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Djangirov after a show.
|Birth name||Eldar E. Djangirov|
January 28, 1987 |
Kyrgyz SSR, Soviet Union
Eldar Djangirov, also known as Eldar, is a Kyrgyzstani-American jazz pianist of Volga Tatar origin. He was born on January 28, 1987 in the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan, and grew up in Kansas City, MO from the age of 10. He also lived in San Diego, California during his teenage years. He currently resides in New York City.
He began playing the piano when he was three years old. The first piece he remembers learning was "C Jam Blues". He later took classical lessons and was "discovered" at age 9 by the late New York City jazz aficionado Charles McWhorter, who saw him play at a festival in Siberia. The family relocated to Kansas City, drawn there in large part by the city's jazz history. During his Kansas City years, even before reaching his teens, Eldar already started building a reputation as a child prodigy, appearing on Marian McPartland's award-winning NPR show, Piano Jazz, when he was only 12 years old, being the youngest performer to ever appear on her show. Eldar attended Interlochen Center for the Arts in his young teenage years. Eldar attended St. Elizabeth's grade school and the Barstow School in Kansas City, Missouri. Eventually, the family moved to San Diego where he attended the Francis W. Parker School (San Diego), and then to the Los Angeles area where he attended University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music. Eldar's playing style is characterized by prodigious technique and musicality. Downbeat noted in a review by Bob Doershuk: "his command of the instrument is beyond staggering." He was signed to Sony Music at 18 and released 5 albums. One of the albums was nominated for a Grammy. Eldar has extensively toured throughout Europe, Asia, North America.
Djangirov has been variously compared to Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock and more; yet he also seems to absorb harmonic expansiveness from McCoy Tyner and at times the lyrical sensitivity from Bill Evans. Djangirov performed at Grammy Awards telecast and was honored the first time in many years as a jazz artist. Eldar has also been seen on Conan O'Brien, CBS Saturday Early Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and CBS Sunday Morning.
- Eldar (2001, D&D Records)
- Handprints (2003, D&D Records)
- Eldar (2005, Sony): the debut album on Sony featured John Patitucci on bass and Todd Strait on drums. Michael Brecker makes a guest appearance on one track.
- Live at the Blue Note (2006, Sony): the album had guests Chris Botti and Roy Hargrove.
- Re-Imagination (2007, Sony): the album resulted in a Grammy nomination for Eldar.
- Virtue (2009, Sony): features Eldar's now regular trio consisting of Armando Gola on bass and Ludwig Afonso on drums. The album had Joshua Redman on a one track as well as Nicholas Payton.
- Three Stories (2011, Sony): Eldar's first solo piano album which has garnered critical acclaim.
- Breakthrough (2013, Motéma Music LLC)
- Bach / Brahms / Prokofiev (2013, Motéma Music LLC)
- Holden, Stephen. "Leaving Them All in the Dust", New York Times, June 18, 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-06. "Eldar, whose last name is Djangirov, combines Art Tatum's superhuman velocity with echoes of Oscar Peterson's grandeur"
- Official website
- JazzPolice.com Review: Eldar Live at the Blue Note
- Three Stories album review
- All About Jazz "Three Stories" review
- "Virtue" review
- Eldar San Diego Symphony Concert
- Audio Interview with Chet Williamson