The “Genius of Soul” Ray Charles with Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun
(photo by Fred Prouser and Reuters)
“God has wrought many things out of oppression. He has endowed his creatures with the capacity to create—and from this capacity has flowed the sweet songs of sorrow and joy that have allowed man to cope with his environment and many different situations. Jazz speaks for life.” ––Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival Opening Address
The second International Jazz Day Global Concert held April 30, 2013, in Istanbul, Turkey, was as much about the long-standing relationship between the music and the country of Turkey as it was about a world audience enjoying an exceptional line-up of world-class performers. Millions unable to attend the concert physically were able to do so via a live stream on YouTube and other web locations.
The music of jazz is one which many African Americans are prone to jealously safeguarding as an original form of creative expression linked directly to the history of African Americans’ struggle for freedom and equality. While the International Jazz Day concert respectfully acknowledged those roots, it also demonstrated just how far the branches of the music’s influence have spread.
Jazz has often (and rightly so) been lauded for its aesthetic and racial inclusiveness. This quality is perhaps also mirrored in Istanbul’s reputation as a geographical and cultural center linking Europe with Asia. The concert’s moderator, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and jazz legend Herbie Hancock (who did double duty as a performer), put it this way when referring to the almost 200 countries represented by those attending and participating in the event: “Today, people of all nationalities, cultures, and beliefs speak the same language–– the language of jazz.”
Ahmet Ertegun and Nesuhi Ertegun
Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova described Istanbul as “a world city” and jazz as music that “connects people. This is our message for today.”
For the full article by Aberjhani please this link:
World-class musicians honor Turkey’s long relationship with jazz (part 1 of 2) – National African-American Art | Examiner.com.