Over 200 LibDems get into the swing at the TEAS jazz reception

Press Release: On 8 March, the spirited music of Azerbaijani violinist Sabina Rakcheyeva and the Deco Ensemble entranced more than 200 Liberal Democrats attending this year’s Spring Party Conference in York. Sabina was the first Azerbaijani graduate from the Juilliard School in New York and is the Arts and Culture Advisor to The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS). The talented musicians performed a vibrant mix of standards, tangos and their own compositions.

Opening the event, Lionel Zetter, Director, TEAS, welcomed all attendees and thanked them for choosing the TEAS Jazz Reception over the many events being held on the night.

Noting that it was International Women’s Day, he asked the audience which country first granted the voting franchise to all women – the UK, USA or Azerbaijan? The audience unanimously replied that Azerbaijan was the answer! Mr Zetter went on to comment how recent events in Ukraine have proven that it is imperative for former Soviet republics to develop strong economic, political and cultural ties to the West.

He then introduced Lord German, the recently-appointed Chairman of the Anglo-Azerbaijani Society. He said: “Azerbaijan has a fantastic culture. In particular, Sabina and the Deco Ensemble have demonstrated the wonderful music that continues to come out of that country.

“Azerbaijan looks to the West, and the UK has been the greatest contributor of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for many years. It therefore ought to be its biggest friend. May I thank TEAS for hosting the event, and I very much hope that a similar reception will be held at the autumn conference.”

The reception was organised to increase awareness of the ongoing close relationship between the Azerbaijan and the UK. This year, Azerbaijan has added relevance to the EU, as the agreements to facilitate construction of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) have recently been finalised. Scheduled for completion in 2018, this will bring Azerbaijani gas from the European border of Turkey to Italy, ensuring EU energy security and permitting supply diversity. The pipeline will play an essential role in the Southern Energy Corridor project.

For more information and photographs, please contact Neil Watson, Editor and Press Officer, TEAS on neil.watson@teas.eu.