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The Azerbaijani jazz (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan cazı) is a popular variety of jazz, widespread in Azerbaijan. It covers a broad range of styles (traditional, post-pop, fusion, free flexion) and often features a blend with traditional Azeri music. Among modern famed Azeri jazz musicians are Aziza Mustafazadeh, who was influenced by Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, Isfar Sarabski, Salman Gambarov and Rain Sultanov.
The Eastern Jazz Band, whose performances in Moscow were advertised in 1926, included Huseyngulu Sarabski as a soloist. In 1930s, Niyazi and Tofig Guliyev Vagif Mustafazadeh created the first local jazz band. However, jazz in the Soviet Union faced prohibition and censorship from 1920 and 1953. By the 1950s, jazz musicians from many Soviet cities, looking for a safe harbour, gradually gathered in Baku. In the late 1960s, the Azerbaijani jazz music was boosted by such composers as Qara Qarayev and Rauf Hajiyev.
In 1969, the first jazz festival was held in Baku.
As of 2000s, the country saw increase in jazz festivals, the music festivals such as Baku International Jazz Festival and Gabala International Music Festival are held annually. The Baku Jazz Center has been created for development and support of jazz culture in Azerbaijan.
The most known type of Azerbaijani jazz is Jazz mugham, which includes a sultry combination of Mugham and traditional American jazz. The style reached its full fame in the 1950s and 1960s under the influence of composer Rafig Babayev and his Gaya Quartet and jazz pianist and composer Vagif Mustafazadeh. Dizzy Gillespie, the legendary American jazz trumpeter, reportedly lauded Mustafazadeh for creating "the music of the future."
Inna Naroditskaya, “Azerbaijani Mugham Jazz,” Jazz Worlds/World Jazz, ed. Philip V. Bohlman and Goffredo Plastino, Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press, 2016, 98-124.