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Mikhail Alperin


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Ukraine (1956 – present)

Mikhail Alperin, also known as Misha Alperin, was born in Kamenez Podolsky, Ukraine in 1956 and grew up in a rural area of Bessarabia, the eastern part of Moldavia. Until 1976 he studied classical piano at music schools and academies in the Ukraine and Moldavia. Since 1977 he has worked as a free-lance arranger, composer and practising musician. In 1980, along with Simon Shirman, Alperin founded the first Moldavian jazz quartet by developing his idea of linking jazz and folk.

As a young musician, Alperin earned his living with dance and party music. For him, however, party music embodied things old and past. In contrast, the future and freedom were to be found in music influenced by the West, music like rock and jazz. It was not until he had played in Moscow jazz circles for several years that he discovered the musical sounds of his native country for his own work. In Moscow he found other musicians also interested in integrating the musical traditions of their countries into jazz, thereby drawing from the rich tradition of the music of the peoples of the immense Soviet Union. It was during this period that he made the acquaintance of the hornist Arkady Shilkloper, a member of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra who also belonged to the circle of jazz musicians.

In the CD production “Prayer” Mikhail Alperin & Shilkloper have expanded their jazz explorations eastward.

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