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Sergey Zhilin (Piano)

This Russian musician has long been known in the jazz circles of Europe and the USA. The pianist, composer, band leader and arranger, Sergey Zhilin is considered to be one of the most successful musicians of Russia representing its music culture on the highest international level.

Sergey Zhilin was born on October 23, 1966, in Moscow. In the years spent in the Central Music School at the Conservatoire he was fascinated by classical music. He was said to be destined for the worldwide fame of the academic pianist. But the virtuoso musician took interest in jazz. Thus in 1982, Sergey entered the Musical Improvisation College and in a year he organized the now legendary Fonograf Jazz Band - an orchestra of young musicians playing music of different styles: traditional jazz, soul, mainstream, funk, jazz rock and fusion. Such a striking diversity and flexibility let Sergey Zhilin combine experience of very different collectives from the Presidential Orchestra of Russia under P.Ovsyannikov to rock'n'roll bands and all kind of jazz combos.

In 1987, Fonograf Jazz Band started its performances at the Moscow Regional Philharmonic. Since that time the professional life of the collective has been filled up with various musical projects. In 1990, the first foreign tour through Israel took place and in 1994 Sergey Zhilin with his band had their first recital at the Central House of Cinema.

In 1994, Zhilin was invited to the US-Russia Summit where he took part in the improvised session with President B. Clinton who is a devout saxophone player. The jam-session was a great success, which led Clinton to say then: "It is a great honour for me to play with the best jazz pianist of Russia."

During the return visit of the Russian President to the USA, Zhilin took his "Fonograf Jazz Band" to perform in over 30 concerts. Since that time Zhilin has been in demand in the West. The pianist has played with world jazz and blues stars. His name is in the Jazz Encyclopedia "Jazz. 20th century".

Between 1995 and 2002, Sergey and his band made numerous tours abroad. Zhilin's concerts created a real uproar in the USA, Switzerland, Italy, Germany… Sergey Zhilin was granted the diploma of Master of Arts of the International Academy of Sciences in San Marino, specialization "Pianist, conductor, arranger, pedagogue". By the way, the Chairman of Qualification Commission was the luminary of Russian and world jazz O. Lundstrem.

In 2002, Sergey became the Music Director and chief conductor of the Russian version of the world-known Broadway musical "Chicago", in 2003 he was the music director of the traditional international festival "Days of Russian Culture".

For several years he was on the air with his own jazz program on the radio station "Youth".

The most successful creative projects of Sergey Zhilin are: the Concert dedicated to Ella Fitzgerald, recital "We want to be Different", gala concert "In the Peterson Constellation", concert series "Raptures in Jazz" in The Golden Ring theatre with participation of outstanding Russian jazz pianists, the annual series JazzValentine in The Moscow International House of Music.

For the time being the projects of Sergey Zhilin are strikingly diverse, original and creative. They include blending of Russian classical music with modern jazz mainstream in the new program "Tchaikovsky in Jazz. The Seasons"; the rock'n'roll potpourri of Elvis Presley's songs in the program "The Blues Brothers II"; the author's versions of the so called "evergreen" jazz standards in programs "Elated with Jazz" and "Tribute to O. Peterson" and the annual joint performance with pop and folk stars in the international festival "The Slavic Bazaar". The most recent program "Pop-Jazz" includes new arrangements of world famous songs by Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Lenny Kravitz and others.

A special attention should be paid to the work of Sergey Zhilin and his Band on the television. The maestro and his FONOGRAF BIG BAND have been in high demand in all mega projects that require the presence in the studio of a live band: "Can you? Sing!", "Khazanov vs NTV", "Dances with Stars" on RTR, "Two stars" and "Property of the Republic" on Channel One, where Sergey Zhilin was the chief conductor and the Musical Director.

In 2005, Sergey Zhilin was awarded the Title of the Honored Artist of Russia.

Since May 2007 Sergey Zhilin has been musical director and principal conductor of Igor Demarin's Das Parfum rock opera with participation of Fonograf Symphojazz orchestra.

In 2008 Fonograf celebrated its 25th anniversary in numerous venues with participation of many guest stars.

Sergey Zhilin not only performs extensively and often goes on tours, but is also engaged in the recording activity. By now he has made 10 releases on various carriers: CD, VHS, DVD. It is both concert recordings and studio projects, where Sergey Zhilin displays his many gifts: from solo improvisations and piano duets to jam sessions with his fellow jazz, blues and rock

© Phonograph. Jazz Band

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