Amina Figarova

Amina Figarova was a pianist and jazz singer who was born in Baku on the Russian side. At the age of two, her parents encouraged her to play the piano. Figarova, a classically trained musician was influenced by Sergey Rachmaninov and Claude Debussy. She also played scores by Alexander Scriabin. Her father was a jazz lover, so she was able to listen to albums by Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. After graduating from the Baku Conservatory she went on to study jazz at the Rotterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands and then to the Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA. These institutions not only strengthened her abilities as a musician but also inspired her blossoming talent as an original composer of jazz music. Her writing naturally reflected the musicians she admired, such as McCoy Tyner and Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett or Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and Michel Petrucciani. She recorded her debut CD, Attraction, in 1994. She was also a skilled pianist and performed solo piano concerts. In 1998, Figarova attended Thelonious Monk Jazz Colony in Aspen, CO. She was eager to learn more and formed her first large ensemble. Figarova, who was artist in residence in the San Francisco Bay Area with Dmitri Mateny in 2000, returned to Rotterdam where she has lived for the past ten years. She has performed with Winard Harper, James Moody and Winard Coryell as well as Denise Jannah and Ruth Davies. She has worked with Jackie Ryan and Lenora Zanzali Helm as an arranger. Figarova spent September 11th 2001 in Brooklyn. She slept in an apartment with friends and composed the poignant “September Suite”, a tribute to those who died. Her regular band includes musicians from Holland, such as Bart Platteau, saxophonist Tom Beek, Kurt Van Herck, and trumpeters Marcel Reys and Nico Schepers or Ernie Hammes. She is also accompanied by Wiro Mahieu and Chris Strik. Departure Point: Baku, a compilation of musicians from Azerbaijan includes her. Allmusic

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