Monday, September 14, 2009

Genius On Keyboards Storms the Charts

Tonight I heard 22-year-old Grammy nominated jazz pianist, Eldar Djangirov, perform to a packed audience at the Jazz Standard in NYC. I received news that “Virtue”, Eldar’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to his 2008 Grammy nominated “Re-Imagination”, is currently #17 on the Top Billboard Jazz Chart and #1 CMJ most added artist. Over the last week, Eldar and his band mates Armando Gola and Ludwig Afonso have performed a series of performances in New York and a private performance for over 300 patrons who attended the KiptonART Foundation event with partners ELLE and Longchamp. Not since my childhood memories of keyboard spasms from hot bands from the 80s, have I felt such attraction to a performer who handles the keyboard as naturally as eating and breathing. I continue to be mesmerized by how easily and quickly Eldar's fingers roll across the keyboard. The classical training by his mother and influence from his father's love of jazz, has given Eldar a unique sound and style that continues to garner critical acclaim. During the performance, I also chatted with singer Paula Valstein who recently was a contestant on "Kochav Nolad," Israel's version of "American Idol.” Although eliminated from the competition on August 2, she has hit the U.S. music circuit full force. This evening, she explained how she just returned from performing for students at Pepperdine University in Malibu. No doubt the students were amazed by Valstein's ability to connect and charm while creating pleasurable experiences of bone chilling vocals that stick in your head for days. After Eldar finalized his set, we sat down for Q&A to talk about what was on his mind and what he has planned next. I called it a night after mingling with Producer David Lai, ICM's Mitch Blackman and multi-talented Kirk Yano. Read the full interview here...

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