Baku, once known as the 'Jazz capital of the Soviet Union,' is a little-known jazz hub in the Caucasus. The city's lively jazz scene traces its roots back to the early 20th century when the new musical form trickled through from Europe and America. Jazz was later banned by the Soviet regime, though that didn't stop its underground development. The 1950s and 1960s were a particular golden age as during this time pioneering local musicians tuned in to broadcasts by Voice of America and began to merge the American jazz they heard with traditional Azerbaijani mugham, forming the totally unique genre of jazz-mugham. Today many of the new wave of national and international jazz musicians perform each October at the annual Baku Jazz Festival, where besides discovering the city's rich jazz heritage a plethora of workshops, exhibitions, lectures and film screenings can be enjoyed.
The Baku Jazz Festival organisers have announced that this year will include a competition of jazz artists called "I am Jazzman! 2020," taking place on 10-13 October 2020. Do you want to participate at the 2020 Baku Jazz Festival? If so, follow the link: