“My father had to go to the recording studio that day, and then to the Song Theater. In the evening they started looking for him at the Song Theater. There was a great tragedy in Baku, the whole city was standing, everyone was worried. It did not bother us that, Our father may have been on that train, but as time went on, the anxiety peaked. My sister’s friend started looking for morgues. And It turned out that “
She tells this to her daughter Gulara. When I remember that day, yes, that terrible day. March 19, 1944.
March 19, 1994 at 1:00 p.m. 20 January An explosion occurs at a subway station. A clockwork bomb placed on the train’s main car explodes after it stops at the station. The blast killed 14 people and injured 49 others. It was a terrorist attack. And People’s Artist of the Republic of Azerbaijan Rafig Babayev was one of the victims of this terrorist attack.
On the morning of March 19, Rafig Babayev left home and wanted to start his car. But every time the car turns off, the engine does not start. An artist in a hurry to record takes the subway…
Milli Rafig Babayev was one of the luminaries of jazz. He was born on March 31, 1936 in the large family of Farzi Babayev, who worked in the party bodies. The Babayev family had a great interest in music.
Older sisters – Marziya pianist, Vasila harpist, brother Oktay wind instrument player, Rafig became a composer, pianist, arranger. His younger sister, Armanus, was a music theorist. Probably that, If their parents had not lost their daughter Emile when they were children, there would have been another musician in the family.
Rafig entered the music school No. 160 in 1943 and later continued his education in the piano class of the music school named after Asaf Zeynalli. In addition to studying at this school, he works as a music director of an ensemble of folk instruments. At the same time, he is also interested in jazz music and improved his improvisational skills.
In the 50s, the whole USSR, especially Baku, breathed with jazz. Later, thanks to Vagif Mustafazadeh and Rafig Babayev, Baku would become one of the jazz centers of the USSR. From what her sister Armanus said: “Rafiq wanted to listen to these songs again and again. He just didn’t listen, to play right away and he was trying to write it. ” Later, the artist himself would say: “We were passionate about jazz music. At night, my brother Oktay and the radio receiver snowWe could hardly record music on an old tape recorder “.
Although Rafig is seriously engaged in jazz, he does not miss his education. Enters the conservatory. Rafig Babayev and his teacher, Professor Rauf Atakishiyev, have been friends since their student years and this relationship lasts a long time. Later, the artist, who devoted himself entirely to jazz music, graduated from the conservatory and, as the leader of the music group, went on long tours to various cities of the Soviet Union. He led the group for three years, from 1960 to 1962.
That being said according to, a map was later found in Rafig Babayev’s archive. The map showed the cities where the band had performed for three years.
After returning to Baku, Rafig Babayev met the famous singer Rashid Behbudov.
When Rashid Behbudov established the Song Theater in 1967, Rafig Babayev was invited to be the musical director of the theater. R.Babayev and R. Behbudov is preparing a large theatrical concert program. Rafig is doing a great job to stage this play. During all these years, Rafig continues his creative work in the field of jazz music, is constantly engaged in this work, participates in jazz festivals. Rafig Babayev’s ensemble won the International Jazz Festival in Tallinn in 1967. Special mention is made of his composition performed in the “Bayati-Kurdish” mode.
He was friends with another jazz legend, Vagif Mustafazade. From what her daughter Fariza said:
“My father was 4 years older than Vagif Mustafazade and Uncle Vagif always respected this greatness. He consulted with my father about everything. They worked together. They listened to each other. Once a call came home, I answered, I was young, I did not understand anything. I told my father that, some Vagif went to mercy. My father’s color was blue at that moment. He did not want to believe and he still did not know exactly who Vagif was. He called a couple of places, then froze in place. The news shocked him so much that he could not come to his senses for a long time. Then my father played a big role in the upbringing of Aziza Mustafazade. “
Sometimes Vagif and Listening to Rafiq’s music, a person has such a strange fantasy that, Mustafazade and Thanks to Babayev, the idea of jazz could become an all-Azerbaijani idea. Indeed, both figures who created the image of Azerbaijani jazz are equally important to Azerbaijani music.
Mustafazade and In the 60s, Babayev began to perform not in large groups, but in small groups.
“In this regard, we were lagging behind the United States – where this trend began in the 1940s. Later, the musicians parted ways – Vagif performed in a group and gave concerts until the end of his life, and Rafig first demonstrated his skills in “Gaya”, then in Rashid Behbudov’s team, on television, and finally in the film studio. Every decade, he brings innovations to existing projects and improves them with his experience. ”
This is what another jazz luminary, musician Salman Gambarov says.
Yeast of Rafig Babayev national nation and was based on professional classical Azerbaijani music. It was a synthesis of Azerbaijani mugam and our composer’s songs. Mugham was a mystical, divine music for him. He brought a new breath of mugam and jazz to Azerbaijani music and he wanted to develop and improvise it.
In 1991, Rafig Babayev formed the Jangi folk-jazz ensemble and creates a recording studio to help implement music projects. Using folk instruments, he enriched them with extraordinary harmony, at first glance to the contradictory aspects of the world – the West. and He created beautiful compositions by combining oriental music in a melodic way.
In 1993, Rafig Babayev was named People’s Artist of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Academician Rafael Huseynov wrote:
“Rafig Babayev was the second discovery in Rashid Behbudov’s creative life after Tofig Guliyev. That is, in fact, a gift from God. “
Interestingly, the pursuit of the great jazzmen by fate was as inevitable as the talent God gave them.
On the morning of March 19, Rafig Babayev left the house and wanted to start the car. But every time the car turns off, the engine does not start.
I wish that car would not go out. What do you know, maybe this was his last improvisation…