Azerbaijan International

Winter 2001 (9.4)
Page 19

Yagub Zurufchi in Baku

Singer Yagub Zurufchi
Left: Tabriz singer Yagub Zurufchi performed an evening of Favorites from the 1960s and 1970s at a concert held at Baku's Republican Palace in December 2001.

Yagub Zurufchi gave a Peace and Friendship Concert that filled the Respublica Serai (Republican Palace) in Baku on December 15, 2001. Yagub, an Azerbaijani musician from Tabriz, Iran, currently lives in Los Angeles but has also set up a recording studio in Baku.

Many Azerbaijanis from Iran who live in Baku attended the event, as did members of the diplomatic corps from Iran, France and Saudi Arabia.

Yagub was among the first foreigners to come to Azerbaijan while the Soviet Union was in the process of disintegrating. He is remembered for his performances at that time in Freedom Square (then, Lenin Square), singing to the tens of thousands of Azerbaijanis who were demonstrating in the streets for independence.

Much of the success of this concert was based on Yagub's choice of repertoire in reviving many of the well-known and well-loved songs from the 1960s and 1970s written by composers such as Jahangir Jahangirov, Tofig Guliyev and Ramiz Mustafayev. Yagub also sang "Ana Kur" (Mother Kur River), a song made famous by the late Gulagha, and the all-time favorite "Ayrilig" (Separation), written in the early 1960s by Ali Salimi. [See AI 2.4 (Winter 1994), "
Ali Salimi, Composer, Putting Memories to Music." SEARCH at]

Yagub was accompanied by both folk and Western instruments. The Azerbaijan's National Folk Instrument Orchestra included stringed instruments (tar, garmon, kamancha, kanun), and percussion (naghara, gochan naghara). Western instruments such as the violin, piano, keyboard, drums, clarinet and oboe were also featured. Nariman Azimov and Faig Salimov conducted the orchestra. Several women perfomed the saz, which is not so rare for the Azerbaijan Republic (as it is in Iran), as there is a Women's Ashug Group.

Yagub invited several guest performers onstage to join him, including pop singer Mahbuba Karimova and Rafigha Khanim, a member of the women's ashug group Khanim Ashiglar - both from Azerbaijan. From Iran, musicians Rahim Shahriyari and Javid Sepehran also participated.

Azerbaijan International (9.4) Winter 2001.
© Azerbaijan International 2002. All rights reserved.

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