Eldar Djangirov
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Eldar Djangirov

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz Classical


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The Boscov's Berks Jazz Fest presented a double concert called "New Faces of Jazz," featuring pianist Eldar Djangirov (known simply as "Eldar") and the Anat Cohen Quartet, Saturday night in Reading Area Community College's Miller Center for the Arts.

Most of the audience, including this reviewer, had not heard Eldar before; this was his first appearance at the Jazz Fest (Cohen appeared here three years ago). So when the slender 25-year-old began to play, crouched over the keyboard like a cat ready to pounce, jaws began dropping all over the room.

This prodigiously gifted musician, originally from Kyrgyzstan, had the audience in the palm of his hand immediately, as he opened with Sammy Cahn's "I Should Care," from his fourth album, "Three Stories."

Coaxing every nuance out of the excellent Steinway, he played with a warm sound, a light touch, rippling runs, and, eventually, tremendous complexity. He is quite probably the finest pianist I have heard.

His use of pedal and crossed-hands technique gave a classical sheen to Chick Corea's "Windows"; he then crossed over into the classical realm with his own variations on a Brahms Capriccio, played with miraculous fluidity.

He demonstrated a powerful left hand in Art Blakey's "Moanin'," and then played the most beautiful version of Gershwin's "Embraceable You" imaginable, intimate and very emotional. For part of this, he played a section with his left hand alone (once again, a nod to the classical world).

The rest of his program explored the fast and angular, the tuneful and the rhythmically challenging, ending with two more Gershwin pieces - Eldar's own arrangement of the Second Prelude and an astonishing "Rhapsody in Blue."

Cohen and her quartet - pianist/composer Jason Lindner, bassist Ben Williams and drummer Jonathan Blake - proved once again to be engaging and often dazzling.

Her clarinet playing boasts a pure, powerful tone from top to bottom, and she has an effervescent style that emerged immediately in her opening number, "Anat's Dance," by Lindner. During his drum solo, Blake was a locomotive, generating a steady stream of ideas.

John Coltrane's "Lonnie's Lament" opened with a solo by Williams, his fingers fast and pulsing with energy. Cohen's clarinet, soulful and haunting, entered, and later Lindner played a terrific piano solo.

Cohen is equally adept in playing the tenor sax; her presentation is always captivating and the four players were obviously comfortable together.

A highlight was "And the World Weeps," by Dr. Lonnie Smith, jazz organist and pianist. Over a slow, steady beat and eerie percussion effects, Cohen's clarinet, always in perfect control, gave out a dirge-like blues, with the stage bathed in red.

-Susan Pena - Reading Eagle

“It’s not the flash and fire that should stir interest in Eldar. It’s what he does when the razzle-dazzle dies down and we sense substance within and beyond his pyrotechnics.” So noted Downbeat a few years ago when a 19-year-old Eldar Djangirov released Live at the Blue Note with hotshot guests Roy Hargrove and Chris Botti. Three years and two recordings later, the flash and fire continue to blaze, but in support of an increasingly substantial and original music. On his new Sony Masterworks release, Virtue, Eldar and his working trio (talented young bassist Armando Gola and drummer Ludwig Afonso) create what the pianist refers to as “a soundtrack to my direct experiences since I've moved to New York City." Aided and abetted by guests Joshua Redman, Felipe Lamoglia (saxes) and Nicholas Payton (trumpet), Virtue triumphs as much via nuance as pyrotechnics, and there’s plenty of both throughout the ten original compositions (8 written or co-written by Eldar) and one particularly exquisite reading of “Estaté.
Since emigrating from his native Kyrgyzstan nearly ten years ago, Eldar has been variously compared to Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock and more; yet he also seems to conjure the harmonic expansiveness of McCoy Tyner and at times the lyrical sensitivity of Bill Evans. On Virtue, his alternating power and delicacy suggest another pianist closer to his generation, Japanese sensation Hiromi. Yet Eldar goes into territory I wish Hiromi would explore more fully, a more integrated insertion of electronic keyboards into the general framework of acoustic elements, often building structures that suggest larger ensembles. His “Exposition” gives the recording a bing-bang start, guest Joshua Redman’s tenor soaring and twisting over the electronic gurgles and burps, ultimately falling into a call and response between acoustic piano and sax, high on the energy and frenzy of urban bustle. Immediately following with his “Insensitive,” the trio shifts to its gentler side, Eldar’s Chopinesque piano introduction shifting to a more abstract journey, with rapid-fire lyricism melded with Romantic cascades--why not use a dozen notes, even if one would do, to establish mood and melody? “Estaté” similarly is showered in embellishments that, rather than excess, add delicacy as Eldar weaves a fine mesh on which the melody can float. Throughout Virtue, Eldar manages to avoid clichés and self-indulgent splash, his technical heroism always serving the art. This is Eldar’s boldest and most substantial outing yet. Child Prodigy no more, Eldar is a maturing talent with an insatiable artistic imagination.

