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avatar for Qarabagh Ensemble

Qarabagh Ensemble

Qarabagh Ensemble was formed two years ago by Agil Suleymanov as a student at the National Conservatory, the center for the study of Mugham in Azerbaijan. They all began their formal study of music as young children and progressed with great practice and care to learn the honored traditional music of Azerbaijan. Now instructors and senior students they have joined in an effort to share their talent and music. The group is composed of Agil Suleymanov, vocals; Elvin Novruzov, kamancha; Rustam Muslumov, tar; and Elnur Aliyev, naghara.

Aqil began study at the Bulbul Music School in 2005. Fahruz Sakhavat, the Honorary Artist of Azerbaijan, was his teacher. After finishing the school in 2011, he entered the State Conservatory of Azerbaijan. He is in his final year, his professor is Sakina Ismayilova, the National Artist of Azerbaijan. He has been studying Mugham for 13 years since age 9.

For Aqil his music is his path to the light. When the band Qarabagh began to play together they felt a shared release, a positive sense of hope. It is a music of healing, of trust, of love. They want to share this energy in their music. Practicing daily to perfect their art, they are on a journey, still in the process of learning the heart and soul of their homeland in their art.

Elvin has studied for many years the music of Azerbaijan throughout his youth, graduating from the National Conservatory last year. He is an instructor now, and has toured participating in state concerts in Italy, France, Austria, Russia, Turkey, Georgia, and Tajikistan.

Rustam comes from a musical family with his father a famous traditional musician in the country. He attended and graduated from Asaf Zeynalli Music College and the National Conservatory and is now working as a teacher. He has performed in Iran, Turkey, Italy, France, and Moscow.

Elnur studied the naghara at the Bulbul Music School and the Soltan Hajibeyov Music College. He has performed in Turkey, Belarus, Minsk, and Moscow. He now teaches at the Children's Art School in the Gobu settlement.

Qarabagh Ensemble was selected and video recorded by Vincent Moon for his forth coming video on the music of Azerbaijan. The audio recording of their performance in the Park Bulvar along the Caspian Sea was included in the recently published album, "The Sounds of Azerbaijan".

The band has performed at academic events, traditional celebrations, and on TV and radio broadcasts in Azerbaijan.

The band created and presented a series of live performance broadcasts on national media over Azad Azerbaijan TV (ATV) and 106.3 FM Radio.

In February and March of 2014, the band traveled to the US, performing and recording in Austin Texas. They participated at the University of Texas in classes and in sharing their music. They met with students at the Butler School of Music at the University, demonstrating Azerbaijani traditional music and their special merging of mugham music with rock, joined by the Azerbaijani rock band 5:59. Their music was presented on public radio in Austin and they were introduced and interviewed by John Aielli on KUTX radio show "Eklektikos". They performed at the Deutsches Haus COOP in Austin, at the Texas Union, and on March 17 as a guest artist in "Tradition and Innovation: Two worlds of Azerbaijani music" at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas.

My Bands Sessions

Wednesday, March 18

8:00pm CDT

Saturday, March 21

9:30pm CDT