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Aziza Mustafa Zadeh (Azerbaijani: Əzizə Mustafazadə; born December 19, 1969) is an Azerbaijani singer, pianist, and composer who plays a fusion of jazz and mugam (a traditional improvisational style of Azerbaijan) with classical and avant-garde influences.

Aziza Mustafa Zadeh
Aziza BakuJazz2007.jpg
Aziza plays her "Shamans" song at Baku Jazz Festival 2007 - Final Concert
Background information
Native name
Əzizə Mustafazadə
Born (1969-12-19) 19 December 1969 (age 49)
Baku, Azerbaijan
GenresJazz, jazz fusion
InstrumentsVocals, piano, mugham
Years active1988–present



Aziza was born in Baku to musical parents Vagif and Elza Mustafa Zadeh (née Bandzeladze[1]). Vagif was a pianist and composer, famous for creating the mugam-jazz fusion in which his daughter now plays. Elza is a classically trained singer from Georgia.[2]

Aziza's parents first noticed their daughter's sensitivity to music when she was eight months old. Aziza recalls the story[3] as her mother tells it:

Aziza enjoyed all forms of art, especially dancing, painting and singing. At the age of three, she made her stage debut with her father, improvising vocals. She began studying classical piano at an early age, showing special interest in the works of famous composers Johann Sebastian Bach and Frédéric Chopin. Soon thereafter, she showed a growing talent for improvisation.[4]

On December 16, 1979, Aziza's father died of a severe heart attack in Tashkent at the age of 39. In order to help her daughter cope with this blow, Aziza's mother gave up her career as a singer to help nurture her daughter's own musical talents.

In 1988, at the age of 18, Aziza's mugam-influenced style helped her win third place together with American Matt Cooper in the Thelonious Monk piano competition in Washington, D.C..[5] It was around this time that she moved to Germany with her mother.

Aziza released her debut album, Aziza Mustafa Zadeh, in 1991. The album showed influence of Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett, as well as Near Eastern music.[6] Her second album, Always, won her the Phono Academy Prize, a prestigious German music award, and the Echo Prize from Sony. She has since performed in many countries with many jazz and traditional luminaries and released several more albums, the most recent being Contrasts II, released in 2007.

Aziza currently resides in Mainz, Germany, with her mother, Elza Mustafa Zadeh, who is also her manager. Her two favorite leisure activities, she says, are painting and sleeping. She is a vegetarian. She believes in God, though she does not consider herself as belonging to any religion.[7]

Baku Jazz Festival 2007Edit

Aziza visited Azerbaijan in June 2007 for the Baku Jazz Festival, starring in her own concert at the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater and headlining the end-of-festival concert at the open-air Green Theater.[8]



  1. ^ Region Plus Magazine |url=
  2. ^ Classical TV Archived December 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Asadzadeh, Ulviyya. "Əzizə Mustafazadə atası haqqında xatirələrini danışır". (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  4. ^ "A Feeling of Jazz". Baku Magazine, No. 2(16), May 2010; p. 80.
  5. ^ Monk Institute Archived February 3, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ review - Aziza Mustafa Zadeh
  7. ^ Jazzeitung interview with Aziza Mustafa Zadeh
  8. ^ "Aziza Mustafa Zadeh (Azerbaijan) on 2007 Jazz Festival". Retrieved 15 August 2014.

External linksEdit