A MEETING WITH RAFIQ SEYIDZADE

A meeting with singer Natavan Sheykhova and saxophonist Rafiq Seyidzade at the Russian Information Centre.

A meeting took place at the Russian Information Centre with veteran of Azerbaijani jazz music, winner of a ‘Humay’ national award, saxophonist Rafiq Seyidzade and Azerbaijani People’s Artist, singer Natavan Sheyhova. The meeting was organised by the ‘Rossotrudnichestvo’ (cooperation with Russia) representation in Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijan Russian community.

Rafiq Seyidzade gave information about the forming of the first jazz group in Baku in the 1950s. The artiste said that Baku became a European city following the war. This is why jazz, the avant-garde music of the time, was accepted in Baku. The first concerts by the group were organised in the ‘Dostluq’ (Friendship) restaurant in ‘Mountain’ park, overlooking the city. Jazz music gradually expanded beyond the walls of the restaurant and captured the souls of Bakuvians. The well-known Azerbaijani jazzman, composer and pianist, Vagif Mustafazade, set out on his creative path at that time. He it was who developed a synthesis between jazz and Azerbaijani mugham music. Jazz music is still popular in Azerbaijan thanks to the musicians who established themselves then and who often organise music festivals in Baku.

Rafiq Seyidzade went on to say how he used to combine his music with administrative work. We should remind you that Rafiq Seyidzade was director of the Muslim Magomayev Azerbaijan State Philharmonia between 1986 and 1998. He was later head of the ‘Friendship House’ formed in Azerbaijan.

At the meeting the musician played a composition on saxophone, based on motifs by Vagif Mustafazade.

A. Aynur

Rafiq Seyidzade