Biography

Oleg Kireyev is the first Russian musician, who combined ethnic jazz motifs with amazing Bashkir folk instruments and incredible throat singing. Oleg is one of the few jazz musicians on the modern Russian scene who is brilliantly versed in the variety of jazz styles, genres and directions. He is equally excellent in the jazz mainstream, in fusion and world music. 


However, it is impossible not to notice the influence of the traditions of Kireyev's native land, who was born in Bashkiria and absorbed the musical heritage of two dissimilar cultures - European and Asian. Meanwhile, after being influenced by omnipotent bebop and traditional jazz, seasoned with African rhythms, Latin American jazz and Asian ethnic music, Oleg Kireyev created his own unique style and brought it to perfection.

Howard Mandel (the president of the Jazz Journalists Association), says that Oleg "is born to play the saxophone, similar to a dervish manner, swinging really impetuously"; "The Express Star" (Great Britain) notes that Oleg's playing style is characterized by "a powerful swing and the highest level of tension";"the British Evening Mail" calls Kireyev "a revolutionary Russian saxophonist", and "an extremely interesting and sophisticated musician."

Kireyev’s career as a musician spans the decades. In 1985, when ethnic music began to gain popularity all over the world, Oleg formed a group called “Orlan”, which was very successful in the USSR, and became a phenomenal event for the Soviet audience of that time. Shortly thereafter, Kireyev spent three years in Poland practicing and working in Krakow, honing his skills with Polish musicians. Almost every night he was performing in the best jazz clubs with high-class jazz musicians. At the same time, he held the position of creative director of the famous jazz club in the old town of Krakow.

Poland in the early 90's was the center of focus for a world-wide jazz trends and a huge number of musicians, and exactly there Kireyev was noticed by international critics and Western jazz fans for the first time. Thanks to a timely and deservedly received scholarship which helped him to study at the Bad Schank's jazz school (1994), Oleg Kireyev instantly moved on the international stage, being a great musician up to this day. And after receiving a special award for an outstanding performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland (1996), Oleg Kireyev gained substantial fame in the international music community and was warmly welcomed at other well-known jazz festivals and clubs around the world.

Oleg Kireyev released 15 jazz albums. His release of 2007, "Mandala", published by the New York label " Jazzheads ", was nominated for the Grammy Award as the Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Intensive Euro-American concert tours in support of the "Rhyme and Reason" album, which was created with help of the American pianist’s Keith Javors trio, were successfully held in 2010 and 2011. "Downbeat" magazine, for example, favorably commented on the release of the album: "The quartet of Javors and Kireyev demonstrates a broad view on music and an unlimited rhythmic variety."

The constant desire of creative expression found its new embodiment in the "Bashkir caravan" album (2012), by the legendary Oleg Kireyev’s team "Orlan", recreated in 2011. "Orlan’s" fusion is incredibly easy to perceive, it makes you want to dance , but at the same time it certainly contains the necessary complexity of the language, which manifests itself in solo and in ethnically outstanding musical material.

Wherever Oleg is and wherever he lives, he surrounds himself with the best expert-musicians whose talents and skills are unquestionable, while successfully working on projects connected with world jazz, ethno-jazz and mainstream, Oleg Kireyev is interesting to a various musical audience.

The real pride of the musician today is the title of National artist of Bashkortostan and the post of the Cultural Adviser of the Bashkirian President, which, however, does not interfere his numerous concert tours to Europe, USA and Russia.

Wow! I said, and settled in to listen to a saxophone performer from Russia! Incredibly good and smooth, full of verve, and style, and class, and that is what Russian saxophonist Oleg Kireyev...   Lee Prosser (JazzReview.com®) more

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