Azerbaijani pianist Shahin Novrasli  will give a concert in San Francisco

pianoAzerbaijani pianist Shahin Novrasli  will give a concert in San Francisco, the USA, in June, Azertac reported.

Novrasli is an eclectic musician, who – like compatriot pianists Vagif Mustafazade and Aziza Mustafazade – has built a reputation beyond his homeland for a tumultuous fusion of American jazz and the Azerbaijani mugham.

His music combines two great cultures from the East and the West.

Shahin’s rare talent emerged from Azerbaijan’s various compositional influences as well as its unusual and rich musical heritage. At only eleven years old, he performed with the local Symphony Orchestra at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall.

Elegantly blending his classical knowledge, Azerbaijan’s traditional folk “Mugham” and his jazz influences, Shahin created his own unique and accomplished musical universe, among which he combines eastern and western cultures.

Acclaimed musician has performed on some of the most prestigious stages in the world, such as London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Black Sea Jazz Festival, Prague’s Mezinarodni Piano Festival and numerous clubs and festivals throughout the United States.

With a solo project, a trio with Ari Hoenig and Nathan Peck, countless collaborations with notably Kenny Wheeler, Iain Ballamy and Tim Garland, to name a few, Shahin is today an icon for Azerbaijan Jazz and has received enthusiastic comments from worldwide critics and audiences.

AzerNews

Azerbaijan was presented at the famous Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show

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Azerbaijan presented at the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show

Provocative and aggressive actions by the Armenian lobby fail to disrupt Azerbaijan’s presentation.

Azerbaijan’s tourism potential was presented at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show held on February 18-19, 2017. Attended by over 30,000 visitors, the Show is the largest travel event in the United States.

Sponsored and organized by the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles, the Azerbaijan booth, titled “Azerbaijan: Everlasting Heritage, Inspirational Harmony,” offered the attendees substantial information about Azerbaijan, its ancient history and culture, steady development as an independent nation as well as its rich tourism potential. Various video clips showcasing Azerbaijan’s natural beauties, landscapes, unique history, cultural diversity and architecture were demonstrated in the booth. Colorful national costumes of Azerbaijan demonstrated in the booth received much acclaim.

The Azerbaijan booth also presented Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region and informed the Show visitors about this historical part of the country. The banner ”Karabakh: Crown Jewel of Azerbaijan”, featured in the booth, attracted much attention of the Show visitors. Showcasing picturesque nature of Karabakh, the banner also features Karabakh’s history, its historical Azerbaijani monuments, such as the Shusha Walls, Govharagha Mosque, Ganjasar Albanian Monastery, as well as the Karabakh carpets, the Mugham music school, the Karabakh horses and cuisine. A booklet, which includes information on all these features of Karabakh, published by the Consulate General, was distributed in the booth. The brochure also highlights the current situation in Karabakh, which has been under illegal military occupation by Armenia since over 24 years. Referring to a travel warning by the U.S. State Department, the brochure cautions Americans to avoid any travel to this region.

Alarmed by Azerbaijan’s presentation at the Show, California’s Armenian lobby tried its best, through various provocative and aggressive actions, to disrupt the work of the Azerbaijan booth. However the lobby once again miserably failed.

The presentation of Azerbaijan at the largest travel show in the U.S. became another success story.

Azerbaijani composer Fikret Amirov remembered in Los Angeles

Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Los Angeles hosted on January 13, 2017 an event dedicated to famous Azerbaijani composer Fikret Amirov (1922-84). Members of the “Save a Heart” Foundation of the world-renowned Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of Los Angeles attended the event.

Opening the event, Azerbaijan’s Consul General Nasimi Aghayev informed the guests about the composer’s life and immortal works. Aghayev noted that with his music Amirov enriched not only the Azerbaijani music, but also made tremendous contributions to the world music earning much international recognition. The Consul General mentioned that at the invitation of the U.S. State Department an exclusive group of just four Soviet composers, led by Dmitri Shostakovich, travelled to the U.S. in 1959. Stressing the fact that one of these composers representing the entire Soviet classical music was Amirov, the Consul General said that this was illustrative of the importance attached to the great composer’s music. Aghayev mentioned that as part of the tour, the delegation also visited California. Noting that Amirov’s music found much recognition and admiration in the U.S. as well, the Consul General said that his works were performed by symphonic orchestras of New York, Philadelphia and Houston under the leadership of Leopold Stokowski, one of the leading conductors of the 20th century. Aghayev also mentioned that the World Champion Ice Skater from the U.S. Michelle Kwan used Fikret Amirov’s symphonic mugham “Gulustan Bayati-Shiraz” in her skating program “Taj Mahal” in 1997.

