Alex Sipiagin was born on June 11, 1967 in Yaroslavl, Russia, a provincial city 150 miles from Moscow known for being home to one of Russia’s most famous opera singers, Leonid Sobinov, also Alex’s great-grand uncle. At 12 years of age, he began playing in a children's orchestra, studying under the great symphonic trumpeter and teacher, Mikhael Tsamaiev, his first inspiration. It was shortly after entering a local musical college at age 15 that Sipiagin was introduced to and inspired by what few and rare taped recordings were available in Russia of bebop and other jazz music. He knew he had to go to Moscow for a chance to learn more, and at 16 auditioned for the Moscow Music Institute, where he beat out 50 other students to get in. There he combined his classical studies with explorations into jazz. At 19 and after receiving his Baccalaureate, Sipiagin served the mandatory 2 years in the Russian army and then, upon release, continued his classical training and music studies at the Gnessin Conservatory in Moscow, earning tuition on pop gigs and recording sessions.
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Sipiagin...crafts arrangements and originals that are more about an elastic sense of time...He's not afraid to walk a musical tightrope without need for a safety net...At the rate he's going, there's no telling what even greater breakthroughs lie ahead for this forward-thinking musician. -- C. Andrew Hovan, All About Jazz
Sipiagin blows modern and lyrical... -- John Fordhan, Jazz Times
(Sipiagin's) tone is taut and resonant, crisply defining the lead lines and smoothly converting them into long, free-flowing channels of melody...While he still clearly remains within the post-bop paradigm, Sipiagin is too good a leader and improviser to let that constrain the texturing and the jamming... -- Michael Pronko, Japan Times