My primary education

I graduated from the Baku Academy of Music as a choirmaster, which means my education had nothing to do with jazz. Love for jazz was implanted in me by Rauf Babayev when I sang in his ensemble Bari Bakh. I always wanted to pursue education in the field of music, and I was lucky. Once during one of my perfor-mances, I was introduced to Adalat Aliyev, the president of the Lider television and radio company, who offered to finance my further education, and of course, I did not think twice before saying yes.

Diana Hajiyeva

Education is incessant

I continued studying at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in England. I chose the Vocals Higher Diploma.

I cannot say that I only studied jazz there. What I found appealing was that at that institute, there was an opportunity to unfold and find yourself in many genres. This was how we learned blues, soul, funk, pop, and jazz. The lessons were carried out in a very free atmosphere, and the teachers were simply outstanding. .

For instance, our ensemble class was taught by Amy Winehouse’s keyboardist Xan Blacq, while the jazz class was taught by famous jazz singer Finni Bearman. The LPW (Live Performance Workshop) class attended by all Higher Diploma students, including guitarists, bass players, drummers and keyboardists, was amazing as well. This class enabled students to perform jointly on stage and naturally, gain experience.

About London youth

English youth is quite a loose concept, as it is very difficult to find native Englishmen in London. Guys and girls there are pretty relaxed and open-minded. Overall, London is a place where you can do anything, and be sure there will always be demand for it.

Diana Hajiyeva

Joint work

While I studied in English, I had a chance to work for the Maiden Tower lounge and participate in jam sessions. The most memorable one was jamming at the legendary jazz club Ronnie Scots.

Support is always crucial

As I said, without Adalat Aliyev’s help, I would have hardly achieved this. I am extremely grateful to him for letting me have this education opportunity.

Summing up

My education is a year-long Higher Diploma program. Now I am waiting impatiently for the diploma which I am due to receive in late November of this year.

About plans

I am planning to give a solo concert, where I would include not just covers and jazz standards, but also my own works and participation in jazz festivals. The most important thing is to keep on singing!

Diana Hajiyeva