Ankara international Jazz festival
Featuring 100 artists from 10 countries including Turkey and amazing performances by world-renowned jazz musicians, the upcoming 4th Ankara International Jazz Festival will enliven Ankara with jazz for 11 days

Turkish Daily News

Put on by the Ankara Jazz Society, the 4th Ankara International Jazz Festival will take place on Nov. 15-27 under the theme of “100% Jazz.” More than 100 Turkish and foreign artists and groups will perform during the festival, organized by LEO Organization-Promotion.

The festival will also feature workshops, panel discussions, photography exhibitions and jam sessions as well as 20 concerts.

Festival director Özlem Oktar Varoğlu told the Turkish Daily News in an interview that "Ankara's important festival is gaining international ground this year with the participation of many important jazz bands and soloists from nine different countries."

Presented to the media with a reception hosted by the Italian Embassy in Ankara on Nov. 25, the festival is also supported by international establishments such as Boeing and Selex as well as the Italian, British and French culture centers, the Goethe Institute, the Austrian Embassy Culture Office and the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.

Tradition goes on:

The 4th Ankara International Jazz Festival will feature the Air Forces Command Big Band at the opening concert. Organized with special permission from the Air Forces Command, one of the best military jazz bands in the world, the band will perform on Nov. 15 at the Bilkent Concert Hall.

The Timuçin Şahin Trio will perform on the second day of the festival,. Şahin, who has pursued his career in the United States and the Netherlands since 1992, comes to Ankara with assistance from the Dutch Embassy in Ankara.

Festival content:

The Sabri Tuluğ Tırpan Project will participate in the festival with contributions from the Austrian Embassy's Culture Office. Tırpan will be on stage Nov. 17.

The other stars of the festival are Burhan Öcal, unforgettable for his amazing concert at Middle East Technical University a few years ago, and renowned pianist George Gruntz. Eberhard Weber & Weber will take part in the festival supported by the Goethe Institute. Peter King, who will greet audiences in Ankara with "British jazz" for the first time, and Lica Cecato, the master of words who mixes many different languages and creates a linguistic cacophony of verbal treats, are also among the stars honoring the festival. Masters of clarinet and accordion Gianluigi Trovesi and Gianni Coscia will perform at the festival as well as the American Roseanna Vitro Quartet.

New faces?

The festival welcomes and supports young jazz performers and bands as it has always done. Gevende from Eskişehir, jazz performer and composer Kaan Bıyıkoğlu and Fenomen are among those to be featured at the festival.

Additionally, the outstanding Turkish jazz performer Tuna Ötenel will appear with his band. Working in Ankara for years, the Meserret Orçan Quartet and the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) Pop and Jazz Orchestra are also among the bands scheduled to perform during the festival.

Air Forces Command Big Band:

Turkish jazz masters Elvan Aracı and Sibel Köse, who have been performing with the Air Forces Command Big Band for years, will accompany the band during a concert on Nov. 15 at the Bilkent Concert Hall at 8:30 p.m.

Timuçin Şahin Trio:

Timuçin Şahin participates in the festival with his successful band made up of Gene Jackson on drums and Stefan Lievestro on bass guitar. The trio will be on stage on Nov. 16 at Hacettepe University's M Hall at 8:00 p.m.

Panel on Jazz and Communication:

A panel discussion will be held as part of the festival in memory of the late TV host and jazz program producer Kenan Onuk. The subject of the discussion is "Jazz and Communication." It will be attended by jazz researchers and performers such as Zuhal Focan, Tunçel Gülsoy, Hülya Tunçağ, Orhan Kahyaoğlu and festival director Özlem Oktar Varoğlu and will take place at the Çankaya Municipality Contemporary Arts Center on Nov. 17 at 6:00 p.m. Audiences will be able to attend the event using festival tickets.

Sabri Tuluğ Tırpan Project featuring Evrim Özşuca:

Sabri Tuluğ Tırpan could be called a significant "station" between classical music and jazz, and in this project he concentrates on Brazil and jazz with his friends, Ivan Ruiz Machado on bass guitar, Sarp Maden on guitar, Cengiz Baysal on drums and Tırpan on piano. The project also features one of Turkey's most successful young jazz vocalists, Evrim Özşuca, the winner of the International Young Jazz Vocalists Competition at the Nomme Jazz Festival in Estonia. The Sabri Tuluğ Tırpan Project and Evrim Özşuca will perform on Nov. 17 at 8:00 p.m. at Hacettepe University's Hall M. The group is also scheduled to take part in a workshop on Brazilian and Latin music on the same day.


Composed of Barış Bölükbaşı on guitar, İsmail Soyberk on bass guitar, Mert Topel on keyboard, Bülent Ay on drums and Meriç Demirkol on saxophone, Fenomen performs a blistering jazz-rock-fusion style as well as their own compositions. The group will be on stage on Nov. 18 at 6:00 p.m. at Hacettepe University's Green Hall.

