Wednesday April 24 2024

Baku to host International Jazz Festival

2 October 2013 09:57 (UTC+04:00)
Baku to host International Jazz Festival

By Sabina Idayatova

The Baku International Jazz Festival will be held from October 23 to November 2, according to the website of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan.

The festival which involves well-known musicians around the world will be held under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan Culture Foundation.

Traditionally, the festival features renowned musicians from various countries.

Within the framework of the festival, performances by Joshua Redman, Kerry Garrett, Avishai Cohen, Marcus Miller, Bob James, David Sanborn and others will be held at Heydar Aliyev Palace, International Mugham Center and Baku Jazz Center.

Well-known Azerbaijani musicians - Salman Gambarov, Emil Afrasiyab and Mirjavad Jafarov, as well as talented young musicians will also perform solo and group programs at the festival together with international artists.

At the heart of the festival is Azerbaijani jazz which has its own extensive history. While conquering the world at the beginning of the 20th century, the musical genre that is jazz reached Baku. Newspaper archives indicate that bands at around that time were already performing jazz in Baku restaurants. It is likely that Robert Nobel and his brothers, Ludwig and Alfred, listened to jazz in Baku. Unfortunately, there are no early recordings to determine the professional quality of those performances.

In 1920, the Soviet regime gained control of the region, and soon Soviet doctrine profoundly affected all aspects of daily life - even the attitudes toward art and literature. Everything was subject to Communist ideology and centralized control. Nothing escaped its scrutiny, not even music - including what to sing, what to play and what to listen to. Those decisions were all made at the Kremlin in Moscow, not by local artists.

In the period of persecution and the prohibition of jazz was born the founder of Azerbaijani jazz, Vagif Mustafazadeh. By delving into the past, it can be noted that Mustafazadeh became a bright ray of light for jazz in times of musical darkness. He had long been an outcast and was not understood by people whose consciousness had been absorbed by the Soviet ideology.

However, Mustafazadeh managed to make jazz Azerbaijani, creating in it something native and something close to Azerbaijani soul. He created a new sound - his own kind of jazz, a fusion of jazz with a form of indigenous Azerbaijani music, Mugham.

These days, Aziza Mustafazadeh and Isfar Sarabski, as well as other celebrities like Emil Afrasiyab, Elchin Shirinov, Afgan Rasoul, Ulviyya Rahimova, Diana Hajiyeva, Zaur Mirzayev and Sabina Babayeva are breathing new life into the rich art of Azerbaijani jazz.

Latest See more