In 2012, having been invited to attend a concert of Azerbaijani Mugham in celebration of the Voyager spacecraft's 30th Anniversary

(UCLA-11/12 - click here for a clip), I got to know some fantastic Azerbaijani musicians, specialists in their great Mugham tradition - and this led,

with gratitude to them and to the Azerbaijani Consulate, to a trip to Baku, Azerbaijan to take part in the 2013 Baku Humanitarian Forum. 

Here are photos, videos, and a link to a great article about a fascinating country and culture, with great friends - and musicians!

Foreground, back to the camera,

the back of my head can be seen

listening to the great Mugham​ players (2012)

Two excerpts from a  concert I helped organize by introducing my new friends,  IMAMYAR HAZANOV,

the great Mugham kamancha, and his brother RUFAT HAZANOV, the great tar player, to my great friend/guitarist PETER SPRAGUE 

they all jammed together at the Skirball Center in LA, 2/5/13 - very proud to have been a small part of it - 

Rob Eshman, editor of the LA Jewish Journal, chose this photo I took

of a couple living across the street from the old synagogue in Quba,

north of Baku, to be on the cover of the issue with his smart, 

enlightening article about our time in Baku, and the Jews of Azerbaijan.

Visiting a beautiful breadbaker's tiny shop, baking 

loaves in her urn, in Mardakan, just north of Baku.

The astonishing HEYDAR ALIYEV CENTER IN BAKU - designed by Zaha Hadid (RIP) assembling for the plenary session of the Baku Forum

(the man in the cop car scolded me for taking this photo . . . )

Taking a stroll around the great Heydar Aliyev Center, with my friends Rob Eshman and Doug Kahn