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First Week of 27th Akbank Jazz Festival

Blog
First Week of 27th Akbank Jazz Festival

30.11.2017

Text: Artemis Günebakanlı

I greeted the first saturday night of 27th Akbank Jazz Festival with two shows. The night opened with Daniel Herskedal & Marius Neset Duo, catching up with Istanbul at Akbank Sanat, four years after their first show here. Then I was blown up by Red Baraat’s explosive energy at Babylon.

Having played together since their years at Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, tuba player Daniel Herskedal and saxaphonist Marius Neset even breathe in harmony on stage. The sometimes percussive approach to tuba constructs the spine of their music, while the winding saxaphone stays connected to this structure. Both musicians go beyond the limits of their instruments, but still leave space for the other to thrive.

In their 2012 album Neck of the Woods, the Norwegian duo approached Norwegian folk songs from the perspective of European church music. We were presented excerpts from this album as well as examples of each musician’s solo work. Particularly, Herskedal’s looped tuba layers added some dreamy mist to a rainy saturday evening.

As for Babylon, a completely different energy was in the air. Brooklyn based Red Baraat was eager to share their own brand of Bhangra, jazz, funk, rock and hip hop for the first time in Istanbul, on the last gig of their European tour, following their latest album Bhangra Pirates.

As the excitement of the band multiplied by the excitement of the audience, the sold-out gig became a non-stop, high energy dancing challenge. Red Baraat added covers of popular Punjabi songs Tunak Tunak Tun and Mundian To Bach Ke to their already fueled setlist. Band leader Sunny Jain’s inviting rhythms on dhol, trumpet player and vocalist Sonny Singh’s hip hop approach and guitarist Keisuke Matsuno’s effect driven solos took the music to different junctions of genres. Red Baraat, claiming to be “The best party band in the World”, proved their case with an unforgettable performance.

Presenting the different faces of jazz to the city, the first saturday night of 27th Akbank Jazz Festival started with a trip to Norwegian woods and ended with joining Bhangra Pirates.

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