Amina Figarova on Piano Jazz

Set List

  • "Night Train" (Figarova)
  • "When the Lights Go Down" (Figarova)
  • "Body and Soul" (Heyman, Green, Sour)
  • "With You in Mind" (McPartland)
  • "Wave" (Jobim)
  • "Old Folks" (Hill, Robison)
  • "Free Piece" (McPartland, Figarova)
  • "Twilight World" (McPartland)
  • "Minor Blues" (McPartland, Figarova)
Figarova (300)

hide captionAmina Figarova.

Joke Schot

Amina Figarova hails from Azerbaijan's capital city of Baku. Despite growing up on the Russian side of the Iron Curtain, Figarova's early musical experiences included plenty of American jazz. Both of her parents were music fans, but her mother particularly enjoyed the music of Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Figarova began studying piano at age 2 and excelled at the instrument throughout her youth. She pursued a classical piano performance degree at the Baku Conservatory in Azerbaijan before going on to study jazz at the Rotterdam Conservatory. An exchange program through the Rotterdam Conservatory gave Figarova the chance to study at Berklee in Boston.

Figarova released her first CD, Attraction, an album of original tunes, in 1994. Her second album, 1998's aptly named Another Me, featured a set of Figarova originals that tended more toward fusion or smooth jazz. That same year, Figarova was invited to attend the summer program at the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Colony in Aspen, and her experience with the big band there piqued her interest in putting together her own larger group. Her next two releases, 2000's Firewind and 2004's Night Train, featured Figarova's septet performing more original compositions.

Figarova released two albums in 2005. The first, Come Escape with Me, features the seamless interaction of the septet and demonstrates Figarova's refined compositional skills. The second, September Suite, is an extended impressionistic work based on Figarova's own experiences following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

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Come Escape with Me

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September Suite

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