Speaking afterwards, the president of the “Save a Heart” Foundation Dr Yzhar Charuzi and the member of the Foundation Esphir Blaugrund expressed appreciation for Amirov’s music and thanked the Consulate General for the opportunity to get to know the whole richness of the Azerbaijani music and culture more and more though joint events.

Then Amirov’s “1001 Nights” ballet was screened. The ballet was received by the audience with much applause and admiration.

 

Sister-city relationship between Lankaran, Azerbaijan and Monterey, California

montereyazerbaijanThe City of Monterey in California has enjoyed a robust sister-city relationship with the City of Lankaran in Azerbaijan since 2011. This year marks the 5th anniversary of the partnership. In order to discuss the opportunities for further expansion of this friendship, the Economic and Cultural Affairs officer of Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Los Angeles Ramin Aliyev visited Monterey on December 26-28, at the invitation of the City of Monterey.

During the visit, Ramin Aliyev met with Mayor of Monterey Clyde Roberson, City Councilmember Alan Haffa, former City Councilmember and co-founder of Monterey-Lankaran relationship Nancy Selfridge, Agricultural Commissioner Eric Lauritzen, Salinas City Councilmember Steve McShane, Old Monterey Business Association Executive Director Rick Johnson, Cannery Row Company, Executive Director Mike Zimmerman, Monterey Bay Technologies, Inc. CEO Yavuz Atila, and Monterey Symphony President Lee E. Rosen.

Aliyev also met with Farkhad Khudyev, member of the local Azerbaijani community, who has held since 2012 the position of music director and conductor of the Monterey County Youth Orchestra.

At the invitation of the influential Kiwanis Club of Monterey, Ramin Aliyev also addressed the Club members with a presentation titled “Azerbaijan: Land of Hope, Tolerance and Inspiration”. In his presentation, Aliyev spoke about Azerbaijan’s rich history and culture, well-entrenched traditions of interfaith tolerance and multiculturalism, its steady development as an independent nation since 1991, as well as economic and other reforms currently undertaken by the government to continue the country’s modernization. The presentation was followed by a lively Q&A session.

The Consulate General is looking forward to materializing the ideas discussed during the visit in order to further strengthen the mutually beneficial
relationship with Monterey.

Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles

 

“Seven Beauties” by prominent composer Gara Garayev screened in Los Angeles

Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Los Angeles hosted on November 4, 2016 a screening of the Azerbaijani ballet “Seven Beauties”.  Screened was the version of the ballet, which had been performed to great acclaim in October 2014 by San Diego Ballet in San Diego – California’s second largest city – to a crowd of 3,000. This 2014 premiere of the ballet took place with the support of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles.

The screening on November 4 was attended by members of the “Save a Heart” Foundation of the world-famous Cedars-Sinai Hospital, including the 2013 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry Dr Arieh Warshel, as well as other lovers of classical music.

Highlighting the history of Azerbaijan’s rich culture, Consul General Nasimi Aghayev noted that the “Seven Beauties” ballet had been composed by famous Azerbaijani composer Gara Garayev, based on the motives of the great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi’s same-name poem (1197), and staged on November 6, 1952 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Speaking of the composer’s life and immortal works, the Consul General mentioned that Garayev travelled to the U.S. in 1961 to attend the Los Angeles Music Festival, where his other ballet “Path of Thunder” was performed by the Festival’s symphonic orchestra, conducted by two-time Oscar-winning composer and musician Franz Waxman.

The president of the “Save a Heart” Foundation Dr Yzhar Charuzi thanked the Consulate General for the opportunity to get to know the whole richness of the Azerbaijani music and culture more and more though joint events.

Then the “Seven Beauties” ballet was screened. The ballet was received by the audience with much applause and admiration.

Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles

 

Azerbaijan’s model of multiculturalism discussed in California

The Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills (TEBH) hosted an event on Azerbaijan on November 3, 2016. Co-hosted by the American Jewish Committee’s Los Angeles Regional Office (AJC-LA), the event was attended by the members of TEBH. TEBH is one of Southern California’s premier Reform Jewish congregations and synagogues, serving West and Greater Los Angeles.

At the invitation of both institutions, Consul General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev spoke at the event.

Opening the event, Rabbi Sarah Bassin, the Associate Rabbi of TEBH, spoke of the importance of this discussion “that is designed to push us out of our comfort zones”. AJC-LA’s Vice President Julie Bram highlighted AJC’s long-standing friendship with Azerbaijan and informed the audience about the global activities of the organization.

Following the screening of a short video on Azerbaijan, Consul General Aghayev was invited to address the audience in a conversation moderated by Rabbi Sarah Bassin. In his remarks, Consul General Aghayev informed the attendees about important milestones of Azerbaijan’s history, as well as its steady development and modernization as an independent nation since the collapse of the Soviet Union. He also mentioned that the Azerbaijani people established in 1918 the first secular parliamentary republic in the Muslim world that granted voting rights to women in 1919, making Azerbaijan the first among Muslim countries taking such a pioneering step. Speaking of Azerbaijan’s ages-old traditions of interfaith tolerance, Consul General Aghayev stated that thanks to tireless efforts by Azerbaijan’s leadership, today all religious communities in Azerbaijan enjoy strong interfaith harmony and acceptance, and Muslims, Christians, Jews and other communities live together in peace, dignity and mutual respect in the country. Stressing the fact that this harmony exists not only among religions, but also within religions as well, Aghayev noted the harmonious relationship between Shias and Sunnis of Azerbaijan’s Muslim population, which is encouraged and strengthened by the government on a daily basis.

Highlighting the 2,500-year old history of Azerbaijan’s vibrant Jewish community, the Consul General also talked about the comprehensive relationship and strong friendship between Azerbaijan and Israel.

Speaking about the illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijan’s lands by neighboring Armenia, Consul General Aghayev expressed appreciation for Israel’s constant support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. In this regard, Aghayev also expressed gratitude for Israeli President Rivlin’s reference to the Khojaly Massacre – committed by Armenia in 1992 against Azerbaijani civilians resulting in the death of over 600 including 300 children, women and elderly – in his 2015 U.N. speech on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The event concluded with a lively Q&A session, during which Nasimi Aghayev responded to various questions from the audience.

Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles

 

Azerbaijani delegation meets with American Jewish Committee in Los Angeles

The visiting Azerbaijani delegation met today with the leaders of the American Jewish Committee in Los Angeles (AJC-LA).

The delegation from Azerbaijan included Mr. Milikh Yevdayev, President of Azerbaijani’s Mountainous Jewish Community; Dr. Asim Mollazade, Member of Azerbaijan’s Parliament; and Mr. Asif Asgarov, Head of the Executive Authority of the Nasimi District of Baku, Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles Mr. Nasimi Aghayev accompanied the delegation.

The meeting focused on Azerbaijan’s longstanding traditions of interfaith tolerance and harmony, the present life of Azerbaijan’s 2,000-year old Jewish community, the strong friendship between the Azerbaijani and Jewish people as well as the country’s robust partnership with the United States and Israel.

At the end of the meeting, the Azerbaijani delegation presented the AJC-LA with a painting reflecting Baku’s Old Town.

‘Ali and Nino’ film opens Asian World Film Festival in Los Angeles

aliandninoincaliforniaThe ‘Ali and Nino’ was successfully screened on October 24, 2016 as the opening film of the Asian World Film Festival in Los Angeles. Directed by Oscar-winning  filmmaker Asif Kapadia and produced by Ms Leyla Aliyeva, vice-president of Azerbaijan’s Heydar Aliyev Foundation, and Kris Thykier; and with screenplay by Oscar-winning writer Christopher Hampton and starring Adam Bakri (Ali) and Maria Valverde (Nino), this feature film is based on a love story between a young Azerbaijani Muslim nobleman and Georgian Christian princess during the tumultuous years of 1914-1920.

Supported and co-presented by Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Los Angeles, the screening was attended by Oscar and Emmy-nominated film directors, producers and actors, and other members of the Hollywood film industry. Due to the tremendous public interest in the film, the Festival organizers had to open a second auditorium for the screening of the same film during the Festival opening. Adam Bakri was present at the screening.

