Vagif Mustafa Zadeh

Vagif Mustafa Zadeh (March 16, 1940 - December 16, 1979), also known as Vagif Mustafa Zadeh, was an Azerbaijani jazz pianist and composer, acclaimed for fusing jazz and traditional Azerbaijani folk music known as mugham. According to many world famous jazz musicians, Mustafazadeh is one of the pioneers and "the architect of jazz in Azerbaijan".

Mustafazadeh is the founder of Azerbaijani jazz mugham movement that emerged in the late 60s and 70's in Baku, as a result of the mixture of these two styles. He began searching for new ways to structure his improvisations by exploring modal music. More innovative approaches were taken by him and its influence stretched into later developments of this style.

His works and performance were praised by internationally known leading world musicians, such as Willis Connover and B.B. King. Once when King shared the same stage with Mustafazade, he heard him playing the blues piano and said nobody could play the blues like him and afterwards said to Vagif that "people call me the king of the blues, but if I could play the piano like you do, I would call myself God."

More than three decades since Mustafazade's passing, a larger number of his recordings from all periods of his career are more widely available in stores than at any time during his lifetime. His works are broadcast and listened to every day and are honored in TV and radios.