Rosanna Vitro Trio:

Rosanna Vitro visited Ankara two years ago and also gave an amazing concert in Bodrum. In addition to her dazzling performance, the audience will admire the synergy and warmth created on stage. Also featuring Allen Farnham on piano, Dean Johnson on bass and Tim Horner on drums, the concert will be performed on Nov. 18 at 8:00 p.m. at Hacettepe University's Hall M with all profits to be donated to the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund.

Evrim Demirel Quartet:

One of the promising young talents of Turkish jazz, Evrim Demirel will also draw attention for his skill in composing. Continuing his education in the Netherlands, Demirel will perform with musicians he works with in the Netherlands. The Evrim Demirel Quartet is composed of Juan David Galeano on bass, Friso van Wijck on drums and Nikola Demonja on saxophone. The quartet will perform on Nov. 19 at 6:00 p.m. at the METU Congress and Concert Center.

The Öçal & Gruntz & Michel Trio:

The George Gruntz Big Band and Burhan Öçal performed in Ankara years ago, and the memories of their concert have always remained fresh for Ankara's jazz lovers. The Öçal & Gruntz & Michel Trio features Burhan Öçal on percussion, Gruntz on piano and Matthieu Michel on trumpet. The group will be on stage Nov. 19 at 8:00 p.m. at the METU Congress and Concert Center.


The group is made up of Ahmet K. Bilgiç on vocals and guitar, Ömer Öztüyen on keyboard and violin, Ömer Uygan on trumpet, Okan Kaya on bass, vocals and cümbüş (Turkish banjo) and Gökçe Gürçay on drums. The group will perform on Nov. 21 at 6:00 p.m. at the METU Congress and Concert Center.

Weber & Weber:

Eberhard and Reto Weber will perform a concert in memory of Albert Mangelsdorff and his contributions to the world of jazz. The concert will take place at the METU Congress and Concert Center on Nov. 21 at 8:00 p.m.

Kaan Bıyıkoğlu:

Young Turkish jazz performer and composer Kaan Bıyıkoğlu is also among the guests of the festival. Bıyıkoğlu will perform a selection of his own compositions and will be on stage Nov. 22 at 6:00 p.m. at the METU Congress and Concert Center.

Peter King Quartet:

The living legends of British jazz, the Peter King Quartet, are scheduled to perform during the festival. Featuring Steve Melling on piano, Jeremy Brown on bass, Stephen Keogh on drums and King on alto saxophone. The concert will take place on Nov. 22 at 8:00 p.m. at the METU Congress and Concert Center.

Meserret Orçan Trio:

The band consists of Meserret Orçan on vocals and keyboard, Nusret Orçan on bass guitar and Canan Aykent on drums and is the first time the trio has taken part in the Ankara Jazz Festival. The group will play on Nov. 23 at 6:00 p.m. at the METU Congress and Concert Center.

Tuna Ötenel Quintet:

Ankara's great jazz master, Tuna Ötenel, released his fifth and latest album, “How Much Do You Love Me?” and will perform with his friends Şenova Ülker on trumpet, Ercüment Ateş on guitar, Kürşat And on contrabass and Ateş Sezer on drums. Ötenel, who plays piano and saxophone, will perform his own compositions. The concert is on Nov. 23 at 8:00 p.m. at the METU Congress and Concert Center.

Lica Cecato:

One of the brightest female musicians from Brazil is in Ankara for the festival. She was acclaimed in Europe for her wonderful compositions, which she creates by mixing words from different languages, some of which she speaks fluently. Cecato will share her music with us on Nov. 24 at 8:00 p.m. at the METU Congress and Concert Center.

Conference by Francesco Martinelli:

The METU Congress and Concert Center will host a conference on Nov. 25 at 6:00 p.m. titled “Using Folk Material for Building a European Jazz Identity.” The sole speaker at the conference is Francesco Martinelli, a jazz historian, the director of the Siena Jazz Archive and a lecturer of jazz history at the Siena and Istanbul Bilgi universities. To be held in English, the conference can be attended using festival tickets.

Gianluigi Trovesi & Gianni Coscia Duo:

The duo will be on stage on Nov. 25 at 8:00 p.m. at the METU Congress and Concert Center. Beyond doubt, the two masters of clarinet and accordion will mesmerize partygoers.

TRT Istanbul Jazz Orchestra:

The closing concert features the TRT Jazz Orchestra under the baton of Neşet Ruacan. Big bands are the favorites of the Ankara Jazz Festival, and the TRT Istanbul Jazz Orchestra is one of them. Participating in the festival for the first time, the orchestra will be accompanied by vocalist Nükhet Ruacan. The concert will take place on Nov. 26 at 8:00 p.m. at the METU Congress and Concert Center.

Tickets for the festival are available from

For more information call the Ankara Jazz Society on (312) 446 27 33 or the Leo Organization at (312) 448 03 43 or go to or

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