Last July, on a hot summer evening I wandered into a little Jazz Club in Greenwich Village with a friend. Bar Next Door is a charming and cozy hideaway in the heart of the Village. As the music started, the velvet evening filled with energy and rhythm. The passion and sentiment came alive. One of the musicians announced that he was getting married next month in Paris and devoted a song to his fiancé.
As we listened to the music and watched the band play, everyone in the room felt that love, true love was alive and well. One of performers in the band that night was Misha Tsiganov. His jazz piano was infectious and exhilarating. Before we left I couldn’t resist and started a conversation with him. Thanking him for a great musical experience and feeling rejuvenated, we said good night and left into the bright lights of New York’s tourist crowded streets.
A few months later fate brought Misha to Art House Restaurant in Brooklyn, where we met again. That evening Misha was playing an enchanting medley of Latin Jazz with a beautiful singer from St. Petersburg named Irina Zubareva. The music transported the audience to the sunny beaches of Brazil and infused the soul with sensuality. They performed several jazz standards and other unusual interpretations to the crowds delight.
About a week later I had the pleasure to talk to Misha about his life and music. As an Artist I always wonder where inspiration comes from and what makes others do what they do. Are music and rhythm all around? Once, watching Spartacus Ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre as a very young child, I took notice of a world famous conductor. I was mesmerized that this man manifested music out of the whole orchestra but I was also sad that he never learned to play a single instrument himself.
One of the questions I asked Misha was about the genre that he chose. In Russia, Jazz was somewhat taboo like many other western styles of music. He told me that studying and performing Classical masterpieces, he was always taught to play note- for- note the music of the composers and also to interpret their feelings as they were experienced in the centuries before his time.
Jazz, on the other hand, offered a multitude of interpretations, expression of emotions and new found freedom. Misha is an incredible musician, listening to him play, the world dissolves and you become one with his melody. He is a composer as well. Of course his compositions are JAZZ. To him it’s all about being a self expressed artist and not just someone’s messenger, he carefully jokes. He wants his audience to feel what he is feeling; love, passion, sadness, irony, fear.
Over the years Misha has played with the finest stars of the International Jazz scene. He played and recorded with legends like Chico Freeman, Joe Chambers and many others. He feels honored to be a part of these superb collaborations. His musical talent has matured and developed on the best stages with the masters.
Currently, Misha’s dream is to fulfill his own musical visions. He is great at being a supporting artist playing in the best of bands, but ultimately, it’s his own “voice” that needs to be heard. If you ever get a chance to hear Misha Tsiganov the Jazz Master, it will be an experience you won’t forget.
For more information, schedules and venues go to www.mishajazzmusic.com