Meridian’s American-Turkish Jazz Exchange to participate in the 11th Annual Turkish Festival

Annual Turkish Festival
Washington DC: In September 2013, Meridian International Center will host five emerging jazz musicians from Ankara, Turkey, as part of the U.S.-Turkish Jazz Exchange. This is the musicians’ first-ever series of performances in the U.S., with concerts scheduled to be held at Meridian International Center, the historic Turkish Embassy Residence, DC public schools, Busboys and Poets, and the main stage at the 11th Annual Turkish Festival.

Annual Turkish Festival Sponsors
This week-long music exchange is supported in part through the generosity of:

During their one-week visit, the Turkish musicians will meet some of Washington’s top music professionals, cultural leaders, and members of the performing arts community, as well as engage students, and learn about American culture. They will participate in a jazz spoken word performance with local poets at Busboys and Poets 5th & K location on September 26th.

Additionally, the young Turkish jazz musicians and members of the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra will perform on September 29th in the 11th Annual Turkish Festival with a free concert in downtown Washington, DC. This concert will be a highlight of the 2nd Annual Turkish Cultural Heritage Month and will be sponsored by the American-Turkish Association of DC (ATA-DC).

The Exchange, which also includes cultural activities, visits to DC public schools, and a jam session at Sitar Arts Center and Howard University, is funded in part through a $20,000 grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities to support the District’s Sister City relationship with Turkey’s capital. Additional support for the program was provided by the Turkish Cultural Foundation and Turkish Airlines, both of which sponsored international travel for group members, playing an instrumental role in supporting the exchange.

Meridian worked with a number of leading programming partners to ensure that the U.S.-Turkish Jazz Exchange brings the richest possible experience of Turkish culture to audiences in the U.S. According to Dr. Curtis Sandberg, Meridian’s Senior Vice President for the Arts: “This first-of-its-kind program will provide an opportunity for American audiences to enjoy rarely experienced live performances of Turkish artists who have never before visited our country. We are extremely pleased to be working with a number of top-notch partners to make this a success, including the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey, the American-Turkish Association of Washington DC (ATA-DC), and the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA).”

Emre Kartari – the founder of Turkey’s first government-funded jazz program at Hacettepe University in Ankara – has created this Turkish jazz ensemble composed of emerging young talent.

U.S.-Turkey Student Jazz Exchange Program Participating Musicians:

Project summary

Meridian’s American-Turkish Jazz Exchange to participate in the 11th Annual Turkish Festival
Regions: Europe and Eurasia
Countries: Turkey
Impact Areas: Cultural Diplomacy
Program Areas: Culture, Exchanges
Partners: Private Sector, Public Sector