Artists

Figarova Amina FigarovaGrowing up in Baku, Azerbijan, Amina enjoyed her parents' records of Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass. She was drawn to the piano at age two and commenced "special school" musical studies, which emphasized late 19th century European composition, at age six. She has recorded repertoire of Rachmaninoff and Scriabin. Amina was also interested in Azerbaijan's distinctively mixed ethnic folk music. "Rhythmically there are lots of influences, including elements from African and Arabic music," she told Franz A. Matzner in an interview. "It's basically kind of like in jazz, an improvisation with the scales and the lyrics."

Initially writing in commercial pop format, Amina attended Baku Conservatory and concertized professionally while still a student. Spurred by her growing interest in improvisation, she attended the Moscow Jazz Festival in 1988. Weeks later she accepted an invitation to study classical piano and composition in the Netherlands, but was quickly dissatisfied. "Within a month I changed to the jazz program she says,"I stayed one year, then went to the Berklee College of Music." At Berklee in Boston Amina foresaw her unfolding path.

Amina was accepted into the Thelonious Monk Jazz Colony in Aspen, Colorado in 1988. Soon after, the flutist Bart Platteau and Amina began their routine of steady touring worldwide as jazz artists. Amina performs with her own group at many jazz festivals and jazz clubs around the world, such as The North Sea Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Capetown International Jazzfestival, Salvador Bahia Jazz Festival, Brasil, JakArt Festival, Indonesia, Yoshi's in Oakland, CA, Blue Note jazz club New York, and has given concerts in Israel, Europe, United Arabs Emirates, Mexico, USA, Azerbaijan, and many others.

Amina's compositions are infused with grace, color and warmth, her solos with confident wit and her fellow musicians' contributions with passionate originality. Amina thinks of them as humble sketches.