For years, I have written about the IKSV (Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts) awards to be given to Özdemir Erdoğan and Emin Fındıkoğlu. In my opinion Özdemir Erdoğan’s award came a little late, but still it is good to see that he finally received it. Özdemir Erdoğan voiced his displeasure about not being invited to the Jazz Festivals on various platforms. I would list two reasons for this, one being the fact that Özdemir Erdoğan has his signature on many important pop songs, and that some people consider him more of a pop musician. The other reason would be him being vocal and honest about the happenings in the music world. Music philosophy is based on a foundation that is devoid of any prejudices. I hope the movers and shakers of the music world embrace this foundation and regard it objectively like Özdemir Erdoğan does. Let’s not forget that another award will be given to Ergüven Başaran. I had interviewed Ergüven Başaran for the Jazz magazine previously. He is also a very valuable and hard-working musician. It makes me sad to see that such nameless heroes are being forgotten. But this time, Özdemir Erdoğan is not forgotten and he is the recipient of this award.
How does it feel to be receiving this award?
Receiving this award, of course, is very important for me, last year they gave it to Emin Fındıkoğlu and this year they are awarding me. This long standing award being given is very important for the progress and development of Turkish Jazz.
This award has become a tradition?
You know, there is a saying, talent is subject to compliment. People should show off their talent, work harder, create and be active to receive this award. Surely there will be a lot of beautiful work coming out of this.
Could you inform us about the program?
The program consists of two parts. In the first part, there are three or four classic songs by Cole Porter, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra. I will focus on the topic of Ethnic Jazz and how the Brazilians have achieved this and brought a new perspective to jazz with bossa nova, with ‘’One Note Samba’’. We’ll be playing standards like Paul Desmond’s ‘’Take Five’’. We won’t be playing long solos so that people are not bored and we have time for more songs on the set. It will be our own version of jazz, a little cooler and lighter. There will be my originals as well like “Canım Senle Olmak İstiyor”, “Aç Kapıyı Gir İçeri” and “Sevdim Seni Bir Kere”.
Will you be performing any examples from Turkish music?
We will only play “Ikinci Bahar” that could be considered Turkish music. It will be a “tasting menu” kind of concert, the aim is to show people that jazz concerts aren’t something to fear. It is an effort to popularise the genre and to draw more people in on this platform. We will play only a limited amount of solos to make the pieces more accessible to everyone. Something like that Tony Bennett does. This will be a collage introducing the arranger, guitarist and singer Özdemir Erdoğan to the listeners.