Azerbaijan International

Summer 2002 (10.2)
Page 8

Smithsonian Folklife Festival - July 2002

This summer in Washington, D.C., eight Azerbaijani musicians will have the opportunity to perform at the internationally known Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which typically draws more than 1 million visitors each year.

Above: Azerbaijani performers at this summer's Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. Top right (l-r): tar player Elchin Hashimov, singer Niyamaddin Babayev, singer Leyla Rahimova and kamancha player Elnur Ahmadov.

This year, the Festival will take place June 26-30 and July 3-7, and is based on the theme of "The Silk Road: Connecting Cultures, Creating Trust." The outdoor exhibition is designed to educate the public about diverse cultural traditions and will feature music, crafts, culinary and narrative traditions involved in the historical cultural interchange between the East and the West.

The performers of traditional music representing the Republic of Azerbaijan will include a group organized by Elshan Mansurov specifically for the Festival, with Elchin Hashimov on tar, Elnur Ahmadov on kamancha, and Leyla Rahimova and Niyamaddin Babayev on vocals.

Both Leyla and Niyamaddin are 14 years old and study mugham (traditional modal form of music) at the Bulbul School in Baku. The group will perform mughams, tasnifs, national songs and rhythmic mughams such as "Mansuriyya". Saz player Adalat Nasibov and garmon player Aydin Aliyev, also from Azerbaijan, will be featured as solo performers.

Two Azerbaijani musicians from Iran will also appear on stage: balaban player Akbar Mashallah and Ashug Iskandari. [For more about these two musicians, see "Azerbaijani Ashugs Perform in Europe" in AI 10.1 (Spring 2002). SEARCH at]

Left: Garmon player Aydin Aliyev. Right: Saz player Adalat Nasibov.

For more information on the 2002 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, visit

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