February 19th, 2022 7pm Stage 3
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As a young pianist growing up in Odessa, Ukraine, Vadim Neselovskyi discovered that his calling was not to follow any one stylistic path but to become a “creator of music.” He’s long since fulfilled that early promise in myriad ways both inventive and unexpected: as a composer whose vision is expansive enough to spark inspired interpretations from jazz trio and symphony orchestra alike; as an improviser carving surprising pathways through the straightahead, the avant-garde, and the indefinable; and as a collaborator valued by peers, mentors and fellow innovators.
The Los Angeles Times has praised Neselovskyi’s “extraordinary playing” while The Guardian (UK) called him “the most promising of the young improvisers.” Whether as a pianist, composer, improviser, soloist or bandleader, Neselovskyi creates music that is truly inspired and wholly unique. His work has been played by jazz greats like Randy Brecker, Antonio Sanchez, Julian Lage, and Gary Burton, as well as classical artists (Daniel Gauthier, whose recording of Neselovskyi’s “San Felio” won an ECHO Classical Award) and symphony orchestras in the United States and Europe.
Those diverse talents have attracted the attention of revered artists crossing the boundaries of genre, including legendary vibraphonist Gary Burton, who famously enlisted Neselovskyi for his acclaimed Generations Quintet; the prestigious Graz Philharmoniker, which performed his composition “Prelude for Vibes” on their New Year’s program; iconoclastic composer/saxophonist John Zorn, who invited Neselovskyi to contribute to The Book Beriah, the final installment of his Masada project; and French horn/alphorn pioneer Arkady Shilkloper, a profound influence with whom the pianist now shares a longstanding duo collaboration.
Neselovskyi’s most recent release, Get Up and Go, earned a rare 4.5-star review from DownBeat by showcasing the meaningful bond forged between the pianist and his gifted bandmates during a visit to Neselovskyi’s native Ukraine at a time of political upheaval. The pianist’s next project will be a recording of his composition Bez Mezh (which, fittingly, means “no limits” in Ukrainian) by the International Symphony Orchestra (INSO) from Lviv, Ukraine. The ambitious work vividly interlaces composition and improvisation, providing both the piano soloist and the 65-piece orchestra with thrilling challenges to navigate.