-Andrea Canter - Jazz Police

Eldar Djangirov, the jazz pianist who previously recorded under his first name only, has been receiving rave reviews since he began performing as a young child. Those kudos are justified -- even as a prodigy, Djangirov dazzled with his technique, earning comparisons to masters such as Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson. For one thing, his speed on the instrument is unreal, but he's never been solely about virtuosity -- never showoffy, Djangirov packs plenty of emotion into his music as well as chops. For this solo piano set, Djangirov has expanded his reach, including classical material and original compositions as well as several diverse covers spanning Great American Songbook standards to more traditional jazz repertoire and even a Dave Matthews tune. Djangirov's playing is, simply, flawless, yet he avoids sterility. Whether diving into Gershwin's "Embraceable You," Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee," or Bach's Prelude in C-sharp Major, Djangirov's interpretations are always personalized and never less than inviting. On Thelonious Monk's "In Walked Bud," played in 5/4 time, Djangirov's captures the angularity of the original but tosses in enough flamboyant flourish that one might mistake him for a bebop Liberace (in a positive, enjoyable way). His take on Jimmy Van Heusen's "Darn That Dream" is imbued with a dreamy, tinkling mystery, and the Chick Corea number that follows it, "Windows," is introspective and elegant. So too is the Matthews tune, "So Damn Lucky," which sways between a modified boogie and something more regal and expressive. Djangirov's original numbers -- highlighted by the expansive title track -- vary in mood and tone, striking a measured balance between the pianist's jazz side and his classical training. It all comes together magnificently in the set's tour de force, "Rhapsody in Blue," a breathtaking 15-minute Djangirov-arranged take on the iconic opus that surveys a wide range of stylings, dispositions, and tempos. It's a sonic tour well worth taking, the highlight of this recording that, more than any of his previous works, exposes Eldar Djangirov's massive abilities and singular approach.

-Jeff Tamarkin - All Music

By Bill Meredith on 03 March 2010

At the age of 23, most jazz musicians are still figuratively getting their feet wet in both their art and their lives. Which puts young pianist Eldar Djangirov at least up to his waist by comparison.

Going by only his first name since starting his recording career nine years ago, Eldar (eldarjazz.com) released Virtue, his sixth CD overall and fourth for Sony Masterworks, last August. The largely-original disc is adventurous and unpredictable; a maze of complex melodies, rhythms and harmonies that illustrate how far beyond his years this young pianist and composer is.

"I was writing this record over the course of about a year-and-a-half," Eldar says, "while soaking up as much music and practicing as much as I could. Many of the tunes started as certain experiments, and little by little, each one developed into its own form. Some expanded slowly; others fast into complete tunes. I've been on the road for the record for about six months, and the response and appreciation has been really good, especially in Europe. People seemed really into it over there, and also in New York City and on the West Coast."

In the liner notes to Virtue, Eldar calls the music "a fitting soundtrack to my life and the things I have seen and experienced while living in New York City since 2007." That soundtrack, complete with recording partners Armando Gola (bass), Ludwig Afonso (drums) and Felipe Lamoglia (saxophone), will be on display March 11 at the Count de Hoernle Amphitheater in Boca Raton's Mizner Park as part of Festival of the Arts Boca.

