People often speak in superlative when describing an Eldar performance, comparing him to Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock and more. This 21-year old pianist lives up to the hype, presenting original music along with standards with a boundless enthusiasm that translates into an absolutely electric live show.
Born in the Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, Eldar started playing the piano at age 3. His parents quickly noticed his preternatural ability to play anything he heard at the keyboard, and started him on private lessons at age 5. With the assistance of jazz patron Charles McWhorter, the family moved to Kansas City in 1998, and the jazz world was quick to notice his arrival. Eldar was 13 years old when he performed at the 42nd annual Grammy Awards broadcast, and he took the top prizes in the 2001 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and the 2002 Peter Nero Piano Competition. The legendary Marian McPartland has had him as her guest (the youngest ever) on her acclaimed radio series Piano Jazz, then invited him to perform on her jazz concert series as the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. in 2004. His 5th release, Re-Imagination, features a more focused approach to Eldar’s original music, and has been nominated for a Grammy.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“Eldar’s amazing technique puts a spin on each selection that translates into a memorable experience. He’s unforgettable.” –All About Jazz
“Eldar spews musical ideas from the keyboard like a sonic Cuisinart on “pulse,” yet melds diverse ingredients like a master chef. At the Dakota, he served up a gourmet buffet that left us sated yet eagerly awaiting the next course. And a little breathless.” Andrea Canter, Jazz Police
“Eldar combines Art Tatum’s superhuman velocity with echoes of Oscar Peterson’s grandeur … an all-things-to-all-people prodigy whose formidable technique is wedded to a mature grasp of musical structure.” New York Times
“Few musicians on any axe swing like Eldar… his groove is intense and overwhelming. It’s not the flash and fire that should stir interest in Eldar. It’s what he does when the razzle-dazzle dies down and we sense substance within and beyond his pyrotechnics.” New York Times