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Take Five With Ivan Farmakovsky

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Meet Ivan Farmakovsky: My name is Ivan... Farmakovsky Ivan. I was fortunate to become part of a creative family: my father was a pianist and a choir conductor, my mom is an actress. I inherited the right passion, and at the age of 5 I was sent to special children's music school under the studio of recreation center "Moskvorechie." As a matter of fact, at that time this institution was practically the only school in our country, where jazz was a part of educational program together with classical music.

That was the starting point, and many things followed: once I became student of the variety-jazz department of The Gnessin State Musical College - Russia's most respected musical school. After that, I participated in various international competitions and succeeded to be a price-winner ("Europe Jazz Contest" in Belgium in 1997) and become a regular member of Igor Butman's Big Band. By that time the first concerts, jam-sessions and collaborations with the outstanding jazz stars took place: Benny Golson
Benny Golson
Benny Golson
b.1929
sax, tenor
, Curtis Fuller
Curtis Fuller
Curtis Fuller
b.1934
trombone
, Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker
b.1945
trumpet
, Bill Evans
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
1929 - 1980
piano
, Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
b.1961
trumpet
, Seamus Blake
Seamus Blake
Seamus Blake
b.1970
sax, tenor
and many others.

I have been into writing my own music since being a student of the Gnessin College, but I didn't want to release anything of average quality. By the time I got a chance to record my debut album, Next To The Shadow, I had all of the compositions ready, and only the title song was composed on the eve of the recording.

I was lucky to collect an international quartet of such excellent and prominent musicians as Ryan Kisor
Ryan Kisor
Ryan Kisor
b.1973
trumpet
, Igor Butman
Igor Butman
Igor Butman
b.1961
sax, tenor
, Ugonna Okegwo and Gene Jackson. All of them are Americans, and only Igor could be named both American and Russian musician at a time. Igor Butman not only participated in the recording but helped me to organize this event.

The recording session took place in the legendary Sear Sound Studio in New York city on 16 and 17 March, 2009 with the fantastic sound engineer James Farber. And soon after that, my debut album Next To The Shadow was released in Russia.

Instrument(s): Piano.

Teachers and/or influences? John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
, Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
, Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
piano
, Count Basie
Count Basie
Count Basie
1904 - 1984
piano
, Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
, Lennie Tristano
Lennie Tristano
Lennie Tristano
1919 - 1978
piano
, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
, Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... Soon after I went to music school at the age of 5.

Your sound and approach to music: My approach is expressed by the music.

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