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SLC Jazz Festival


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The Salt Lake City Jazz Festival was this past weekend, and I got to be host for one of the artists.


I'm still beating myself up for having previously committed myself elsewhere for Saturday night so I missed Tower of Power , but I thought I'd mention that the artist I hosted for definitely stole the show wherever he played.


Eldar Djangirov is only 16, and is probably the best jazz pianist I've heard in my life. Granted, I'm only 25, but I did attend UNT for two years and go to a lot of the free concerts, and I don't remember anyone being this good. He's a really nice, down-to-earth kid as well, and he utterly loves jazz. He played with the Greg Floor Quartet on Sunday afternoon and you could tell he was just having a ball.


It's young artists with the talent and committment like his that will help carry jazz onward. It might be too much to hope that it will experience a revival with younger generations, but you never know!




Check out his bio; it's amazing to see how much he's done already. You'll also be impressed by the support his family gives; they packed up and left Kyrgystan when he was just 11 to move to Kansas City so he could pursue his music. They are actually moving to San Diego this week, so all you West Coast folks will get more of a chance to see him. I talked with his mother quite a bit over the weekend, and she is an awesome person as well. :)


And if you can spare a few bucks, pick up one of his CDs. I haven't heard the first one yet, which is solo piano and has quite a few originals, but his second and very recent release with a trio that he led is just fantastic. I can't get enough of Cantaloupe Island by Herbie Hancock, and Eldar's original "Handprints" which starts off with the riff from "Footprints" and then goes to town (at a lively tempo, nonetheless).


Ok, enough plugging for my new friend Eldar. But for all of you with children, don't hesitate to expose them to music early on. Eldar's parents "discovered" him when he was just 5 and a half. Is your child the next prodigy? :)

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