Home » Jazz Musicians » Sophie Milman

Sophie Milman

Sophie Milman was born twenty years ago in the Ural Mountains in the heart of Russia. Her family suffered through many personal hardships, lack of freedoms and repression. When the Berlin wall fell making it possible for them to leave, the family emigrated, were stripped of their Russian citizenship, and settled in Israel with a few dollars in their pockets, some Russian paintings, boxes of Russian books and some old jazz vinyl records. Although very young, memories of Russia, especially of her grandfather who was cantor at the their local synagogue, and Russian folk songs would have a profound influence on her.

Sophie Milman’s formative years were spent growing up in Israel. Her first musical stage experience was participating in a very children’s show called “Festigal” • young singers were featured covering many of the pop tunes popular at the time. Thousands of kids were auditioned all over the country and ten were chosen. She was part of the ten and toured with the show all over Israel. “Israel has affected me greatly. Life there gave me a totally different spin on the world. Once I managed to master the language and stopped feeling like an outsider, I made some wonderful friends. The endless security problem in that part of the world makes people very close, strong and intense. A big part of my personality, values and social sensibilities were formed there.”

Israel is where Sophie started listening to Jazz intensively. Mahelia Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson, Count Basie, the Platters, Stevie Wonder, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles; American music and especially the voices and sounds of African American musicians were her favourites. “The last few years of our stay there were amazing. Finally, I was content and felt that I have found my place in the world, so to speak. Then, at the age of 15, I found out that I had to be uprooted once again.”

“The move to Canada was a huge culture shock once again. I had already gotten accustomed to Middle Eastern temperaments and the Canadian social dynamic was very hard to get used to. For the second time in my life I had to start over: learn the language (I started in English as a Second Language Class) and find a social niche. However, it was after my move here, in grade 10 that I could finally express my love and appreciation for jazz. Linda Kreiner, my music teacher, gave me a solo on the music night about a month after the move. From that point on, for the rest of high school, I had lived from one music night to the other. Music gave me a sense of achievement, comfort and turned Canada from a foreign place into home. I love Toronto. I love the fact that you can find every type of music in this city: Funk, blues, latin, klezmer, swing, avant-garde jazz, cabaret and classical music, which I also love very much. We have awesome jazz musicians, a killer symphonic orchestra and a lovely opera company. I love Toronto’s openness to new styles and ideas. It creates such an eclectic and rich musical and cultural palette.”

Read more


Live Review

Sophie Milman, Denver, CO, November 27, 2011

Read "Sophie Milman, Denver, CO, November 27, 2011" reviewed by Geoff Anderson

Sophie MilmanDazzleDenver, CONovember 27, 2011Jazz is and always has been an amalgam of styles and influences. In fact, that's what keeps it interesting and vital and always moving forward. Musicians from different backgrounds and cultures bring different sensibilities to the music and add new sounds and attitudes. Like the search for a beautiful melody that hasn't yet been discovered, sometimes finding a new combination of experiences or influences can be tough. Vocalist Sophie Milman brings ...

Album Review

Sophie Milman: Take Love Easy

Read "Take Love Easy" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

It's just a darn shame so many budget-conscious Hollywood movies save a few bucks by using snippets of a classic rock oldie instead of actually using vocalists to sing theme songs. If they did, the cool groove of Sophie Milman's vocals would be the perfect accompaniment for a montage of lovers walking in the rain, looking soulfully in each other's eyes over a table in a restaurant and “long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days."A ...

Album Review

Sophie Milman: Make Someone Happy

Read "Make Someone Happy" reviewed by Donald Elfman

It's truly a treat to witness the growth of an artist. Vocalist Sophie Milman confesses that she didn't know much about music when she made her first record but her natural talent and lovely grace has helped her get through. So this Russian native--now a resident of Canada with time in Israel in between--has released Make Someone Happy, showing just how far she's come. Milman has always had a way with a lyric and poise well beyond her years--intelligent and ...

Album Review

Sophie Milman: Make Someone Happy

Read "Make Someone Happy" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

Not that it ever totally went away, but the torch singer is making something of a comeback after years of neglect. Call it the Norah Jones Effect, but for some reason people are once embracing vocalists who can actually sing a song instead of emote and hit notes that make dogs start howling.Sophie Milman's too cool to hit glass-breaking notes. She's more of a whisperer than a screamer which works just fine when she's crooning seductively ("Something In ...

Album Review

Sophie Milman: Sophie Milman

Read "Sophie Milman" reviewed by Jim Santella

Sophie Milman has a big voice that she uses to express the full range of emotions that drive jazz standards. She swings confidently and casually, setting things at ease through her powerful delivery. She reaches down deep for the kind of feelings that provide a memorable experience.

Milman's voice has a clear and open tonal quality that she applies liberally with enthusiasm. She interprets lyrics effectively and brings a high level of musicianship to the forum. In a ...

Read more articles


San Francisco Jazz Festival Becomes a Global Village

San Francisco Jazz Festival Becomes a Global Village

Source: All About Jazz

Jazz is as American as baseball. One thing the two share in common, however, is that Americans are no longer the only ones playing the game. The South Koreans won the gold medal in baseball at the 2008 Summer Olympics (the United States finished with the bronze). Likewise, the battle for supremacy in the jazz world is getting hot and heavy. The Americans are still in the lead, but the race is getting tighter all the time. What we are ...



Longwood Gardens Announces New Jazz Club Series in 2008: Sophie Milman, Turtle Island Quartet, Kenny Garrett

Longwood Gardens Announces New Jazz Club Series in 2008: Sophie Milman, Turtle Island Quartet, Kenny Garrett

Source: All About Jazz

KENNETT SQUARE, PA -- Enjoy a night of hot jazz in the midst of an exotic orchid paradise at The Jazz Club at Longwood Gardens. This exciting new series of performances features three unforgettable concerts including the glamorous jazz ingnue Sophie Milman (January 31), the bold and trendy Turtle Island Quartet (February 21), and jazz saxophonist extraordinaire, Kenny Garrett and his quartet (March 13). Each concert begins at 8 pm. Tickets may be purchased by calling 610-388-1000 ext. 100 or ...



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

In The Moonlight

Unknown label


Take Love Easy

E1 Records


Make Someone Happy

Linus Entertainment


Sophie Milman

Linus Entertainment



Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.