Akbank Jazz Festival, hosting world-class jazz stars and memorable performances for 23 years, opened its doors again in an ambitious program, covering the musicians such as Cassandra Wilson, Harriet Tubman, Enrico Rava, Mare Nostrum and Nicholas Payton, Mos Def, Mulatu Astatke, Sex Mob, Lost Fingers, Jehan Barbur featuring Ilhan Ersahin and Jim Rotondi. During the festival to be held from September 25 to October 12, 50 concerts, 3 panels and 6 studio works will be carried out in 45 different locations including Istanbul Lutfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Centre, Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall, Akbank Sanat, Babylon, Babylon Lounge, Nardis, Garajistanbul, Pera Palace Hotel, Jumeirah Centre. The festival will host 280 musicians. Hosting many worldwide known musicians The festival this year hosts many jazz musicians. Some of the names that stand out in the program are Cassandra Wilson, Harriet Tubman, Enrico Rava, Mare Nostrum and Nicholas Payton, Mos Def, Mulatu Astatke, Sex Mob, Lost Fingers, Jehan Barbur featuring Ilhan Ersahin and Jim Rotondi. John Surman, one of England’s greatest English saxophone players will bring his unique style to the festival with a concert. Mare Nostrum, a project consisting of critically appraised European musicians including Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, French accordion player Richard Galliano and Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren, will also perform at the festival. The “Sounds of the New World” section will feature Rotondi, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Nicholas, Astatke, Harriet Tubman & Cassandra Wilson, Mos Def, Chris Dave and the Drumhedz. Jazz Masters The festival opens with Malia. The program titled “Malia Sings Nina Simone” takes place on Sept. 25 at The Seed. The program is a nostalgic journey through Nina Simone’s songs. In her latest album Black Orchid, Malia successfully interpreted Nina Simone’s masterpieces like \"Four Women\", \"If You Go Away\", \"Don’t Explain\", \"Baltimore\", \"Feeling Good\", \"Wild Is The Wind\", \"Marriage Is For Old Folks\". Being considered as one of the most important soul jazz singers of our time, she perfectly reflects the feelings of love, abandonment, betrayal that are necessary to interpret Nina Simone’s songs faithfully. Malia will take the stage at The Seed as the opening performance of the 23rd Akbank Jazz Festival. One of the honored guests of the festival is legendary trumpeter Enrico Rava. Rava to be accompanied by Fabrizio Sferra on drums will take the stage with \"Rava Tribe\" on Sept. 27 at Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall. The relation between Music-Cinema Director of Akbank Art Derya Bigali said the festival would offer a large diversity in musical timbres such as classical, avant-garde, jazz, electronic. \"Many important events, as part of the festival, will take place in the memory of veteran musicians whom we have lost recently. At the same time, we will give wide coverage to different events on the relationship between music and cinema in our program\" said Bigali.