As part of the Third International World of Mugham Festival, ethnic jazz concerts by Azerbaijani performers took place at the Baku Jazz Centre.

Baku Jazz Festival News

This year’s International World of Mugham Festival was organized jointly by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan and the Composers’ Union. The festival lasted from 9 to 19 March, taking place both in Baku and other regions of Azerbaijan, where scholarly symposiums, mugham competitions and performances of world-renowned singers were held. The festival united famous musicians and collectives from Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, the United States, France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Libya, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany, Jordan, Japan, Turkmenistan, Russia, China, India, Tunisia, and Egypt. Five jazz collectives performed at the Baku Jazz Centre. These were groups of Salman Gambarov and Jamil Amirov, as well as collectives of young musicians, pianists Elchin Shirinov, Afgan Rasulov and Etibar Asadli. Compositions presented by them consisted of remakes of songs and works of famous Azerbaijani composers, their own works and mugham with elements of jazz.

A young festival participant, pianist Etibar Asadli, performed on the first day with a group which included the following musicians: Rustam Zeynally, Ruslan Huseynov, Elvin Bashirov, Tofig Jabbarov , and Rafael Aliyev. The compositions played were a synthesis of Fikrat Amirov’s work ‘Laylay’, Aghabaji Rzayeva’s ‘Kukla’, as well as a composition based on various music fragments of the Kamancha Concerto by Haji Khanmammadov and a composition based on the tasnif by Aminkhar. They were warmly welcomed by the audience.

Baku Jazz Festival News

Jamil Amirov’s band Savab performed the next day. It includes Jamil Amirov (keyboard), Ruslan Huseynov (bass), Elvin Bashirov (percussions), Mirjavad Jafarov (oud and tar), and Joshgun Sadykhov (zurna, balaban and tutak). Six compositions by Jamil Amirov, namely ‘Jirtdan’, ‘Phaeton’, ‘Sesame’, ‘Night Has Passed’, ‘Caravan’ and ‘Robinson’, were played.

Jamil Amirov shared his opinion of the festival:

“It is difficult to evaluate the importance and topicality of the International Mugham Festival. In addition to revealing new and bright names of performers of this magical genre, which dominates the cultures of many countries around Asia and the Middle East, it also provides our listeners the rare opportunity to meet mugham singers and players from all over the world.
Besides, in the course of the Second International Mugham Festival, it was the classical music by Azerbaijani composers based on this ancient, charming and perpetual genre that was played. Meanwhile the latest International Mugham Festival offered local and foreign listeners a surprise, that being ethnic jazz, which is rapidly developing not just in our country, but in many places around the world. Taking this all in consideration, I would like to express my deep gratitude and appreciation to the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and especially to its chair Mehriban Aliyeva, whose charity work undoubtedly positively affects the development and popularization of Azerbaijani culture.” .

The third day was marked by the concert of Salman Gambarov in the Bacoustic jazz trio with Emil Hasanov and Vagif Aliyev

The repertoire consisted of arrangements of themes by Tofig Guliyev, namely “Lirik mahni” and “Zibeyda”, as well as a remake of Said Rustam’s song “Getma, getma”.

Next up was another young participant of the festival, pianist Elchin Shirinov, whose collective included Mirjavad Jafarov, Teyyub Aslanov, Joshgun Sadykhov, Kamran Karimov, Elvin Bashirov, and Salim Mammadov.

The concert was opened by the famous jazz composition ‘Holiday in the Mountains’ by Rafig Babayev and ‘Goygol’ by Fikrat Amirov. They were followed by remakes of the folk songs ‘Sari galin’, ‘Durnam’, and ‘Gulachdi’.

The fifth young festival participant Afgan Rasulov performed with a trio of musicians, namely Gennady Gasiyev, Ruslan Huseynov and Tofig Jabbarov. He presented his own composition called ‘Room 305’, a remake of the song ‘Yalli’ and others.

Baku Jazz Festival News

A joint jazz concert featuring Turkish singer Oya Ergün together with Franz von Chossy and Azerbaijani double bass player Ruslan Huseynov also took place as part of the festival. Oya Ergün was born in Istanbul and has been playing the violin and the flute since she was young. In 1988, she was admitted to the Amsterdam Conservatoire.

Another festival participant, Turkish percussionist and darbuk master Mısırlı Ahmet is also worth noting. He was one of the participants of the 2011 Baku International Jazz Festival. Mısırlı Ahmet participated in the International Mugham Festival at the Mugham Centre with the ethnic project ‘Anadolu sesleri’ which included ‘Bozlak ve Semak’ performed by musicians İsmail Altınsaray, Cafer Nazlıbaşand Murat Berber. After spending some more days in Baku, Mısırlı Ahmet took part in a joint concert with Azerbaijani jazz musicians at the Baku Jazz Centre.