Enver Izmailov

With his self-invented “tapping” style of guitar playing, which allows him to simultaneously play harmony, melody and rhythm, Enver Izmailov is the Stanley Jordan of Asia. Combining jazz, Mediterranean modes, Oriental folklore and classical harmony, Izmailov continues to garner acclaim for his distinctive playing. The winner of the First European International Guitar Competition, held in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1995, Izmailov was voted “Musician Of The Year” by Ukrainian Music Critics the same year. Describing Izmailov’s playing, Stereoplay wrote, “The rhythms of the Far East are intertwined with raga meditations from Indian heights”. Alexey Kogan, a Kiev-based radio journalist took a similar view when he said, “(This is) very interesting, spectacular and unique music which can be described as ‘borderless’ or ‘global’.” Playing guitar from the age of fifteen, Izmailov studied the bassoon at the music school in Ferghana, graduating in 1973. After playing with a series of rock and jazz bands, he joined a Ferghana-based band, Sato, in 1980. During the eight years that he remained with the group, his playing was featured on two albums — Efsane in 1986 and Give Your Love For A Friend In A Circle in 1987. Returning to school, Izmailov graduated from Tashkert University in 1989 with a degree in correspondance with a specialty in “conducting folk music orchestras”. The following year, he launched a solo career, performing often at weddings. Izmailov has subsequently performed in the Unite d States, Germany, Holland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Bulgaria, Estonia, Russia, Moldavia, Turkey and the Ukraine. Currently living on a cooperative farm, Zavet Leninsky (Lenin’s Testament) in the Crimea, Izmailov has found the Ukrainian region to be an inspiration. During an interview he explained, “I can feel at home only in my home country. In my village in the Crimea, where I merge with nature, and where the morning breeze from the Black Sea and the smell of watermelons and lush southern vegetation stir deep emotions inside me, and I hurry to express them in sound.” While he initially performed and recorded as a soloist, Izmailov has increasingly collaborated with other musicians. In addition to performing duets with Turkish drummer Burhan Ocal and French keyboardist Xavier Garcia, he recorded an album, Art Of The Duo: Dancing On The Moon, with British flute and soprano saxophone player Geoff Warren. In 1995, he formed a trio, Art Trio Of Crimea, with saxophone, clarinet and flute player Narket Ramazanov and percussionist Rustem Bari. The trio released an album, Minaret, in 1998. from allmusic

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