Classical Origins and Jazz Chops Galore: A Chat with the Noted Composer and Pianist Amina Figarova
On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with the pianist, composer, and bandleader Amina Figarova, who was born in Azerbaijan in 1966 and is now based in New York City. She began to study music as a child, eventually attending the Baku Conservatory, and became a classical concert pianist while still a young girl. Later she was drawn to jazz at the Rotterdam Conservatory --- and later still at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. Figarova is married to flautist Bart Platteau, who likewise began his career in music as a classical performer, and who now works as a member of the Amina Figarova Sextet. This critically acclaimed sextet will soon perform a concert at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in Downtown Tulsa, and Figarova --- whose ample gifts as a player and composes of jazz music have been likened to those of Toshiko Akiyoshi and Maria Schneider --- tells us all about this sextet, and about her latest CD, "Twelve," which is so named because it's her 12th album as a leader.