21st International Ankara Jazz Festival Opening

The 21st International Ankara Jazz Festival kicked off with songs from the Queen of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald – in honor of the centennial of her birth – performed by the Ece Goksu Band at the United States Embassy residence on May 8th, 2017.

Among the guests attending the opening night were well-known names from the arts and culture circles, dignitaries from other diplomatic missions in Ankara, jazz festival sponsors, U.S. Embassy exchanges programs’ alumni and jazz music enthusiasts.

In his opening remarks, United States Ambassador John Bass said, “Hoşgeldiniz. I am delighted to have all of you here to join us in kicking off the 21st Annual Ankara Jazz Festival. Jazz is America’s gift to the world in a sense. Jazz has space for every culture, and every musical tradition. And I think it is one of the best cultural forms for magic to happen when you bring two or more cultures together and you see talent from different historical perspectives created before your eyes and ears.”

Prior to Ece Goksu Band taking the stage to perform, Ambassador Bass noted, “It’s been 241 years since Americans were ruled by royalty. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have royalty. We do. And the brightest star in our royal firmament is the queen of jazz, Ms. Ella Fitzgerald. So, this 100th year since she was born is the perfect time of course to celebrate the queen.”

The 21st International Ankara Jazz Festival will continue until May 26th, 2017. (Click here to visit the photo gallery)