Syrian musicians to perform at Istanbul Jazz Festival

Published 22.06.2016 21:57

Istanbul Jazz Festival will host a special project which will bring together around 50 Syrian musicians, organizers said Wednesday.

The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) said that a concert presented by Blur frontman Damon Albarn would take place at the city's Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theatre.

This project brings together current and former members of the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music, led by conductor Issam Rafea, who is based in the U.S.

"Artists from Britain and Syria will be joined by performers from Algeria, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Tunisia and the United States," the statement added.

Along with the orchestra, some of the other performers who will take the stage at the event are Algerian singer Rachid Taha, American singer Julia Holter, Senegal musician Baaba Maal, rapper of Lebanese-Syrian origin Eslam Jawaad and the 'queen of Arab hip-hop' Malikah.

Some surprise guests from Turkey will be performing along with the orchestra, the IKSV added.

The orchestra first played with Albarn at the Damascus Opera House in 2008. The team later worked again for Albarn's virtual band Gorillaz's track White Flag and later toured Europe and the Middle East.

As most members of the orchestra, including Rafea, had to flee their country after the Syrian civil war started, Albarn's project aims to reunite group members.

The orchestra will play for six special concerts in Europe, including the Holland Festival, Glastonbury in southern England and Denmark's Roskilde Festival.

The Istanbul Jazz Festival will take place between June 27 and July 15, bringing together more than 200 Turkish and international musicians.

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