music lovers as the annual Istanbul Jazz Festival kicked off on June 26.

The festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), features more than 250 names in more than 25 different venues around the city, including ferryboats, parks, stadiums and streets.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the festival brings jazz and contemporary music to different parts of the city to ensure that "Istanbul audience meet with master musicians from all over the world and explore new horizons of music," said a press release issued by the IKSV.

The yoga teacher's next target was to attend the concert of Parisien-Peirani-Schaerer-Wollny, a European quartet, in Zorlu Performance Center of the upscale Levent neighborhood.

IKSV described the band of a Swiss singer, German pianist, French saxophonist and French accordionist as the most charismatic quartet of European jazz.

"This year, we prepared a strong program with a selection of both young and old generation musicians," Harun Izer, assistant director of the festival, told Xinhua.

He said Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds has a very significant symbolic value in triggering the interest of people.

Besides, Caro Emerald, a more popular jazz artist, the former world-famous rock band Led Zeppelin's legendary vocalist Robert Plant and his group the Sensational Space Shifters, and a younger rock musician Benjamin Clementine, were also among the leading names of the festival.

"When IKSV first organized the festival in 1994, there were only two venues with a limited number of participating international musicians," Izer explained. "Now we are everywhere, even in most remote districts of the city."

"For the upcoming festivals, we are planning to include more musicians from the East," he pointed out, adding that his team would also work hard to introduce Turkish artists to the world.

The festival has a section named Vitrin, a showcase and networking event dedicated to contemporary music from Turkey.

"But we would like to expand that mission with groundbreaking new projects in the international arena and strengthen Turkey's place as a musical hub in the world," Izer said.

The organization has been granting SOCAR Turkey Silk Road Tour Support Award to two most outstanding performers under the Vitrin section.

The prize, which was first launched last year along with the assistance of the festival's sponsor SOCAR, an Azerbaijani oil company, involves financial support for winners' upcoming international tours, Izer said.

"Music in Turkey takes inspiration from both East and West, making it a 'musical silk road' where influences flow in each direction," he explained.

"That's why we are eager to invite more musicians from the eastern part of the world, including China and others," Izer said.

The 22-day festival will end on July 17 with the concert of Robert Plant and his Sensational Space Shifters at an open-air theater in central Istanbul.