The Istanbul Jazz Festival began Thursday night, launching the opening night of this well known jazz festival at the Marmara Esma Sultan in Ortaköy. This is the 18th year of the jazz festival sponsored by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV). The Istanbul Jazz Festival is a favorite among European fans.
Jazz musicians such Natalie Cole, Grammy award winning chanteuse, Randy Crawford, Joe Sample and American icon Paul Simon will be featured on the programme of the Festival. A Lifetime Achievement award was presented on opening night, Thursday, to Okay Temiz, the Turkish Jazz Master who has influenced decades of jazz musicians and the jazz scene in Turkey.
Opening night featured a homage to jazz great American musician Miles Davis with the “Tribute to Miles” concert. Percussionists Misirli Ahmet, and Zakir Hussain, will also be featured with the sitar virtuoso Niladri Kumar.
Other musicians performing at the Istanbul Jazz Festival include Wayne Shorter, Marcus Miller, Neil Cowley Trio, Jehan Barbur, Emir Ersoy and Herbie Hancock. The Jazz Festival will take place in various venues around Istanbul over the 20 days including at the Istanbul Archaeology Musean, the Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theatre, the Tersane (Ottoman shipyard) Stage, the Marmara Esma Sultan on the Bosphorus in Ortaköy, and the Santral İstanbul amphitheater. The Istanbul Jazz festival take place these various locations using the city of Istanbul as its stage. The Istanbul Jazz Festival will last until July 19, in over 25 different venues with about 40 live performances with approximately 300 jazz musicians from both Turkey and abroad.
Tickets are available through Biletix.
The artist Ben Marzouk currently living in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is one of the featured international artists at the Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), which is to take place between September 13th to November 17th of this year.
Originally from Mahares, a city along the coast of Tunisia, Marzouk graduated as an engineer from the State Technical School and the School of Fine Arts in Brussels. His art went through various schools of techniques and influences but has always been colorful combined with a figurative tone. He moved to Brazil a few years ago where he discovered his own style of abstract expressionism. The vibrant colors of the Mediterranean are reflected in his work and he became known for his figurative abstract style. Today, ethereal and magical figures transgress his works.
Marzouk admits that his main source of inspiration comes from his homeland Tunisia where he spent his youth. For him, it is important to translate into art the sentiments he has for his native country. With the political transformation that recently took place in Tunisia, he has perceived an upheaval in his art moving towards the political and the desire for greater freedom of expression. With this goal of greater freedom of expression felt in the land and people of Tunisia, his paintings have become more representative of the current situation in that he opposes, as in a game of “chess,” the two major powers who are currently fighting to gain power.
To create this effect, he uses fragmentation in his works, combining the feeling of freedom of movement as well as the figures of birds which express the sentiment of change. Marzouk’s process is a long process of creation. After a long period of time of spent in contemplation and of gathering information, he then turns to sketching and finally to canvas.
Marzouk’s art has been exhibited in several galleries around the world from São Paulo to Belgium, France and Tunisia. Before he comes to the Istanbul in the Autumn, his next exhibition before the 12th Istanbul Biennale will be in New York City. Istanbul is currently in preparation for the Istanbul Biennale 2011 contemporary art exhibition.