Considered to be one of the most skillful pianists and interesting composers of contemporary Russian jazz scene, Ivan Farmakovsky established himself as a notable bandleader in 2008 after years of participation in a variety of bands. Having an experience of backing practically every jazz star coming for a tour to Russia since late 90's, Ivan debuted with projects of his own by releasing an album of originals entitled Next To The Shadow. For this recording which took place in New York he gathered an international quintet of Ryan Kisor (trumpet), Igor Butman (tenor saxophone), Ugonna Okegwo (bass) and Gene Jackson (drums). Critically acclaimed Next To The Shadow was released in 2009 on Boheme Music label in Russia and digitally on Jazzheads in the U.S. Farmakovsky, born in Moscow in 1973 to a family of a musician and an actress, studied music since the age of 5 and eventually graduated from the Russian Academy of Music which has offered the country's best jazz curriculum over the past quarter century. In 1994 Farmakovsky won the bi-annual Rostov Jazz Competition, the biggest contest for young performers in Russia; in 1997, a similar achievement at the Europe Jazz Contest in Belgium followed. Later on, it was a significant step forward to enter Igor Butman's quartet and Big Band for the young pianist. As part of the band, he had a chance to perform in front of American and Russian presidents, Bill Clinton and Vladimir Putin, in Kremlin Hall.
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Pianist Ivan Farmakovsky has an abstract approach to making
music that reminds me of Wassily Kadinsky’s method of painting.
Farmakovsky sprinkles his compositions in geometrical patterns
and profound shapes that keep the music in a state of flux.
Susan Frances, JazzTimes, USA.