In loving memory of Vlad West
“You must say hello to Vlad.
He has his own voice and story to tell.”
– Dan Morgenstern
Director, Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University
“Vlad West, a fine Russian tenor saxophonist… inspired the movie Moscow On The Hudson… West’s improvising recalls Dexter Gordon although he has a tone all his own…”– JazzTimes, Scott Yanow
Vlad West, known in Russia as Vladimir Sermakashev, is a legend in the world of Russian jazz. Born in Baku as a child prodigy, Vlad began to study piano from the age of three, composing at the Baku Conservatory from the age of five, as well as arranging and playing solo piano concerts alongside his well known professors from thereon out.
“Mr. West has the technique and knowledge of classical and jazz music well beyond that of an ordinary piano player.” Mr. Starr, president of Oberlin College, Jazz Studies, wrote about Vlad in one of his books: “In his combination of grittiness and lyricism, blues feeling and sheer drive, he has few equals, in Europe certainly and even in America.”
By the age of sixteen, Vlad had made his name as a well-known jazz musician in Moscow. He was featured all over Europe and America: VILLAGE VOICE, JAZZ FORUM, DOWN BEAT… “His rhythmic sense is simply unbelievable, and he is, I would say, swimming in rhythm” – Downbeat.