By Amina Nazarli
The European Azerbaijan Society in cooperation with the Mayor's Office of Colmar has organized a series of cultural events in Colmar, France between September 7 and 12.
The events come in the wake of a historic friendship and co-operation agreement between the ancient Azerbaijani town of Sheki and the historic French town of Colmar this year.
The talented national jazz musician, Emil Afrasiab, thrilled the French audience, headlining the opening of the 20th edition of the prestigious Festival de Jazz de Colmar on 7 September, PRWeb reported
Emil performed his self-penned piece titled “Two Worlds,” composed to demonstrate the relationship between Eastern and Western idioms, rhythms, and scales. After a rhapsodic solo introduction, replete with classically-influenced romanticism, Emil increased the tempo, running up and down the piano keyboard, his music incorporating the Eastern harmonies and microtones found in mugham.
Addressing the opening of the jazz festival, Colmar Mayor Gilbert Meyer recalled leading a delegation to Sheki.
“This is a special evening, as this concert remind us of the friendship and co-operation agreement that was signed with the town of Sheki in Azerbaijan. We are welcoming one of the greatest Azerbaijani pianists – Emil Afrasiyab – who combines jazz with elements derived from mugham that, like the Pyramids, have been recognized by UNESCO. Azerbaijan and France are great friends, yet they have quite different cultures, and Sheki is the Pearl of the Caucasus,” said.
The historic Alsatian town of Colmar also hosted the “Azerbaijan Through the Lens” exhibition, featuring 30 stunning images of Azerbaijan by amateur and professional photographers from across the world for a competition run by The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS).
At the opening of the exhibition, TEAS director Marie-Laetitia Gourdin asserted, “Azerbaijan is a member of the EU Eastern Partnership and is aiming to develop understanding from European countries, notably through cultural exchange. After Colmar hosted the Days of Azerbaijan in 2012, the dynamism of these exchanges increased, culminating in the signing of the friendship and co-operation agreement.”