Azerbaijani Pianist Performed at The Annual September Concert

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On September 19, 2013, the Annual September Concert hosted by Sister Cities of Houston took place at the University of St. Thomas with special performance from Baku, Azerbaijan pianist Tarana Garayeva-Taylor, the High School for the Visual and Performing Arts Chamber Choir: Julia Hall, Karenia Garrido Clarinetist from Cuba, Avaghys, Musician and dance from Cameroon, and Andrew Menger, Violinist.

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Each year the collective Sister Cities strive to bring people together for a concert to reaffirm hope for peace and to celebrate life and universal humanity. The September Concert seeks to unite individuals in art to bridge the gap between people regardless of geographical, cultural or language barriers.

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Tarana Garayeva- Taylor performed three pieces during the concert such as “Papillons” by Robert Schumann, “Ballad” by Jovdat Hajiyev and “1001 nights” by Fikret Amirov.All three were stylistically different pieces that allowed the audience to experience the various sounds of music.

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The September Concert at the University of St. Thomas was an enjoyable evening full of intellectually stimulating experiences of music.

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Operetta “The Cloth Peddler” Conquers Los Angeles, California

On September 7th, 2013 Los Angeles has hosted the premiere of Arshin mal alan (The Cloth Peddler), a world- known operetta by great Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyli.

This 100-year-old musical comedy with a breathtaking love story and amazing music is considered to be the first operetta of the entire Muslim world, and has been successfully performed in scores of languages in over 60 countries!

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The operetta was performed by an all American team and produced by famous director Michael Schnack. Actors had diligent rehearsals for several months. They said the toughest thing to do was to learn to sing in Azerbaijani.

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James Judd, who played the musical comedy`s main character, Asgar, said it took them a long time to learn the words of arias.

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Asha Lindsey, who played Gulchohra, said she learned a lot about Azerbaijan`s history and culture, as well as Islam when she played in Arhshin mal alan for the first time seven years ago.

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“I have many Azerbaijani friends. I can tell much about this unique country. I know very well what my character wants. If Gulchohra lived now, she would have been very brave,” Lindsey added.

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Michael Schnack said the Americans have a different approach to tradition, especially in an artistic sense. “Younger generations in America are open to changes. One of the reasons why Azerbaijan is of such interest to Americans is that the West was once strongly influencing this country.”

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The musical comedy was played to a full house at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, one of the premier opera houses of the world also famous for hosting Oscar Awards ceremonies in 1970-90s.

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 An audience of 3,000 people enjoyed this comic and romantic story of love full of songs and humor for about two hours. The performance received a standing ovation.

Congressman Michael Turner from Ohio visited Azerbaijan Center

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On August 30th, 2013 Congressman from the state of Ohio Michael Turner visited the Azerbaijani Center in Houston. At a meeting with members of the Azerbaijani community of the city and friends of Azerbaijan, Congressman discussed a number of issues concerning bilateral relations between the United States and Azerbaijan.

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Michael Turner represents the 10th Congressional District of Ohio, and is chairman of the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces of the Armed Forces Committee of the U.S. Congress and a senior member of the Committee on Government Reform and Control of the United States.

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As a supporter of U.S. activeness in energy security, improving mutual relations and trade ties between the U.S. and its energy producing allies and as an author of the resolution in Congress calling for strengthening of energy security of European allies through the implementation of the Southern Corridor, Turner discussed the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project and significant contribution of Azerbaijan to its implementation and energy security of Europe.

The legislator said that the U.S. administration should pay more attention to Azerbaijan in this sphere.

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Congressman got familiar with the work of the Azerbaijani center and praised the project of twin cities, in particular the work of Houston-Baku Sister City Association, which for the past 37 years has made a tremendous contribution to development of relations between the two oil cities of Azerbaijan and the United States as a whole. Turner noted that the Azerbaijani Diaspora in the U.S. is growing, stressed the role of the U.S. Azeris Network and members of the Azerbaijani community in general in the development of US-Azerbaijani relations.

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Congressman Steve Stockman visited Azerbaijan Center in Houston Texas

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On August 21st, 2013 Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX) has visited the Azerbaijani Center of Houston. During the meeting with the members of Azerbaijani community of Houston, the lawmaker discussed the bilateral relations between the United States and Azerbaijan.

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Stockman noted that he was amazed by the rapid growth of Azerbaijani economy in the last ten years. The congressman appreciated the role of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in the development of the country, accentuating on the skills of the head of Azerbaijani state in development of relations with other countries.

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Congressman Steve Stockman represents the new expanding 36th congressional district of Texas. In 1995-1997s, he served as the US Congressman for the 9th congressional district in the opposite part of the city.

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