The culture of Azerbaijan has developed as a result of many influences, so there is no wonder that this country hosts a lot of cultural festivals with rich and diverse content. The Baku Jazz Festival was inaugurated in 2005 by Rain Sultanov, a renowned Azerbaijani jazz saxophonist. The event is organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Jazz Dünyası magazine, A+A Events, and The Landmark Hotel. The festival takes place every fall, typically in October.
The Baku International Jazz Festival features famous jazz musicians from over a dozen of counties including Georgia, Russia, Canada, Germany, the United States, Israel, Italy, and more. For example, the 2006 festival was headlined by jazz legends Herbie Hancock and Al Jarreau. Of course, the festival features Azerbaijani musicians as well because one of its main goals is to showcase the country’s long-running attachment to American-born music.
The Baku Jazz Festival is a 10-day event that has a rich and diverse program. Festival concerts are held in several venues across the city of Baku such as the International Mugham Center of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev Palace, Magomayev Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall, Rotunda Jazz Club, Cine Club, Kirkha, Caspian Grill & Terrace, Rotunda, Art Club, and Baku French Lycee. Attendees can buy tickets to separate concerts or purchase a VIP card that grants access to all festival events.
Along with numerous concerts, the program of the festival includes workshops, seminars, jam sessions, and the Baku Jazz Competition for young jazz singers and musicians (under the age of 30). The festival also hosts art exhibitions and a special program for children called Jazz Kids. Jazz Kids aims to introduced children to jazz in a fun and exciting way.
Photo: Baku Jazz Center