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Japanese pianist possessed the Kiev`s hearts by Shulgin`s jazz

On March 19-20, yet another annual jazz festival “Edinstvo” (“Unity”) took place in the Kiev Operetta Theater. Among innovative and talented musicians, who participated in the festival, there was Kumiko Ando, a young Japanese pianist. She performed both her original jazz improvisations and jazz transcriptions of music by a famous Russian composer Alexander Shulgin, based on his new jazz instrumental album “Triptych”. Kumiko Ando, who grew up in New York, is greatly interested in Shulgin’s creative work. She referred to him as the contemporary Russian composer whom she esteems most highly. Olga Liforenko, a professor of the Ukrainian Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music (former Tchaikovsky Kiev National Conservatory), noted Kumiko’s singular style of performing and her exquisite touch, fertility of her imagination, soulfulness and romanticism. Furthermore, Olga Liforenko reflected on Kumiko’s amazing ability to feel the music of the Russian composer so finely.


The festival was organized by well-known businessman Sergey Grabar and covered by and aired on the major Ukrainian TV channels – The First National Channel and ICTV. Newspapers and radio stations provided coverage as well. Aleksei Kogan, a brilliant radio-journalist and producer, was the festival’s host, he was offering his keen, sharp-witted comments about every performance.


 


Shinkarenko quartet from Lithuania, Revenko band, and a quartet lead by Oleg Kireev, a celebrated Russian jazz musician, attracted a special attention of the audience as well. Kumiko Ando’s manager Natalia Yurkanova told that the Japanese pianist’s performance of music by Alexander Shulgin, a talented Russian composer, made a splash with the public in Kiev. It was a real surprise!


   

Natalia Yurkanova


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