Jazz icon and charming Aziza Mustafazadeh has gained the hearts of many people of various age and nationality throughout the world. She was born into the world of jazz, and more specifically into the world of “Mugam,” a form of traditional, improvisational music in Azerbaijan.
Her music may create different emotions in you, from the past to the future. Her performances amount to meditations.
Her fingers, running over piano keys, make your heart beat stronger, impulsively carrying blood directly into your brain. Her pounding over the keys will make you to fall into a music tale from where you don’t want to get out.
No doubt, jazz is only for gifted people, for those who can feel and live with it, merging with its every particle. Aziza loves and enjoys every sound of this mystery music.
There is also no specific line that can separate a variety of folk music from jazz. The laureate of many international competitions and musical festivals successfully combines the traditional song of Azerbaijan – Mugham – with contemporary jazz.
“Mugam has a great ability to charm and mesmerize and almost hypnotize its listeners. It’s deep. I’ve noticed that it doesn’t matter where I perform it, people always identify very deeply with it in every country. Mugam is very, very profound. It’s very powerful, and it’s ancient. It is hundreds, possibly even thousands, of years old,” Aziza said.
Aziza has inherited this brilliant talent from his father, Vagif Mustafazada, one of the world’s great jazz pianists and composers. He became known as the founder of the Azerbaijani Mugam Jazz Movement that evolved in the late 1960-1970s.
Since 1990 she has been living in Mainz, Germany where everyone knows her as “Eastern Diva”, “Scheherazade at the piano” and “Jazz princess”.
After her concert, which was held in Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1997, the talented musician was awarded with “Jazz Queen” title. Aziza and her father’s names have been included in the World Jazz Encyclopedia, published in the U.S. in 1990s.
Since her early childhood, the musician has been playing a piano. Having listened to such music masters as Bach and Shopen, Aziza has created her own improvisation.
The tragic death of her father at the age of 39, shocked her, becoming a turning point in her life. Her mother who is also incredibly talented in music decided to stop her career and devote all her attention and energy to musical development of her daughter. Since then, she has become Aziza manager. Aziza depends on her mother while writing or recoding new tracks.
“I rely on my mother, because she has very rich experience of classic music and life because of living and working for years with my father,” Aziza noted.
Her music draws from life experience and emotion combined with her creative force telling the true stories of Azerbaijani nation.
In her interviews, Aziza says she always feels the spirit of her father which gives her a desire to move on. Her father used to call Aziza “Jazziza.”
“I owe my today’s successes to my father. He has never died for me. Although many years have passed after his death, his soul is still flying around me,” she said.
Being only 17 years old, she won the pianists’ competition named after Thelonious Monk in Washington. And in 1991, she recorded her first debut album titled “Aziza Mustafa Zadeh”.
Her albums “Shamans”, “Always”, “Seventh truth”, “Contrasts” and “Contrasts 2”, as well as her world tour and solo concerts in Europe, U.S. and Asia have won millions of hearts.
Aziza’s music takes the listener into a new word. It draws the onlooker to a deeper league, when each inspired motive is the interactive result of audience involvement.
Jazz, for her, is a passion which is found nowhere.
By Amina Nazarli
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