Tar player, composer and musician Mashadi Jamil Amiraslan oglu Amirov was born in 1875 in Shusha and received his first education in madrasah. As a child and young he lived in need. Mashadi Jamil, who lost his father Karbalayi Amiraslan bey when he was 12 years old, started selling baked peas in Shusha’s Land Square and therefore interrupted his education.
Mashadi Yakhshi khanum sent her son to study at a tailor. Mashadi Jamil soon became famous as a tailor in Shusha.
Like many singers of that time, Mashadi Jamil learned the secrets of classical Azerbaijani mughams from the great musicologist Navvab. For the first time, Mashadi Jamil started playing and singing with Garagoz Zulfugar in Shusha musical gatherings. Mir Mohsun Navvab’s musical gatherings played an important role in his development as a musician. In 1910, Jamil Amirov was invited to the Gramophone Company in Riga with a group of musicians. Here he recorded a number of mughams and folk songs.
In 1911 he went to Istanbul, Turkiye to study music. He had lived and studied in Istanbul for about two years. Mashadi Jamil was an active exponent of the Azerbaijani music in Turkiye. The Turks saw the tar playing on the chest for the first time in Mashadi Jamil. “Shahbal” journal of Turkiye published a photo and an article about Mashadi Jamil and Azerbaijani music.
After returning to Ganja, Mashadi Jamil was not allowed to open a music school in the city by Tsarist Russia. However, he opened a mugham course. Artists such as Seyid Shushinsky, Bulbul, Zulfu Adigozalov, Ali Javad oglu, Abdurrahman Farajov and Musa Shushinsky got benefit from that course.
In 1921, Mashadi Jamil created a drama troupe in Ganja. During his stay in Ganja, he gradually learned to play the accordion, kamancha, violin and piano.
In 1923, after a long struggle, Mashadi Jamil finally received permission to open a music school in Ganja, and in the first year, 39 students were admitted to the school. Mashadi Jamil’s son Fikrat Amirov, Ganbar Huseynli, Telman Hajiyev and others were students of that school.
Later, this school grew and became a music college in the 1928-1929 academic year.
Mashadi Jamil is also one of the first to make printed music of mughams in the history of the Azerbaijani music. In 1912, he wrote a musical note of Heyrati mugham and published it in “Shahbal” journal.
After a long work in 1915, Mashadi Jamil wrote the opera “Seyfal-mulk” and invited many artists to Ganja to stage the work. After two performances in Ganja, the opera was invited to Tbilisi and was staged on June 3, 1916 at the Kozyanin Theater in Tbilisi.
The opera was directed by Sidqi Ruhulla. After the Tbilisi tour, the opera was staged in Iravan.
Mashadi Jamil wrote the operetta “Honest Girl” in 1923, and this work was also successfully staged in Ganja. In 1924, the operetta “Honest Girl” was published in a separate booklet and sent to many parts of Azerbaijan. The operetta was performed in Shusha, Aghdash, Sheki, Barda, Zagatala, Aghdam and Tbilisi.
Mashadi Jamil Amirov died in Ganja in 1928 and was buried in this city.