up early and already back in the hotel after a great morning at AZN TV. We played 2 tunes on the national show, “Salaam Azerbaijan” (Hello Azerbaijan!) and then chatted with the host a bit. He was a youthful and jovial guy who told us that he got a “C” in English class! But we bonded over our musical love and jammed on Dylans’s “knocking on heaven’s door” live in front of the nation!
Some of our favorite questions have been–what do you love about Azerbaijan?!! Of course that should be the question but it’s hard to answer with much detail since it’s only our 3rd day ever in this country. Still–so far everyone we have met is terrific–our cultural affiars specialist, Fargani, our translator, Elvin, our driver who lets me fuss over where my cello will go in his van! Also Chris, the US cultural affairs officer is spot on!! Even when he had to field questions about Whitney Houston. Yes—after our spot on “Salaam Azerbaijan” they asked if we could be part of a short interview on another TV program where the topic was Whitney Houston. I like to think of myself as a Whitney specialist…… Well, really I just listened to her debut album multiple times with the cute girls I babysat back in 1985. We loved it when she defiantly modulated up a key in “I will always love you”!! I knew she meant it! Oddly the host of this Azeri TV program wanted to get all tabloid-y with us and talk about her addiction problems. But–we kept it about the music and truthfully, there are only great things to say. As Irene said, her performances were electrifying!
We have a break now and then our first workshop with students this afternoon from the conservatory followed by a concert at a jazz club. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving so we will look at rugs and visit the hamam in honor of the pilgrims back home.