"I found the right core band for this record, musicians who could take what I was writing, put it in their own terms, and know what to do with the vocabulary,” he said. “I met Armando while he was playing with Arturo Sandoval, and Armando introduced me to Ludwig. We ended up playing for about 10 hours the first day we got together.

Then we did a tour where we started experimenting with some of the material that ended up on ‘Virtue.’ When we went into the studio, there was an evolution and a confidence. Everything had become more clear through being on the road beforehand."

The pianist's other festival performance is at the amphitheater on March 12 with the Russian National Orchestra. The classical guest appearance gives a clue as to where Eldar's serpentining journey to the Big Apple began, both geographically and musically. And it's a musical roadmap unlike any other.

Eldar Djangirov was born Jan. 28, 1987, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in the former Soviet Union. His mother Tatiana Djangirov, a local music instructor, started teaching him classical piano lessons at age 5. Eldar was playing at a Russian jazz festival by age 9, where he caught the ear of American jazz supporter Charles McWhorter, who recommended the young pianist for a summer jazz camp at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.

While Eldar attended the camp at age 11, the Djangirov family settled in Kansas City, the Midwestern town where Charlie Parker -- and a great deal of jazz history -- was born.

"I spent a lot of time in both the Missouri and Kansas sides of Kansas City," says Eldar, who still speaks Russian fluently, and has only a hint of an accent when he speaks English. "They were only a few streets apart where I lived. The town was really vibrant while I was there, and there were so many older musicians that I could learn from."

It didn't take long for Eldar's open ears and promising future to be recognized by jazz royalty. He became the youngest guest ever to appear on venerable British pianist Marian McPartland's National Public Radio program Piano Jazz at age 12, and Dave Brubeck wrote a letter to immigration authorities to recommend that he be allowed to stay in the United States.

That wish was granted, and the young pianist celebrated by releasing his independent debut, Eldar, at the ripe age of 14. That same year, he won the student jazz piano competition a - Palm Beach Arts Paper

April 17, 2011

In 2005, jazz pianist Eldar Djangirov was 18 and a month away from graduating high school, but he was already a seasoned performer and recording artist. Back then, he visited NPR's studios and played solo versions of standards such as "Take the 'A' Train," "Armando's Rhumba" and "Ask Me Now," each brimming with rapid-fire pyrotechnics.

Djangirov is 24 now, and has just released Three Stories, an album of solo piano. Its name comes from the different types of tunes included: jazz standards, original compositions and interpretations of classical themes. While on tour in Washington, D.C., he paid another visit to Weekend Edition Sunday host Liane Hansen at NPR headquarters.

"This particular record is a solo piano record, which is an exciting format for me because as a pianist, you begin playing piano solo," Djangirov says. "And for any pianist, solo means something that you've been doing all your life. So it's just a matter of documenting that in an appropriate moment."

Djangirov describes his artistic growth and his work with kids. While in the D.C. area, he visited Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Va., to work with the jazz band.

"When [students] hear music so early, I think they register it as a positive memory," he says. "And that can have a profound effect on how they appreciate music when they grow up." - NPR

Daniel King, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, June 4, 2005

"I'm a little nervous," Eldar Djangirov says by telephone. "If you're a robot, and you're not nervous, there's something wrong."

The jazz pianist from San Diego, known simply as Eldar, has a couple of reasons to be on edge. On Monday, he kicks off a monthlong tour that includes an appearance on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien." And thanks to his brash velocity, he's already hearing himself compared to Art Tatum.

But there's one more reason why Eldar is a little nervous: Today, the 18- year-old graduates from high school.

At 13, Eldar performed at the Grammy Awards, and in the next few years, he grabbed top prizes at major festivals. Last year, Wynton Marsalis selected him to perform at the gala opening of Jazz at Lincoln Center's new Rose Theater.

He's covered a lot of ground since his childhood in Kyrgyzstan, his mountainous homeland in the southeastern region of the former Soviet Union. At 9, he began playing in the local festivals, and one day, an awestruck audience member awarded him a scholarship to study in the United States, so his family moved to Kansas City, Mo., and six years later, California.

