Monday, April 6, 2009

Trumpeter Alex Sipiagin Interviewed at AAJ

The 1980s in the Soviet Union was a time when the role and rule of the Communist Party were being questioned and unmasked by the policy of "glasnost"--less censorship and greater freedom of information--that was emerging. Some jazz was played in the U.S.S.R. since before World War II. Even during the height of the Cold War, in 1962, Benny Goodman performed in Moscow (a concert attended by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev). But glasnost did not take hold until roughly the latter part of the '80s. In the earlier part of the decade, teenage trumpet player Alex "Sasha" Sipiagin was busy trying to find out more about the mysterious American art form that was capturing his fancy.

Thankfully, Sipiagin was able to satisfy his curiosity, and then some. He showed an emerging brilliance on the trumpet in his native land, and in 1991 landed on U.S. soil to pursue a career that is still growing. In addition to securing solid gigs with the Mingus Big Band and Mingus Dynasty, he's been part of the Gil Evans Orchestra and a regular member of Dave Holland's superb bands, among others. Now based in the New York City area, he's become one of the fine players on the scene.

AAJ Contributor R.J. DeLuke spoke with Sipiagin about his new album, Mirages (Criss Cross, 2009), growing up in Russia, coming to America and, ultimately, giving it back to his home country.

Check out Alex Sipiagin: Burning For Jazz at AAJ today!

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