Vlad West, known in Russia as Vladimir Sermakashev, was a child prodigy.
Born in Baku (Russia) he studied piano from age three, composition from age
five. At that early age he was playing solo piano concerts at Baku
Conservatory and was taking composing and arranging lessons with well
known professors. Mr. West has technique and knowledge of classical and
jazz music well beyond ordinary piano player. As Mr. Starr (president of
Oberlin College, Jazz Study) said about West in one of his books on jazz: "In
his combination of grittiness and lyricism, blues feeling and sheer drive, he
has few equals, in Europe certainly and even in America."
Not fully satisfied with classical music, West discovered jazz at the age nine
and at 16 he was already a well known jazz musician in Moscow