Jazz Evening commemorating Ahmet Ertegun,founder of Atlantic Records

Vaşington Büyükelçiliği 28.11.2008

Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C. and The Embassy Series to Pay Tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, the Legendary Record Producer and Founder of Atlantic Records and Mehmet Munir Ertegun, Turkish Ambassador to the U.S., 1934-1944

On December 5, the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with The Embassy Series, will pay tribute to the legendary record producer and founder of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun, and his father, Mehmet Munir Ertegun, Turkish Ambassador to the United States between 1934 to 1944, with an Evening of Jazz, featuring well-known Turkish pianist-composer Fahir Atakoglu and African American musicians. The event, to be held at the historic Turkish Embassy Residence, will commemorate the second anniversary of Ahmet Ertegun's passing, also marking the journey of USS Missouri 62 years ago, carrying the remains of his father back to Turkey at the behest of President Harry Truman.

Arriving in the U.S. in 1934 with his father, it was at the Embassy Residence that Ertegun cultivated his passion for the African-American music, and, with his brother Nasuhi, arranged integrated jazz and blues sessions challenging segregation. Ertegun, in collaboration with many African-American artists, including the renowned performers like Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, eventually went on to build one of the most successful recording labels in American history, Atlantic Records. Thus, Ertegun became a pioneer of civil rights who built bridges that united a segregated community, and, brought the Turkish and African-American cultures together.

The Ahmet Ertegun Jazz Evening, organized with the Embassy Series, is the first of many events that the Turkish Embassy plans to host in cooperation with Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. In fact, the Turkish Embassy and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation came together last April at an event held at this Residence to celebrate the CBCF's acquisition of its building on the Massachusetts Avenue in Northwest Washington, D.C. Both the Embassy and the CBCF wish to carry this truly special partnership into the future and continue developing ties between Turkey and the African-American community in the U.S. — much as Ahmet Ertegun began decades ago.

Fahir Atakoglu, the pianist and composer featured at the event, has worked with a wide range of artists across many musical genres, from symphonic scoring to advertising jingles. He attended the Istanbul State Conservatory and studied at both the London School of Music and Croydon College in the UK. Mr. Atakoglu composed music for Turkey's top bands and musicians, and has successfully recorded nine albums since his debut in 1994.

The event will be held at the Residence of the Turkish Ambassador, 1606 23rd Street, NW on Friday, December 5th, 2008 at 7:30 pm.

Limited tickets for this event are available online at www.embassyseries.org or by calling 202.625.2361. Tickets are $150, including buffet reception and valet parking.


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