"Just being on the West Coast, it's incredible," he says. "Lots of future opportunity. ... I've enjoyed being able to play music while going to a very academic school (the Francis Parker School)."

"He's very passionate about music," says his mom, Tatiana, in thickly accented English, struggling to find the right words to describe her son's passion. "He's always in process of thinking, and thinking how to bring jazz for a bigger audience and especially a younger audience."

A classical pianist and musicologist, she taught Eldar in Kyrgyzstan and now teaches at San Diego's Yamaha Music School. "In the early time," she says, "he played classical and jazz simultaneously. But he always felt that his heart belongs to jazz. That's OK."

Since March, he's been enjoying the chart-topping success of his breakout Sony Classical album. The music, itself, is all over the map, from a jagged blues-driven reconstruction of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" and "Cantaloupe Island" to a series of Monk originals. The first number, "Sweet Georgia Brown," opens suddenly -- a loud, surging blur of notes and a hungering, unshakable attack. And while other pianists have energized that tune with similar bounce, apparently few have tackled it with such volcanically fast hands.

Which brings up Tatum. In the 1940s, the jazz world had an athlete, one fast and powerful enough to sweep the entire keyboard with a wilting sense of urgency. Many listeners enjoyed it, while others dismissed it. Too virtuosic, they said.

Mindful of that history, Eldar settles down on the ballads.

"That's where the emotions really speak," he says, and that is particularly true on "Nature Boy" and "Fly Me to the Moon," two well-arranged numbers that move forward in stoic relaxation. He creates a similar wash of colors on the tiptoeing " 'Round Midnight," and again on "Ask Me Now," with a fractured, syncopated rhythmic structure. But even now, when the mood is subdued, he reaches for the stars. He has something to prove.

That, it seems, is his main weakness. He is all too exact, relying at every possible turn on precision, a glassy, out-to-lunch accuracy. Loosening up could broaden his playing. Still, he erupts powerfully, and that's the joy of it. He launches into long, electrifying split-note runs that sound like a brick wall of music. His left hand, syncopating, pounds the chords.

The marketing force behind Eldar's meteoric career rise is David Lai, Sony's senior vice president in charge of A&R and operations, who discovered Eldar at age 12. Last year, the contract arrived, and Eldar finished the recording in less than 24 hours with on-loan hustle from two of his modern-day heroes, saxophonist Michael Brecker and bassist John Patitucci.

"Everyone keeps asking me, 'Who's Eldar?' - San Francisco Chronicle

Published: July 7, 2006

Eldar Djangirov, a 19-year-old pianist originally from Kyrgyzstan, has been widely hailed for his prodigious technique, his precocious self-assurance and his effervescent sense of style. And he has been uncommonly well documented. At a time when jazz musicians are virtually nowhere to be found on a major-label roster, Mr. Djangirov has two albums on Sony Classical: "Eldar," issued last year, and "Live at the Blue Note," released a little more than a month ago.

On the albums and in general, he goes by the name Eldar, a bit of shorthand that suggests the branding of a pop artist. It also happens to invoke the fantastical taxonomy of J. R. R. Tolkien, who used the name to classify a race of elves in his "Lord of the Rings" saga. Mr. Djangirov, a compact figure presumably aware of this coincidence, does little to discourage any elfish comparisons; quickness and lightness are the chief attractions of his playing, which can seem touched by a kind of furtive magic.

Eldar is playing at the Blue Note this week on a double bill with the august 80-year-old pianist Randy Weston. It's a perplexing pairing, visually as well as musically. (If Mr. Weston were a "Lord of the Rings" character, he would be one of those shepherdlike walking trees.) But the contrast between the two pianists, and between their working trios, was as entertaining as it was instructive.

As on "Live at the Blue Note," Eldar opened his first set Wednesday night with a bandstand workhorse, Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love?," and turned it into an opus. He deployed a few sparkling glissandi before tumbling into a bright swing, ably supported by Marco Panascia on bass and Todd Strait on drums. His solo was a barrage of crashing, open-voiced chords and overstuffed runs.

