Filed under: Azerbaijan
Surprisingly, Azerbaijan has a long history of jazz dating back to the first State Popular Orchestra in 1938. But during to Cold War, Soviet authorities dubbed jazz a “seditious western music” and jazz performances were officially banned. Despite the prohibition, jazz fans gathered in secret to listen to western radio stations and afterwards tried to play what they had heard.
In the late 1960s, jazz music began its second life in Azerbaijan with such composers as Gara Garayev, Tofig Guliyev, Rauf Hajiyev and Rafiq Babayev who formed Boкaльньiй Kвapтет „ГAЯ” or Vocal Quartet “Gaya”.
Rafiq Babayev later went on to become the conductor of the National Orchestra for the Azerbaijani National Radio and Television. Unfortunately, he was killedwhen a bomb exploded in a public transit train station in Baku, Azerbaijan on March 19, 1994.