Turkey has always been tightly bound to jazz music from the date of its foundation. Between 1923 and 1941, with the declaration of Turkish Republic, jazz bands started to take their place on the Turkish jazz scene with Swing Amatör, being the first of many, inlcuding The Haçaturyan brothers and Gregor Kalekyan’s Orchestra.

Thanks to many different platforms for listening to jazz, today Turkey has a broad range of different jazz audiences. Ranging from jazz clubs to festivals, concerts and both individual and constitutional organisations, Turkey has many opportunities for potential newcomers and existing listeners. In Istanbul’s nightlife, hotels with jazz clubs have been increasing. Certain neighbourhoods such as Taksim, Galata, Cihangir and Karaköy have a vibrant nightlife and many jazz clubs are located in these districts.

Today, jazz in Turkey, straddles fusion, blues and other contemporary forms and many festivals place great importance on a diverse programming strategy to embrace many sub-genres and their audiences.

Guide compiled by EJN members Bozcaada Jazz Festival