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Live Reviews

International Jazz Day: Istanbul, Turkey April 30, 2013

By Published: May 24, 2013
Significant sons of great American legends were involved in the program, as well. Drummer T.S. Monk
T.S. Monk
T.S. Monk
was on hand, with a microphone and some inspired words to convey to the crowd, starting with a ripe ecumenical blessing in this 500-year-old Orthodox church: "I would like to thank all the holy spirits who are allowing this evening to happen." Soon after, Martin Luther King III spoke, recalling his father's speech given at the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival, a speech with the telling title Jazz Speaks for Life."

Capping off a whirlwind musical world tour under one ancient roof in Istanbul, in a show well-documented for broadcast, streaming and otherwise disseminating into the known world, International Jazz Day circled its way to a take on "Night in Tunisia" with all the musicians onstage and in the spirit. Dianne Reeves crystallized the universal- minded but also site-specific feeling of the moment in one of her trademarked "you are here" scatting riffs: "Under a bright Turkish moon/the world is celebrating International Jazz Day."

In phase two of this massive and yet definitively concentrated undertaking, by all accounts a resoundingly successful venture in its 2013 model, the deeper implied message remains the same: while the focus is on what happens on one day, April 30, the grander message has to do with making jazz a 24/7/365 entity in the pantheon of world cultures.

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