The rest of the set was about as subtle as that showpiece, and as deep. Still, Eldar demonstrated a malleable touch, managing agile arpeggios as well as a pounding two-handed attack. On a pair of sun-dappled originals, both set to a skittering 7/8 meter, he indulged his trademark virtuosity; his fingers, arched over the keyboard, were a blur.

Mr. Weston, by contrast, held his large hands over the piano with fingers splayed, leaving plenty of space in his playing. He wasn't the most galvanizing member of his trio — Alex Blake, ferociously strumming and thumping his bass, earned that distinction — but his presence was decisive and commanding.

Mr. Weston's African Rhythms Trio, which also includes the percussionist Neil Clarke, sounded rugged and vital on a Bobby Benson tune descriptively titled "Niger Mambo." And they gave an appealing lift to Mr. Weston's waltz-time "Berkshire Blues."

Another theme by Mr. Weston, "African Sunrise," embodied everything that Eldar's performance lacked. It had a slow, insinuating groove and a hint of mystery. As the name suggests, it was a spectacle of color, but it came on gradually, and with much more warmth than flash. - The New York Times

The Associated Press
Thursday, June 14, 2007; 3:58 PM

NEW YORK -- Eldar Djangirov's fingers flew across the ivories of the Steinway grand piano at Carnegie Hall as he romped through Oscar Peterson's "Place St. Henri," one of the tunes that first kindled his interest in jazz as a child prodigy in distant Kyrgyzstan.

His Carnegie Hall debut at an all-star tribute to Peterson in early June marked another milestone in the 20-year-old pianist's remarkable jazz odyssey that has taken him from the former Soviet republic in Central Asia all the way to the Big Apple, with stops along the way in Kansas City and the West Coast.

"This was a gig that I looked forward to from the day I heard about it," said Eldar, who uses only his first name professionally, in a telephone interview after the concert. "I had a chance to really show how much Oscar's music means to me."

"So many of the concepts that I follow today in my piano playing is derived from a certain mentality Oscar carried across. ... Beyond the obvious power and perfect technique, there are so many inexplicable things that go into his sound _ the blues inflections, the way he uses bebop, his phrasing and the way he swings."

Eldar also honored Peterson by including "Place St. Henri" on his new CD, "re-imagination," released this month by Sony BMG Masterworks. While his first two CDs for the label were mainstream jazz, equally mixing originals and standards, "re-imagination" explores his own more mature musical vision, emphasizing his skills as a composer on nine of the 11 tracks.

Eldar's compositions blend influences from the varied genres of music he listens to besides jazz. His personal tastes run from classical pianists Evgeny Kissin and Vladimir Horowitz to Radiohead and Kanye West.

"I wanted to make a statement that's truly from me ...," said Eldar, who moved to New York in January after studying nearly two years at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music. "This record is done from a jazz musician's perspective ... you can hear bebop, swing and the blues inflection. But you can hear the romantic period of classical music ... and certain reflections of rock, electronica."

Eldar switches freely among acoustic piano and electric keyboards and synthesizers, using three different rhythm sections, with electric guitarist Mike Moreno and hip-hop turntablist DJ Logic enriching the sonic mix on the more rock-oriented fusion pieces like "Polaris."

Eldar's compositions reflect people, places and events in his short but eventful life, starting with the opener "I Remember When," dedicated to his parents, who sacrificed much to bring him to the United States to pursue his jazz dream.

"My father and mother are very crucial to what I've become, to what directions I took in life," Eldar said. "They taught me that there is no shortcut to playing the piano _ it was always hard work, discipline, a good work ethic. ... But it's not like I was pressured. ... I just enjoyed what I was doing."

His father, Emil, was an engineer and jazz aficionado who nearly lost his job at a technical university in the former Soviet Union because he listened to banned Voice of America and BBC broadcasts. Eldar began playing piano at 3, and soon was able to repeat note-for-note what he heard on the jazz recordings by Peterson and others his father was constantly playing at their home in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek. He began taking formal lessons in the classical Russian piano technique at 5 from his mother, a musicologist at a local college.

