October 26th, 2021 10:30pm Stage 2
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After living in 3 different countries, touring Asia, Russia, Europe, U.S, and recording with numerous artists, Sergej Avanesov, a Russian-born saxophonist, composer, educator, “Jimmy Heath Award” recipient, is now settled in New York, where he works both as a leader of his group, co-leader of “Kevin Clark – Sergej Avanesov Group”, album soon to come out, and a sideman with city’s finest musicians: Jonathan Barber, Alina Engibaryan, Cyrille Amiee, Alex Sipiagin, Freddie Bryant, to name a few.
Coming from a multicultural family (Armenian father, Georgian mother), from an early age he was exposed to authenticity: cultural and musical, which later on led him to pursuing music as his life career and mission.
After graduating from a renowned jazz music school named after Kim Nazaretov in Rostov-on-Don, he continued his music studies in Groningen, The Netherlands, at Prince Claus Conservatory, participating in numerous competitions and performing at different festivals in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Estonia, and completing two tours with Italian born pianist-extraordinaire Giacomo Caruso.
After graduating and receiving his bachelor’s degree, Sergej was presented with an opportunity to move to New York City and obtain a master’s degree in Music Performance at Aaron Copland School of Music under the tutorage of internationally acclaimed saxophonist and educator Antonio Hart. During his time at Aaron Copland School of Music, Sergej was becoming a regular on the New York Jazz scene and started performing as a sideman, as well as playing shows with his own groups. At the graduation ceremony, he was granted a prestigious “Jimmy Heath Award” for excellence in studies and outstanding abilities.
After graduating, Sergej recorded and released his debut album “Secret Language” which featured his musical idols: Boris Kozlov (bass), John Escreet (piano), and long-time friend Samvel Sarkisian (drums).
Album was well received and had a week-long radio play in London, the UK, three months feature in “Downbeat” magazine, and numerous reviews.
For the past 2 years, Sergej was composing and working on music for his long-time dream project. Simply named “SERGEJ” - it’s a symbiosis of his love for contemporary jazz, classical, progressive rock music, and free, modular, generative sounds. Blending these styles together into an unpredictable and undefined mix. His playing and music put emphasis on emotional sensitivity, passion, encouragement, combined with a deep understanding of musical direction.
Sergej is currently working as a private music/music therapy instructor for children with autism and as a general music teacher at an afterschool music program. As well as teaching, he is putting together an improvisational method book, “Sounds, Variations and Combinations of Lydian Pentatonic in Functional and Non-Functional Harmony”, that will help aspiring musicians and professionals to navigate through harmony in a very fresh, unique way. While keeping a busy teaching schedule, Sergej often performs in New York and surrounding areas with Cyrille Aimee, Alina Engibaryan, Jonathan Barber, Fima Chupakhin, Taulant Mehmeti, and with his own group, performing original music.