Natig Shirinov

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Natig Shirinov
Natig Shirinov
Background information
Birth name Natig Bahadur oglu Shirinov
Born 1975
Origin Buzovna, Baku, Azerbaijani SSR
Genres Azerbaijani Folk Music, World Music
Instruments Primary:
Years active 1993 – present
Natig Rhythm Group performing at WOMEX 15, Budapest

Natig Shirinov (born 1975 in Baku, Azerbaijan) is an Azerbaijani percussionist and leader of the "Natig Shirinov's Rhythm Group" musical collective.[1] He is frequently recognized as the greatest nagara player to emerge from the Caucasus. He has revolutionized nagara percussion technique by experimenting with measures and hand drumming styles. He is also notorious for being Azerbaijan's first rhythm composer. Natig Shirinov is recognized by many people as one of the greatest nagara players of our times. His numerous contributions to the Azeri music scene have gained him a place among a very selective group of artists known to have set new musical trends for the 21st century. Natig Shirinov, who comes from the generation of Ashiq Shamshir, Ashiq Shirin and Ashiq Idris famous in the art history of Azerbaijan, was born in Baku on 10 November 1975. At the age of 9, in 1984, Natig began studying the instrument with teacher Azer Aliyev at Music School named after Tofig Ismaylov. In 1986 he also continued his nagara classes at music-school number six in order to learn more and to improve his playing technique. At the age of 24 Natig received the invitation from Alim Qasimov, master of mugam, the honored artist of Azerbaijan Republic and stepped into the professional career. In the beginning this folklore band consisted of vocal/daf Alim Qasimov, Rauf Islamov on kamancha, Malik Mansurov on tar, Natig Shirinov on nagara. Later on Rafael Asgarov, balaban player joined the group. This group went on tours during 1999-2007 to different countries such as: USA, England, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Iran, Marrakech, Romania, China, Poland, Korea, Russia, Serbia and Turkey. Natig was highly impressed by listening to the revolutionary performance of Mısırlı Ahmet, master of darbuka and afterwards decided to compose new rhythms for nagara. In his performing life two outstanding persons’ roles are essential: Mısırlı Ahmet, master of darbuka and Zakir Hussain, master of tabla. Natig’s contributions to the art have notbeen limited by performance on stage. In 2001 he founded “Natig Rhythm Group” consisting of five persons. Besides nagara, he included old Azeri instruments such as zurna, balaban, tutek (whistle flute) to the group. Except being the head of this group, he extended his activity as the pedagogue and composer. His objective in founding the group was to prove that nagara belongs to Azerbaijan, to make some improvements, create new rhythms and make different countries recognize and appreciate nagara. In 2002 in order to extend the rhythms in nagara, Natig started to have tabla lessons at Tabla School at Council of India in Moscow and later on he started to synthesize the Azerbaijani rhythms with the world rhythms. He recorded his albums named “My World” in 2004 and “My World II” in 2006. He included compositions with different types of nagaras such as bam, boyuk, dari, dovul, kut, qopuzlu, qosha, zang, zil in these albums. Besides Azerbaijani folklore music, one can feel new tendencies and rhythms in these compositions. In November 2004 he was officially invited to “World Music Festival of Drum and Dance” devoted to the 120th anniversary of Taipei. He was rewarded with Certificate of Appreciation by Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government for his great and outstanding performance. Then he performed at International Baku Jazz Festival in 2005, he was rewarded with “Diploma Laureate of International Baku Jazz Festival” by Festival Producer, saxophone player & composer Rain Sultanov and Head of Organizing Committee Nuri Akhmedov. He was invited by producer of International Drum Festival, outstanding percussionist Tofig Jabarov to participate at the Drum Festival in 2005, 2006, 2008 & 2009. His group’s performance at the festival was truly brilliant. Natig Rhythm Group participated at Intergovernmental Exhibition “CIS 15 years: cooperation and integration”and was awarded with diploma by Chairman of Organizational Committee of Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Russian Federation. In 2006 he was rewarded with Diploma of GRAND Independent National Public Award Laureate for nomination of instrumental group of the year. In 2006 he was invited to perform with pianist and composer Emil Ibrahim Quartet in Belgium and in 2007 he took part at the concert titled “Emil Ibrahim & Friends” at Baku Jazz Festival. Natig and his group performed at Culture Days of Azerbaijan in Moscow in 2006 and 2007, in France in 2007, in Marrakech and Germany in 2008. In June 2007 he was invited to perform with the band led by Salman Gambarov, distinguished pianist and composer, to participate at “The 3rd International Art Festival of the Caucasus” in Warsaw. The band performed with blended eastern and western music inspirations in an organic though sophisticated way. In September 2007 Natig was rewarded with the title of Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan by the decree of Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President ofAzerbaijan. He was invited by Sevda Alekperzade, Azerbaijani singer to accompany her with her albums’ recording: “A Flower in Bloom” in 2007 and “World of Love” in 2009 which were released by The Network Media Cooperative. Natig together with Sevda Alekperzade gave a number of concerts in Austria, Germany, Romania in 2008 and in Germany in 2009. Natig Rhythm Group together with State Dance Ensemble made a grand opening of support concert of The Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan, Turkey and Serbia in 2008. At recent two concerts with his group named “If there is the Rhythm, then there is the Life” in 2008 and “Natig Rhythm Show” in 2009 he showed not only performance techniques, but also managed to show numerous sound reproductions of nagara as well as introduced himself as a composer. Natig made a revolution in the performance on nagara and invented new types of this instrument. Natig Shirinov, a composer, musician, nagara player, creative person trying to create a perfect ensemble of rhythms, is always looking for innovation to climb up the top of his professional career. Tender taste, creativity, interest to novelty, belief in victory, fire and military spirit can be felt in all compositions and performances made by Natig.


Along with his musical collective, Natig Shirinov has received world acclaim and won numerous awards. From 1999 to 2007 Natig Shirinov toured the world as part of Alim Qasimov's folk band.[3] He has also collaborated with a number of other musicians including Misirli Ahmet, Ruslana and Billy Cobham.


Natig Shirinov's performance in Eurovision Song Contest 2012

In September 2007, Shirinov was rewarded with the title of Honored Artist of Azerbaijan, one of the highest musical awards in Azerbaijan, by the decree of Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan. On 22 May 2012, his rhythm group participated as interval act in the first semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku.[4]

Featured albums[edit]

  • My World I (2004)
  • My World II (2006)


  1. The Bridge (2003)
  2. Fortesses of Azerbaijan. Dashkasan-Gadabay (2008)


  1. ^ "Natiq Şirinov: "... barmaqlarımın ucunda artıq çürümə gedirdi"". (in Azerbaijani). Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Pert, Ian. "Natiq Shirinov – Rhythm Man". Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Alim Gasimov performs as part of Montreux Jazz Festival". Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Финал "Евровидения-2012" откроет группа "Натик ритм группу". (in Russian). Retrieved 16 August 2014. 

External links[edit]