"I don't even know what I would do today without my mother teaching me classical," said Eldar. "There's the discipline, the clarity of the tone of the playing, the posture. ... The classical technique gives you just overall more control over your instrument."

But Eldar became drawn to the freedom of jazz and would start changing the chords in the middle of a Mozart piece. The 9-year-old Eldar's first - The Washington Post

By DAN BILAWSKY, Published: April 21, 2011

The "child prodigy" tag can be a blessing or a curse. Some people who are labeled in such a manner spend the rest of their lives trying to live up to a reputation that was forced upon them at an early age, while others simply mature and grow into themselves, ultimately capitalizing on the attention they received in their youth. Eldar Djangirov falls into the latter category. While Djangirov—in his early twenties when this album was recorded—can still be considered a talented young pianist, he already has more than a decade of professional experience under his belt, and his music belies his youth.

Three Stories is Djangirov's debut solo piano disc and, as the title implies, he takes a three-pronged approach in his selection of repertoire. Standards, classical works and original music—in the form of three musical "narratives" spread out across the album—are doled out in sparkling fashion, but Djangirov unites these disparate compositions with his own personalized third stream approach. A classical foundation and touch underscores everything he does, but the music isn't stiff or mechanical. This is certainly jazz piano, but it's the kind that belongs in a recital hall, not at a rent party

Djangirov gets to the heart of every song, but he uses various means to achieve this feat. He tries a whimsical and playful approach as an entry and exit strategy for "I Should Care," but the core of the piece is a tour-de-force romp that highlights his impressive chops. In other places, he weds romantic and impressionistic notions with great results ("Three Stories"), delivers twinkling musings on a familiar theme ("Darn That Dream"), dishes out music possessing a seductive beauty ("Russian Lullaby"), and goes on a joyous jaunt with his own take on a tune from a modern day rock icon (Dave Matthews' "So Damn Lucky").

While Djangirov covers everybody from Chick Corea and Thelonious Monk to Alexander Scriabin and Jimmy Van Heusen, George Gershwin seems to hold a special place on this album. Djangirov takes a fifteen-minute journey through "Rhapsody In Blue," putting his own unique stamp on the music along the way, also delivering a gorgeous version of Gershwin's "Embraceable You."

With Three Stories, Eldar Djangirov stakes his claim in the solo piano game, and unites three diverse styles of music in one winning package. - All About Jazz

Published: June 5, 2009

AT first blush, the pianists Eldar Djangirov and Dave Brubeck could hardly seem less alike. Mr. Djangirov, 22, who is known professionally by his first name, is just finding a voice to match his dazzling dexterity at the keyboard and pop-star appeal. Mr. Brubeck, 88, long ago saw his experiments become part of the jazz lexicon.

But the pianists share musical sensibilities, some personal history and an admiration for each other’s work. On June 13, for the second time in two years, they will also share a bill: Mr. Djangirov (pronounced jon-GEAR-off), whose trio opened for Mr. Brubeck’s quartet last spring at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, will open for the quartet in a solo turn at the Tarrytown Music Hall.

The Tarrytown pairing is the latest chapter in a story that began a decade ago, when Mr. Brubeck wrote a letter to immigration authorities recommending that Mr. Djangirov, who had recently emigrated from Kyrgyzstan to Kansas City, Mo., be allowed to stay in the country. Five years later, at 16, Mr. Djangirov was admitted to the Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.

Even then, Mr. Brubeck said, it was evident that Mr. Djangirov, who in his early teens had already begun to build a name in Kansas City, had the ability to distinguish himself from the raft of piano prodigies who quickly rise to prominence and just as swiftly fall into obscurity.

“He’s a genius beyond most young people I’ve heard,” Mr. Brubeck said.

As Mr. Djangirov put a grand piano through its paces on a recent afternoon in Steinway Hall in Manhattan, running through tunes he was considering performing at Tarrytown, it was clear why he elicited such praise. He displayed the impressive technique that for the moment remains his signature for many in the wider jazz audience.

He also demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of jazz piano rare for someone of his or any age, moving effortlessly and logically from stride to the avant-garde, and points in between, as he worked his way through variations on “I Should Care,” the standard by Sammy Cahn, Axel Stordahl and Paul Weston.

