Ahmad Jamal Presents: Shahin Novrasli | SFJAZZ
Ahmad Jamal Presents: Shahin Novrasli
Championed by jazz piano icon Ahmad Jamal, Azerbaijan native Shahin Novrasli is making waves as a standout among the new generation of jazz piano virtuosos; a singular artist who mixes the musical traditions of his upbringing at the crossroads of Europe and Asia with a grounding in the European classical world and a firm command of the jazz tradition. Beginning piano studies in Baku at age five, the prodigious young artist made his debut with the local symphony by eleven, and publically performed Rachmaninoff’s notoriously challenging “Piano Concerto No.2” at eighteen. All the while, he absorbed the indigenous Muğam folk music that surrounded him from birth, along with a healthy dose of American jazz that came his way via the jazz festivals that started in Azerbaijan’s capital by the late 1960s – wildly popular events that helped make the area the hotbed of Eurasian jazz. As Novrasli’s focus shifted to jazz as his primary means of expression, he has been on a meteoric rise, performing at major jazz festivals including Montreux and Black Sea, working with artists including Kenny Wheeler and Tim Garland, and releasing four superb albums as a leader. His latest, Bayati, is a smoldering trio session featuring a New York-based rhythm section including bassist Nathan Peck and drumming phenomenon Ari Hoenig.