Having enriched its musical range over the years, the festival presents various projects for electronic music and world music, along with classical music and modern jazz, and cheers up not only jazz enthusiasts, but also a large number of music aficionados. The Festival has taken place at various venues such as Akbank Art Centre, Hagia Irene Museum, Babylon, and Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, and brought together music enthusiasts with many jazz virtuosos such as Abdullah Ibrahim, Anthony Braxton, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Archie Shepp, Arild Andersen, Cassandra Wilson, Cecil Taylor, Dave Holland, Joe Lovano, Joe Zawinul, John Zorn, McCoy Tyner, Max Roach, Miroslav Vitous, Nils Peter Molvear, and Terje Rypdal.
Surprising visitors with various breakthroughs every year, Akbank Jazz Festival has carried the thrill and excitement of jazz to university students outside Istanbul, under the Jazz at the Campus event that has been taking place since 2006. The Jazz at the Campus concerts buoyed university students in various cities of Turkey including but not limited to Ankara, Eskişehir, Gaziantep, İzmir, Eskişehir, Trabzon, Adana, Erzurum, Kayseri, and Kars.
Akbank Jazz Festival crowned its 20th year in 2010, by releasing a compilation album, a retrospective documentary and a book all of which provided a summary of its past years. The 20th Akbank Jazz Festival was awarded under the “Corporate Social Awareness- Culture & Art” category in the Golden Compass Public Relations Competition organized by the Turkish Public Relations Association in 2011.
Akbank Jazz gave life to a new project with the aim of supporting amateur jazz musicians in 2011. “JAmZZ Akbank Jazz Festival Young Talents Competition” is inviting amateur jazz talents under 30 to be part of the Festival and take the stage in a Jam Session with professional performers. The competition accepts applications under five categories, including “Brass”, “Percussion”, “String”, “Claviers” and “Vocals, while awarding those under the “Best Performance”, the “Best Improvisation” and the “Best Interpretation” categories.
Akbank Jazz has carried its communication with followers to a new dimension on the social media, as well, and has put its signature under influential digital media projects. The Festival received various awards from Stevie Awards and Creativity International Awards, upon its social awareness projects named Akbank Jazz Festival T-Shirt Design Competition and Akbank Jazz Radio.
Akbank Jazz Festival is a member of the Europe Jazz Network, a Europe-wide association of Jazz Festivals.