Yelena Eckemoff

Yelena Eckemoff, a Russian pianist, left the Soviet Union in 1990 to move to the United States. She started her career in classical music and released her first jazz album in 2010. Eckemoff was born on the Soviet Union’s Moscow, Russia. Her mother was a professional piano player and teacher. Eckemoff began learning the piano by ear at age four. Her mother was a professional pianist and teacher. She attended Gnessin State Musical College at seven. It is a school for gifted kids. Studied classical piano at Moscow State Conservatory. After graduating, she taught piano in Moscow. She performed solo, taught jazz, wrote music for many instruments and was a member of a jazz-rock group. She moved to the United States in 1991. She recorded in many genres, including classical, vocal, folk and Christian. Cold Sun was her first album of jazz. She was accompanied by Peter Erskine, the drummer, and Mads Vinding, the Danish bassist. It was compared to ECM Records’ stark music. Now, she is firmly in jazz/art territory. Eckemoff is often credited with writing her own jazz tunes, despite the fact that jazz is synonymous with improvisation. Her music is classical chamber music, but it’s improvisational jazz. Her jazz style is highly acclaimed and incorporates both her classical technique as well as influences. Eckemoff’s unique, identifiable approach to melody is more evident with each new album. Yelena Eckemoff draws inspiration from nature and life to create a body of work that combines post-modern abstraction, jazz language, and classical thought. Eckemoff is true to her classical-jazz impressionism and sees humanity in the natural world. Glass Song (L)

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