Speaking at the event, Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev informed the audience about the history of Azerbaijan in the 20th century, especially mentioning the fact that within one century the people of Azerbaijan achieved its independence twice, establishing in 1918 the Muslim world’s first secular democracy and granting voting rights to women before the United States and many European countries. Highlighting the historical and moral values reflected by “Ali and Nino,” the Consul General noted that this film is not just about the beautiful love story of two young people, it is also about the struggle of the Azerbaijani people for independence as well as about the country’s long-standing traditions of interfaith tolerance and multiculturalism. Aghayev stressed that the implementation of this amazing film project has been made possible thanks to the comprehensive support by Azerbaijan’s First Lady and the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva, and the Foundation’s Vice President and the film’s executive producer Ms Leyla Aliyeva.

Then the film was screened. From the very first moments, the film made much impression upon the audience and was received with standing ovations.

It should be noted that a delegation from Azerbaijan that is on a working visit to California, consisting of Mr. Asif Asgarov, Head of the Executive Authority of the Nasimi District of Baku, Azerbaijan; Dr. Asim Mollazade, Member of Azerbaijan’s Parliament; and Mr. Milikh Yevdayev, President of the Mountainous Jewish Community of Azerbaijan, attended the screening as well.

The 25th anniversary of the restoration of Azerbaijan’s independence was celebrated in San Diego, California

AZERBAILANUSA FlagsThe 25th anniversary of the restoration of Azerbaijan’s independence was celebrated on October 26 in San Diego, California.

Held by Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Los Angeles, the 5th anniversary of the sister neighborhood partnership, which was established between San Diego’s Switzer Highland Neighborhood and the Nasimi district of Azerbaijan’s capital city of Baku, was also marked at the event.

Addressing the audience, Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev highlighted the tumultuous history of Azerbaijan in the 20th century, especially the fact that within one century the people of Azerbaijan achieved its freedom and independence twice – first in 1918, establishing the first secular democracy in the Muslim world, and then in 1991, gaining freedom from the Soviet Union.

Speaking of the huge political and economic hardships faced by the young Republic in the early 1990s, the Consul General mentioned that Azerbaijan was on the brink of fragmentation. “Only the election of Azerbaijan’s National Leader Heydar Aliyev to the presidency saved Azerbaijan from potential collapse,” the diplomat said. “Thanks to the titanic efforts by Heydar Aliyev, the stability was restored, crucial oil contracts signed, important economic reforms launched and smart foreign policy pursued, which all paved the way for the tremendous transformation of the country into a political and economic powerhouse it is today,” Aghayev continued.

Highlighting the achievements of Azerbaijan during the 25 years of its independence, the Consul General mentioned that “under the visionary leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan has become today the region’s largest economy, a rapidly modernizing country and an island of stability in an otherwise unstable region.”

Noting Azerbaijan’s long-standing traditions of interfaith harmony and tolerance, Aghayev said Azerbaijan has been able to establish an exemplary environment where Muslims, Christians, Jews and representatives of other faiths continue to live together in peace, dignity and mutual respect.

Speaking of the last 5 years of the Baku-San Diego partnership, the Consul General mentioned many efforts undertaken by the Consulate General to develop this relationship and make it even stronger.

In this regard, Aghayev highlighted the major cultural programs held in San Diego, especially the successful performance of Azerbaijan’s “Seven Beauties” ballet in 2014 to a crowd of 3,000 San Diegans, as well as many concerts and events that allowed the city residents to have a better understanding of Azerbaijan’s culture, music, traditions and values. The Consul General expressed his hope that over the next five years these relations would become even more robust through mutual efforts.

Speaking afterwards, Head of the Executive Authority of the Nasimi District, Asif Asgarov stressed the importance of the Baku-San Diego partnership for the strengthening of the friendship between the peoples of Azerbaijan and the United States.

Noting the mutual willingness to boost this partnership with new initiatives and projects, he invited the friends of Azerbaijan in San Diego to get closely involved in these endeavors.

Azerbaijan’s MP Asim Mollazade and the President of Azerbaijan’s Mountainous Jewish Community,  Milikh Yevdayev stressed the significance of the strong friendship and partnership between the two cities and countries. Speaking of Azerbaijan’s long-standing and well-entrenched traditions of interfaith tolerance and harmony, they noted the importance of this Azerbaijani model as a great example for many other countries.

