Jazz Festival fascinates Bakunians

By: Amina Nazarli

Baku experienced a magnificent musical evening with the start of the traditional Baku Jazz Festival on October 25.

The Heydar Aliyev Palace turned into a center for jazz, gathering many fans of this genre in the country.

Addressing the event, jazz connoisseur Rahib Azeri noted that Jazz is very popular in Baku and the country has rich Jazz traditions.

The history of national jazz can be traced back to 1930s, when the first Jazz Orchestra was established by Azerbaijani brilliant composers Niyazi and Tofig Guliyev in 1938.

The period between 1960-1970s is referred to as the “jazz boom” in the country.

“Azerbaijanis fell in love with Jazz in the early of 20th century. The genre came to prosper in the country, starting form 1960s when such musicians as Vagif Mustafazade, Tofig Ahmadov, Rafig Babayev and the ‘Gaya’ quartet raised jazz to a new and more qualitative level and musical direction,” he said.

Unfortunately, over time, pop music replaced jazz, Rahib noted, however, adding that thanks to a jazz radio channel, this genre has revived the tradition.

The concert began with a performance by, five-time Grammy award winner Canadian pianist and jazz singer Diana Krall, who has conquered worldwide recognition thanks to the wonderful music she performs. Her concerts are enmeshed in a charming atmosphere.

Known for her contralto vocals, she sold more than six million albums in the US and over 15 million worldwide. She has also earned nine gold, three platinum, and seven multi-platinum albums. In 2009 Billboard magazine named her the second Jazz artist of the 2000–09 decade, establishing her as one of the best-selling artists of her time.

Supported by the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Azerbaijan Culture Foundation, the event will last until November 3.

All concerts will be held at 20:00 on the following schedule: Jamil Amirov with his group on September 28 at the Rashid Behbudov State Song Theatre; Charles Lloyd on September 30 at the Heydar Aliyev Palace; Emil Afrasiab with his group on September 31 at the Muslim Magomayev State Philharmonic; Isfar Sarabski on November 1 at the Heydar Aliyev Palace; Pop Orchestra on November 2 at the Rashid Behbudov State Song Theatre; and Ntjam Rosie on November 3 at the Muslim Magomayev State Philharmonic.