Jazz, Freedom and Independence


Willis Conover, Vaguif Mustafazade and Frederick Starr

Photo exhibition, entitled Willis Conover and Vagif Mustafazade Jazz Hour

The Washington Center of ADA University in collaboration with the Azerbaijan-American Music Foundation held a dazzling event, "Willis Conover, Vagif Mustafazade, Frederick Starr: Jazz, Freedom, and Independence" on November 12, 2021. 

In the framework of the event, a photo exhibition, entitled " Willis Conover and Vagif Mustafazade Jazz Hour" was kicked off at the Center. Following the exhibition's opening, we hosted a reception and seminar at the historic Whittemore House. The event was attended by deans, faculty and students from our partner universities, as well as public and government officials.

Galib Mammad, President of the Washington Center of ADA University opened the event by highlighting deep roots and historical origins of jazz in Azerbaijan, emphasizing that jazz has been a symbol of tolerant thinking in Azerbaijan, while also serving as a bridge between our two nations.

Ambassador Hafiz Pashayev, Rector of ADA University spoke about Azerbaijan’s path and accomplishments since independence. On behalf of President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, Rector Pashayev presented "Dostlug" (Friendship) Order to Frederick Starr, Chairman of Central Asia and Caucasus Institute. 

Among other speakers we had Mr. David Merkel, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, His Excellency Khazar Ibrahim, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Azerbaijan to the United States, Ms. Maristella Feustle, a music collections librarian at the University of North Texas, and Mrs. Jamila Javadova-Spitzberg, Executive Director of Azerbaijan-American Music Foundation.

The event ended with a concert led by a jazz band of Amina Figarova. The guests enjoyed listening to music of Vagif Mustafazade and Western jazz legends. Willis Conover and Vaguif Mustafazade Jazz Hour photo exhibition remained on display at The Washington Center of ADA University through summer 2022.