Hancock to honour special jazz link with Turkey on International Jazz Day

Charles J. Gans, The Associated Press
February 18, 2013

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Pianist Herbie Hancock is looking forward to paying tribute to a special connection between Turkey and jazz music at celebrations of International Jazz Day on April 30.

UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Hancock is organizing a gala concert with jazz stars from around the world to be held in Istanbul, designated the host city for International Jazz Day 2013.

Hancock hopes the event spotlights the surprising bond that was forged decades ago when the Turkish ambassador to the U.S. opened his residence for white and black musicians to jam together at a time when segregation held sway in the U.S. capital.

The ambassador's son, Ahmet Ertegun, went on to found Atlantic Records, launching the careers of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and jazz musician Ornette Coleman, among others.