In his remarks, the member of the California State Assembly,Rocky Chavez emphasized the strategic role Azerbaijan has been playing in its region and the achievements it has made as a free and independent nation over the last 25 years. Presenting a member resolution of the California State Assembly on Azerbaijan’s Independence Day, the Assembly member called Azerbaijan “a strong friend and ally of the United States” and stressed the importance of further expanding this partnership and friendship.

The Chairman of San Diego Port Commission, Marshall Merrifield expressed his satisfaction with meeting earlier in the day with the Azerbaijani visiting delegation and emphasized the need for further solidifying this partnership through bilateral exchanges and visits.

At the event, Nasimi Aghayev announced the establishment of the San Diego-Baku Friendship Association and gave the floor to the chairman of the Association, Martin Kruming, who, he noted, has played a tremendous role from the very beginning in establishing this partnership between the two cities and constantly pushing it forward.

Informing the audience about the history of San Diego-Baku relationship, Kruming expressed his hope that through the joint projects this relationship will get stronger and stronger over the next 5 years.

Proclamations and certificates of recognition were received by the Consulate General from U.S. Congresswoman Susan Davis, San Diego County Board of Supervisors and California State Senators Marty Block and Joel Anderson. The documents stress the strategic importance of Azerbaijan and U.S.-Azerbaijan friendship.

 

Today.az

25th Anniversary of Azerbaijan’s Independence Celebrated in Los Angeles

 

NasimiAgayevThe 25th anniversary of the restoration of Azerbaijan’s independence was celebrated in Los Angeles on October 19, 2016 with a well-attended reception.

Hosted by Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Los Angeles, the reception was attended by representatives of the U.S. State Department, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Los Angeles City and County; Consuls General and Honorary Consuls of various countries, professors of California universities, mass media representatives, as well as members of Azerbaijani, Turkish, Jewish, Korean, Vietnamese and Iranian communities.

The event started with the national anthems of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United States. Speaking afterwards, Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev highlighted the tumultuous history of Azerbaijan in the 20th century, especially the fact that within one century the people of Azerbaijan achieved its freedom and independence twice – first in 1918, establishing the first secular democracy in the Muslim world, and then in 1991, gaining freedom from the Soviet Union. Speaking of the huge political and economic hardships faced by the young Republic in the early 1990s, the Consul General mentioned that Azerbaijan was on the brink of fragmentation. “Only the election of Azerbaijan’s National Leader Heydar Aliyev to the presidency saved Azerbaijan from potential collapse,” the diplomat said. “Thanks to the titanic efforts by Heydar Aliyev, the stability was restored, crucial oil contracts signed, important economic reforms launched and smart foreign policy pursued, which all paved the way for the tremendous transformation of the country into a political and economic powerhouse,” Aghayev continued.

Highlighting the achievements of Azerbaijan during the 25 years of its independence, the Consul General mentioned that “under the visionary leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan has become today the region’s largest economy, a rapidly modernizing country and an island of stability in an otherwise unstable region.” Noting Azerbaijan’s long-standing traditions of interfaith harmony and tolerance, Aghayev said: “Azerbaijan has been able to establish an exemplary environment where Muslims, Christians, Jews and representatives of other faiths continue to live together in peace, dignity and mutual respect.”

Then the floor was given to the Deputy Director of the DHS Center of the White House Office of Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships Dr Jannah Scott. Appointed to this position by President Barack Obama in 2009, Dr Scott has played a crucial role in interfaith dialogue and cooperation across the nation. In her remarks, Dr Scott said that she was highly impressed by what she learned about Azerbaijan’s exemplary model of interfaith tolerance, harmony and positive multiculturalism. She noted that in these difficult times moderate and secular majority-Muslim nations like Azerbaijan deserve more attention, and one could also learn from their experiences of building solid bridges between various faith communities.

Certificates of recognition celebrating Azerbaijan’s independence were presented at the event on behalf of the boards of supervisors of the Los Angeles County and Orange County. The celebration continued with the performance of Azerbaijani songs by talented musicians, followed by a reception that included meals from Azerbaijani national cuisine.

Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles