Qarabagh Ensemble

Qarabagh Ensemble

 Baku, Baki, AZE

Qarabagh Ensemble, an amazing new voice in the Azerbaijani art of Mugham, rises from the hearts of students and instructors at the National Conservatory after many years of study and practice, discovering the wonder and passion of their music with inspiring performances and relentless energy, embracing and carrying their audience upward to the heavens.


Qarabagh Ensemble was formed in 2012 by Agil Suleymanov as a student at the National Conservatory, the center for the study of traditional music in Azerbaijan. All the musicians in the group began formal study of music as young children and progressed with practice and great care to learn the honored traditional music of Azerbaijan. Now as instructors and professional performers they join in an effort to share their music with the world. Composed of Agil Suleymanov, vocals; Elvin Novruzov, kamancha; Rustam Muslumov, tar; and Elnur Aliyev, naghara, they perform traditional mugham. Nijat Pashazade, bass; and Nijat Aslanov, keyboards, expand their music with jazz and modern interpretations. National Artists of Azerbaijan Mohlat Muslumov and Malakkhanim Eyyubova, join them to bring exceptional artistry to special inspired presentations.  

Aqil began study at the Bulbul Music School in 2005. Fahruz Sakhavat, the Honorary Artist of Azerbaijan, was his teacher. After finishing the school in 2011, he entered the National Conservatory of Azerbaijan with his instructor Sakina Ismayilova, the National Artist of Azerbaijan. He has been studying Mugham since age 9.

Elvin graduating from the National Conservatory, is an instructor now, and has toured performing his music, participating in state concerts in Italy, France, Austria, Russia, Turkey, Georgia, and Tajikistan. 

Rustam comes from a musical family, his father a famous traditional musician in Azerbaijan. He attended and graduated from  Asaf Zeynalli Music College and the National Conservatory and is now working as a teacher. He has performed in Iran, Turkey, Italy, France, and Moscow.

Elnur studied the naghara at the Bulbul Music School and the Soltan Hajibeyov Music College. He has performed in Turkey, Belarus, Minsk, and Moscow. He now teaches at the Children's Art School in the Gobu settlement.

Qarabagh Ensemble was selected and recorded in 2013 by Vincent Moon for his feature film "Azerbaijan, l’École du Vent" (2015). The audio recording of their performance in the Park Bulvar along the Caspian Sea was included in the album, "AZƏRBAYCAN SƏSLƏRI -The Sounds of AZERBAIJAN" ˜Petites Planètes, 2013.

The band has performed at academic events, traditional celebrations, and on TV and radio broadcasts in Azerbaijan.

The band created and presented a series of live performance broadcasts on national media over Azad Azerbaijan TV (ATV) and 106.3 FM Radio in the summer of 2014.

In February and March of 2014, the band traveled to the US, performing and recording in Austin Texas. They participated at the University of Texas in classes and in sharing their music. They met with students at the Moody School of Communications and the Butler School of Music at the University, demonstrating Azerbaijani traditional music and their special merging of mugham music with rock, joined by the Azerbaijani rock band 5.59. Their music was presented on public radio in Austin and they were introduced and interviewed by John Aielli on KUTX radio show "Eklektikos". They performed at the Deutsches Haus COOP in Austin, the Texas Union, and on March 17 as a guest artist in "Tradition and Innovation: Two worlds of Azerbaijani music" at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas.

   In 2015 the band was invited to perform at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. They were selected by National Public Radio (NPR) for "The Austin 100"- the top 100 bands to watch at SXSW 2015. They performed with acclaim and amazement.


başlanğıclar / beginnings - studio (2015) and live national radio performance (2014) - to be released soon

"AZƏRBAYCAN SƏSLƏRI -The Sounds of AZERBAIJAN" ˜˜ - Petites Planètes 2013

"Qesheng" ("Nice") Azeri folk song adapted by Alakbar Tagiyev, - 2013

"Gozumun ichine bax" - Aqil Suleymanov & Rustem Muradli - 2012