But it was on a preview recording of “Lullaby Fantazia,” an impressionistic original that will be part of “Virtue,” a collection on Sony Masterworks to be rolled out online and on CD over the next few months, that Mr. Djangirov revealed most definitively his potential for contributing to the jazz lexicon. The song’s haunting melodic line and alternating of 4/4 and 5/4 time also suggested Mr. Brubeck’s impact on Mr. Djangirov’s thinking.

Mr. Brubeck’s influence has been widespread for at least 50 years, since the release of “Time Out,” the groundbreaking album that reveled in what were — and, to an extent, remain — unusual meters for jazz. Most notably, it featured “Take Five,” which Mr. Brubeck said he prodded the saxophonist Paul Desmond to write as a showcase in 5/4 time for the drummer Joe Morello.

Though Mr. Brubeck’s was not the only jazz combo to work in odd meters, it was arguably the most popular; “Take Five,” issued as the A-side of a single in 1960, sold a million copies and, by many accounts, remains the best-selling jazz single of all time. Other tunes from “Time Out” that deviated from 4/4 time, like “Blue Rondo à la Turk,” “Pick Up Sticks” and “Unsquare Dance,” also gained wide notice.

Mr. Brubeck said that he would probably mine “Time Out,” which is in the Grammy Hall of Fame, for the Tarrytown performance. He is also likely to play more recent tunes, like “So Lonely,” a somber excursion into serialism. And he may leaven the mix with songs from Disney films, including those that have become jazz standards, like “Someday My Prince Will Come,” from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

That Mr. Brubeck would even finish his current tour was not assured. Struck with a serious viral infection in late March, he began performing again only in late May. Unable to fl - The New York Times

"Michelangelo has flying hands, an impeccable touch, a clear and bright sound, the ability to always hold the listener’s interest... we’ve rarely encountered such a great rapport between musician and public... a triumph"
- Carla Moreni, II Sole 24 Ore

"A miracle pianist"
- Bill Newman, Music & Vision Daily

"Michelangelo is a fearless performer. On a technical level there are no chinks in his armour. His playing has a noble and majestic quality….deep expression and a light, feathery touch…."
- Cecilia Xuereb, The Sunday Times (Malta)

"He is the greatest Italian hope at the piano"
- Andrea Cuomo, Il Giornale

"Velvet fingers and heart of passion…totally different amongst the new generation of pianists" - Elide Bergamaschi, La Voce di Mantova

"An incredible, deep sound, rich and refined….a blend of gentleness and greatness"
- Serge Martin, Le Soir

"A star is born...an amazing performance...an extraordinary success...his playing is characterized by the beauty of his sound, the breadth and airiness of his phrasing, the precision and clarity of his rhythm, his admirable virtuosity, his deeply felt pathos, and the richness of his expression"
- Alberto Cima, La Provincia

"An unforgettable Scarlatti."
- The Sunday Times (England)

"A musician of other times…one of the most astonishing performers of the new generation…rare sensitiveness, crystalline tecnique, intimately poetic temperament…triumphal interpretation of Chopin’s Concerto op. 21, which has fully confirmed all his gifts to a large and enthousiastic public…a performance of high school…an extraordinary feeling with Nowak"
- Carlo Guareschi, Il Corriere di Roma

"This was the best attended of the recitals of the festival...a dazzling conclusion...an almost phenomenal performer. Young and slight in appereance he is a bundle of energy, great musicality and lots of personality too"
- Albert G. Storace, The Times

"His wonderful hands express the true voice of Schubert"
- Paola Pariset, Il Tempo

"One of the best musicians of the new generation"
- Paolo Boccacci, La Repubblica

"We will be grateful to Michelangelo Carbonara for his originality and his bravery….for having given us a big demonstration of differing musical climates"
- Nicolas Blanmont, La Libre Belgique

"A rare musician amongst the new generation of international pianists...he presented an original and rich programme performed with masterly knowledge of the technique and exquisite delicacy of the intepretation"
- Barbara Leone, L'Avanti

