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Stevie Wonder, 14 September 2012

KüçükÇiftlik Park, Maçka

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One of the world's most important figures of popular music, Stevie Wonder visited Istanbul on Friday, September 14 for his very first concert here.The wonderful concert was followed by approx. 9.000 people.

One of the biggest names in music history, Stevie Wonder has been a highly influential figure with his amazing vocals, unique style and compositions. Singer-songwriter, composer and producer Stevie Wonder started his career in 1963 at the age of 13. He released his very first album Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius, and with his song "Fingertips, Part 2", Stevie Wonder became the youngest artist in the history who took #1 position in the music charts. Subsequent Top 10 singles included "I Was Made to Love Her;" "For Once in My Life;" and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours." Released in the fall of 1972, the album, Talking Book, featured the #1 hits "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" and "Superstition" -- one of the most famous examples of the sound of the clavinet.

The groundbreaking double album, Songs in the Key of Life, was released in 1976, and remains one of the most recognizable and accomplished albums in pop music history. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, and among the #1 singles, was "Sir Duke," a song dedicated to jazz great, Duke Ellington. The album stayed at #1 for 14 weeks.
With soaring album sales, high-profile collaborations, charity participation, political impact, and television appearances, Wonder has reached an unparalleled level of fame. His Platinum album, Hotter than July, released in 1980, included "Happy Birthday" which became the rallying song of Stevie's efforts, that helped make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. He has received a Golden Globe and an Academy Award in 1984, for the song, "I just Called To Say I Love You" from the movie, The Woman In Red.

In 1999, Stevie became the youngest recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the NAACP Hall of Fame, and the Apollo theater Hall of Fame. Wonder has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from BET, the Thelonious Monk Institute and the National Civil Rights Museum, just to name a few. In 2010, Stevie was named into France's prestigious National Order of Arts and Letters--an impressive addition to his list of other high profile honors.

Since the beginning of his career Stevie Wonder released very important and classic records such as Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Fulfillingness' First Finale, Innervisions as well as the groundbreaking album Songs in the Key of Life and wrote unforgettable songs such as, "For Once in My Life", "You Are the Sunshine of My Life", "Superstition", "Sir Duke", "Happy Birthday", "I just Called To Say I Love You", and "Isn't She Lovely?".

A multi-instrumentalist, Stevie plays the piano, keyboards, various synthesizers, harmonica, drums, percussion, and had a significant role in bringing synthesizers to the forefront of popular music. He used new texture and sounds, and encouraged Ray Kurzweil to create a synthesizer that would allow one to play orchestral sounds polyphonically.
Wonder has consistently performed at major events over the years including the Closing Ceremonies at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Halftime at Super Bowl XXXII, and the Lincoln Memorial Celebration in honor of the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. In February, 2009, Stevie was named the recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, and he performed his Library of Congress musical commission, "Sketches Of A Life;" he joins a very select group of eminent composers who have received Library commissions, ranging from Aaron Copeland and Leonard Bernstein to Paquito D'Rivera.

As a live performance tour de force, Stevie continues to astound audiences around the world. In 2007 he embarked on his first U.S. concert tour in over ten years, dedicated to his mother, which garnered rave reviews. In testament to the unimpeachable legacy of this international music icon, in 2010, a special release CD, Love Harmony & Eternity debuted at #1 on Japan's International chart and Stevie shattered all records for the Olympic Park Arena in Seoul, Korea, selling out in under 30 minutes.
Winner of 25 Grammies including the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Stevie Wonder continues to be an inspiration for numerous musicians around the world, of various genres ranging from jazz to pop.

Stevie Wonder's first concert in Istanbul was realized on Friday, 14 September in Küçükçiftlik Park, as part of the "Garanti Caz Yeşili" (Garanti Jazz Green) series of Garanti Bank, who has been supporting jazz and related genres for the last 15 years. The "Garanti Caz Yeşili" (Garanti Jazz Green) series were initiated in 1998 to support the Istanbul Jazz Festival, and have helped spreading the music since then.