By Laman Ismayilova
March 16 marks the 79th anniversary of the founder of Azerbaijani jazz-mugham, honored art worker Vagif Mustafazade.
The birthday of jazz legend has been solemnly marked in Moscow.
The commemorative event took place at Igor Butman Club on March 10, Trend Life reported.
Friends and colleagues of the jazzman, fans of his music attended the event.
Speaking at the concert, maestro Igor Butman noted that the memory of the outstanding Azerbaijani composer and pianist will always live in the hearts of jazz lovers.
"I got acquainted with his work at a young age. I will never forget the performance of Vagif at the Kvadrat jazz club and at the Autumn Rhythms jazz festival in St. Petersburg. After that, we saw each other on tour. It was a pleasure to listen to him. Vagif Mustafazade is remembered in the jazz world," Butman said.
The famous jazzman stressed the importance of developing cultural ties between Russia and Azerbaijan.
"In Soviet times, an entire generation listened to the songs of Polad Bulbuloglu with love. A generation of young musicians is being formed in Azerbaijan. For example, I met a very talented pianist Isfar Sarabski at the International Jazz Festival in Paris. I enjoyed performing on the same stage with him," he added.
Recalling the last visit to Azerbaijan, Igor Butman stressed that Baku had become modern, turned into a center for holding international events. He witnessed interesting festivals, competitions and exhibitions in Baku.
Azerbaijan's cultural attaché in Russia Nigar Ahundova, head of the House-Museum and Vagif Mustafazade Foundation Afag Aliyeva, pianist Gregory Fine and others said that the musician conquered the hearts of listeners with a unique, virtuosic technique of performance.
Vagif Mustafazade is the founder of Azerbaijani jazz mugham movement that emerged in the late 1960s and 1970s in Baku, as a result of the mixture of these two styles.
Throughout years, he wrote numerous jazz compositions, including fugues, preludes, ballads and scherzos, many of them written in the 1970s. He released a total of eight albums, all with different line-ups, mood and style.
By the beginning of 1960s, Vagif was gaining recognition outside of Azerbaijan.
Winner of numerous jazz festivals such as "Tallinn-66", "Tallinn-67", Baku festival "Jazz 69", Donetsk 1977 festival, and "Tbilisi-78", Vagif Mustafazade always fascinated listeners with his originality and virtuosity.
Musician's death was a shock to many people. He was only 39 years old when he died on stage while performing in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) in 1979.
Jazz schools around the world have recognized Vagif Mustafazade as a phenomenal musician. His works represent a unique combination of eastern and western schools, of tradition and innovation.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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