"From Michelangeli to Michelangelo….an exceptional pianist who is transformed, while playing, by the music inside him"
- Annamaria Barbato Ricci, I-am.it

"A great, unexpected success"
- Anna Jurasz, Muzyka

"A profound, inner-directed way of playing, very different from the gaudy virtuosity of the other younger pianists"
- Silvia Consenzi, Suonare News

"He commands an awesome arsenal of pianistic technique, transporting perfectly-realized music to our ears. He is exciting in his conceptions, wonderful in his expression, audacious in his choices"
- Hanni Neubeck, Begegnung mit dem Klavier

"Carbonara is an extraordinary pianist….a great talent with enormous abilities"
- Massimo Lo lacono, Roma - The Artistry of Michelangelo Carbonara


2001 Eldar D&D
2003 Handprints D&D
2005 Eldar [Sony] Sony Music Distribution
2006 Eldar Live at the Blue Note Sony
2007 Re-Imagination Sony BMG
2009 Virtue Masterworks Jazz
2011 Three Stories Masterworks Jazz



The New York Times described the New York based pianist Eldar Djangirov as "a blend of musical intelligence, organizational savvy, enthusiasm and prowess that was all the more impressive for seeming so casual… an ebullient impressionist." Dr. Billy Taylor said, "Eldar Djangirov's playing shows brilliancy, complexity, and discipline... he's serious about his music, he's thoughtful about what he does.” Jazz Times said, “Maybe he made a pact with Lucifer to be the greatest pianist ever." Praised as “a genius beyond most young people I've heard” by Dave Brubeck. Downbeat magazine stated that "his command of his instrument is beyond staggering."

When Eldar Djangirov (pronounced john-'gear-ov) was signed to Sony Classical at the age of 17, the young pianist from Kansas City was already well known for his prodigious pyrotechnics and precocious knowledge of the bebop tradition. Along the way, he's had the good fortune to meet and work with the masters including Dr. Billy Taylor, Marian McPartland, Dave Brubeck, Michael Brecker, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton, Harvey Mason, Ron Carter, Pat Martino and many others. Through these opportunities and other wonderful musical experiences, Eldar continues to explore new frontiers through composing and performing, enabling him to ultimately to realize his own musical vision.

Born on January 28, 1987, Eldar came to the U.S. from the former Soviet Union when he was ten. Among his first performances were in his hometown of Kansas City, as well as The Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. He quickly then moved up the ranks and was featured on the NPR Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz show at the age of twelve. He released two albums independently. Eldar signed with Sony and recorded his major label self-titled debut featuring the great bassist, John Patitucci, and Michael Brecker on tenor sax. He followed up with the critically acclaimed "Live at the Blue Note" with guest appearances by Roy Hargrove and Chris Botti in 2006. Eldar was nominated for a Grammy in 2008 for his album "Re-imagination."

Eldar has appeared at numerous major jazz festivals including Tokyo Jazz Festival, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Java Jazz Festival, Vienna Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, and San Francisco Jazz Festival and has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has performed at venues ranging from the Hollywood Bowl to Carnegie Hall and has played at the most notable jazz venues across the world. Eldar has been seen on national TV including the 2000 and 2008 Grammy Awards, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, CBS Saturday Early Show, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. In addition, he has also played with world renowned symphony orchestras such as NHK Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, and San Diego Symphony Orchestra. He has 4 critically acclaimed trio albums including the most recent "Virtue" featuring his trio Armando Gola (bass) and Ludwig Afonso (drums) as well as guest appearances by Joshua Redman and Nicholas Payton. "With the release of Virtue, Eldar may have sealed his role in future jazz history" (Bill Meredith, Jazziz).

Eldar's current album and first solo piano album entitled "Three Stories" has already garnered rave reviews. "This is certainly jazz piano, but it's the kind that belongs in a recital hall... Djangirov gets to the heart of every song" (Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz); "Something special goes on here… In Djangirov's hands, the piano is a dramatic personage" (Karl Stark, Philadelphia Inquirer); "Djangirov's playing is, simply, flawless" (Jeff Tamarkin, All Music Guide).