TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

Music lovers pay tribute to eminent jazzman

05 May 2022 [17:39] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Laman Ismayilova

Azerbaijan's jazzmen have gathered at Coffee & Jazz restaurant to discuss the music legacy of the outstanding jazz musician, People's Artist Rafig Babayev.

The event was held at Coffee & Jazz restaurants within the Baku International Jazz Day.

As part of the celebration, jazz concerts were held by the Culture Ministry in the International Mugham Center, the Rashid Behbudov State Song Theater from  April 29 to May 4.

Honored Worker of Culture, well-known TV and radio presenter Rahib Azeri and musicologist, actress of the Baku Marionette Theater, Rafig Babayev's daughter Fariza Babayeva were the hosts for the evening. 

The guests were shown an interview with Rafig Babayev, taken in 1988 by a musicologist and at that time still a student of the Azerbaijan State Conservatory Esmeralda Jabrayilbekova.

Fariza Babayeva  divided this interview into four thematic parts which included Rafig Babayev's statements about jazz, folk traditions, modern music and the future of Azerbaijani jazz.

After each part, the event participants were invited to answer questions.

Shots from the musician's performances and concerts were also shown to the audience.

People's Artists, film director Ogtay Mirgasimov, jazzmen and composers Jamil Amirov and Salman Gambarov, musicologist, Honored Art Worker Jahangir Selimkhanov, student of the Baku branch of Moscow State University Orkhan Babazade, musicologist Turan Mammadaliyeva and others took part in the discussions about the musician`s contributions to national music. 

Furthermore, jazz musicians People's Artists Jamil Amirov, Salman Gambarov, Honored Artists Tofig Jabarov, Vagif Aliyev, young musicians Mirjavid Jafarov, Vasif Husseyn, Firudin Gamidov, Eljan Jabrayilov, Nijat Aslanov, Gasan Bilalov, Samira Rajabli and others performed on the stage.

In conclusion, Rahib Azeri thanked the Culture Ministry  Rafig Babayev's family members - Fariza and Gulyara Babaev, Mikail Huseynov for their valuable contribution to the organization of the evening.

Rafig Babayev  gained fame as a unique musician, composer and a high class pianist.

The acclaimed musician composed a large number of jazz compositions and soundtracks for more than twenty films.

Rafig Babayev  got his first musical education at a special musical school (1943–1950) and later entered the fortepiano class of Baku Musical School named after Asaf Zeynally (1950–1954). Being a student of the school, he worked as a musical instructor of an instrumental ensemble, 

In 1955, he created his first jazz music band. From 1954 to 1958 he worked in the ensemble of folk instruments of the Araz cinema.

The jazz musician successfully represented Azerbaijan at the World Festival of Youth and Students (1957) in Moscow.

Between 1958 and 1959 he was a pianist of the variety ensemble of the Committee for Radio Broadcasting and Television, where he shared the same stage with eminent singers Shovket Alakbarova and Sara Gadimova.

With his jazz-instrumental group, he went on a three-year tour of the Soviet Union. In 1966, Rafig Babayev was appointed the musical director of the State Song Theater at the invitation of the outstanding singer Rashid Behbudov. 

During the same period, Rafig Babayev continued his creative work in the field of jazz music, constantly participating in jazz festivals. In 1967, his ensemble became a laureate of the International Jazz Festival in Tallinn. He also initiated the first jazz festival in Baku in 1967.

At the 12th World Festival of Youth and Students (1985) in Moscow he presented a synthetic project of jazz and mugham together with Akif Islamzade.

From 1984 to 1991 he was the artistic director and chief conductor of the Variety Symphony Orchestra of the Azerbaijan Radio and Television. With the same orchestra, he created a jazz ensemble of soloists, which enjoyed success not only in Azerbaijan but also abroad. 

In 1991, Rafig Babayev organized the Jangi ensemble and created a recording studio, which helped the group in realization of musical projects. The music band performed music pieces using folk instruments.

Rafig Babayev was a member of the Azerbaijan Union of Composers and the Azerbaijan Union of Cinematographers.

Media partners of the event are,,, Milli.Az.


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