Festival History

Akbank Jazz Festival, the most perennial jazz festival in Turkey, was launched in 1991 with concerts organized in Istanbul. Not only hosting the prominent jazz figures across the world but also paving the way for emerging and promising next-gen artists, the Festival has now made it into a versatile organization by adopting panels, workshops, film screening sessions, concerts and social responsibility projects.

In time, Akbank Jazz Festival has expanded its musical scope by including various electronic and world music projects, along with classical and modern jazz works. In doing so, it reached an indispensable position as an event not only vis-à-vis jazz-enthusiasts, also for enthusiasts of other genres. The Festival was held in a wide range of venues including Akbank Sanat, Aya Irini Museum, Babylon, Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, Zorlu Center PSM, where it featured numerous major jazz artists as well as artists from other genres and generations including Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Roberto Fonseca, Terje Rypdal, Miroslav Vitous, Nils Peter Molvear, Anouar Brahem Trio, Abdullah Ibrahim, Aydın Esen, Betty Carter Trio, Dave Holland, John Zorn, Cassandra Wilson, Joachim Kühn, Joe Zawinul, Anthony Braxton, McCoy Tyner, Joe Lovano, Egberto Gismonti Trio, Courtney Pine, Pharoah Sanders, Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Arto Lindsay, Richard Bona, Max Roach, Nguyen Le, Dino Saluzzi, Jimmy Smith, Ayşe Tütüncü, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Trio 3, Aki Takase, Sam Rivers, Don Cherry, Richard Galliano, Biréli Lagrène, Stephan Micus, Steve Turre, Charles Lloyd New Quartet, Avishai Cohen "Seven Seas", Arild Andersen Trio, Maffy Falay Sextet, Dusko Goykovich Quartet, Paul Motian, The Ray Gelato Giants, Azam Ali & Niyaz, Robert Glasper Experiment, Vijay Iyer Trio, ZAZ, Christian McBride Trio, Jamie Cullum, Kenny Barron & Dave Holland, Leszek Możdżer, China Moses, Ambrose Akinmusire, Chet Faker, Enrico Rava and Nicholas Payton.

Presented with assorted changes each year, Akbank Jazz Festival reached various cities of Turkey other than Istanbul, with the launch of Jazz on Campus concerts held since 2006. This series of concerts was organized in various cities including Ankara, Eskişehir, Gaziantep, İzmir, Eskişehir, Trabzon, Adana, Erzurum, Kayseri, Kars and many more.

In 2010, Akbank Jazz Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary which was honored by a compilation album, an epitome of its history, and a retrospective documentary and book. In 2011, the 20th edition of Akbank Jazz Festival was awarded the category prize of "Corporate Social Responsibility – Culture and Art" as part of the Golden Compass Awards organized by Turkey Public Relations Association (TÜHİD). Having celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015, the festival compiled a rich collection of contemporary Turkish jazz scene, consisting of 2 CD's. Featuring a limited number of vinyl records released to cherish the quarter-century past, the festival also presents a short selection of the 60's and 70's Turkish jazz panorama in this album.

Akbank Jazz Festival also realized various roaring projects across digital media by gatewaying a whole new dimension for communication with followers through social media. The Festival was granted various awards within the scope of Stevie Awards and Creativity International Awards for its social media projects entitled Akbank Jazz Festival T-shirt Design Competition and Akbank Jazz Radio. Akbank Jazz Festival is a member of European Jazz Network.

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22 MAY MON
-
23 MAY TUE
2

17:00

Film Invisible to the Eye

Akbank Sanat

18:30

Conversation Talk: Zeynep Dadak + Çiçek Kahraman

Akbank Sanat

24 MAY WED
2

18:30

Seminar “Postgraduate Students Represent: Our Stage Music from the Tanzimat to the 1990s”

Akbank Sanat

19:00

Conversation Jazz Listening Club“Creative Guitar in Jazz from Past to Present!”

Akbank Sanat

25 MAY THU
1

20:30

Dance Contemporary Dance Performance: "Meeting"

Akbank Sanat

26 MAY FRI
1

20:30

Dance Contemporary Dance Performance: "Moment"

Akbank Sanat

27 MAY SAT
2

15:00

Workshop From Text to Stage

Akbank Sanat

18:30

Film Video Essay: Absorbing Ignorance: Experiential Illusions (41’44’’)

Akbank Sanat

28 MAY SUN
-
29 MAY MON
-
30 MAY TUE
2

16:30

Film Big Big World

Akbank Sanat

18:30

Conversation Talk: Reha Erdem + Florent Herry

Akbank Sanat

31 MAY WED
3

11:00

Kid Out There - Dance Theatre for Babies

Akbank Sanat

12:30

Kid Out There - Dance Theatre for Babies

Akbank Sanat

14:00

Kid Out There - Dance Theatre for Babies

Akbank Sanat

01 JUN THU
1

20:00

Seminar An Alternative View on Art, Children and Creativity

Online Platform – Zoom

02 JUN FRI
4

13:00

Film Big Big World

Akbank Sanat

15:00

Film Video Essay: Absorbing Ignorance: Experiential Illusions (41’44’’)

Akbank Sanat

16:00

Conversation Talk + Curatorial Tour: Lara Kamhi

Akbank Sanat

20:00

Seminar An Alternative View on Art, Children and Creativity

Online Platform – Zoom

03 JUN SAT
7

11:00

Kid Out There - Dance Theatre for Babies

Akbank Sanat

12:30

Kid Out There - Dance Theatre for Babies

Akbank Sanat

13:00

Workshop Objects, Needs and Tricks (Workshop for Adults)

Akbank Sanat

14:00

Kid Out There - Dance Theatre for Babies

Akbank Sanat

15:00

Workshop Stanislavsky Theory of Acting

Akbank Sanat

19:00

Conversation Talk: “Synesthesia” by Ali Mahmut Demirel

Akbank Sanat

20:00

Seminar An Alternative View on Art, Children and Creativity

Online Platform – Zoom

04 JUN SUN
1

20:00

Seminar An Alternative View on Art, Children and Creativity

Online Platform – Zoom

05 JUN MON
-
06 JUN TUE
3

10:00

Workshop Emrecan Tanış Masterclass

Akbank Sanat

17:00

Film Phases of Matter

Akbank Sanat

18:30

Conversation Talk: Deniz Tortum + Alican Çamcı

Akbank Sanat

07 JUN WED
1

18:30

Seminar Is İstanbul A Design Capital?

Akbank Sanat

08 JUN THU
1

18:30

Seminar Getting Out of the Anthropocene: Bernard Stiegler's Analysis of Contemporary Crisis - Emre Şan

Akbank Sanat

09 JUN FRI
2

13:00

Film Big Big World

Akbank Sanat

15:00

Film Video Essay: Absorbing Ignorance: Experiential Illusions (41’44’’)

Akbank Sanat

10 JUN SAT
2

15:00

Workshop Movement of Sound

Akbank Sanat

18:30

Film Phases of Matter

Akbank Sanat

11 JUN SUN
-

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