I was born in Kharkov, Ukraine on April 24, 1986. When I was six I was inspired by a violinist’s performance and one year later my parents sent me to a music school in my city.
After the music school, I enrolled in Kharkov State College of Music where it was a hard four years of practice with a lot of struggles and triumphs.
After I graduated from the college in 2006, I took a four-year break to study economics and law at the Public Ukrainian Academy. There was an amateur violin ensemble, so I had a chance to practice. I left PUA after four years when I realized I had made the wrong choice.
After some unsuccessful attempts to became a rock star, I realized that I still loved the style of music I’d chosen as a six-year-old. But now some changes took place.
The first thing to happen was the vinyl “What Is There To Say?” by Gerry Mulligan. It’s like green tea, you know. First you can’t quite understand the taste, but then you want to try it again. Finally, it becomes a part of your life.
After ‘learning the ropes,’ I got some of Grappelli’s CDs and after week of deep depression I really started to practice jazz. I never had a teacher for jazz playing, so I used some books and resources from the Internet. My friend Alexander Gloshkin was studying jazz at Kharkov State University of Arts and he helped me with a lot of things. From him I got E. Kunin’s book “Violinist in Jazz” and then all Aebersold’s stuff. Actually, I strongly recommend Jamey Aebersold for those of you who have the same needs I did. I still use it.
A few years later I discovered Eric Truffaz’s music, which introduced to me another way of playing. I started listening to fusion music: Truffaz, Lockwood, Ponti, Hollsworth, E.S.T. My good friend Alexander Gloshkin is a guitarist, so I took inspiration from an amazing guitarist, Steve Vai. He is still one of my idols.
In 2009 I started composing violin songs and trying to create my own project. I played with some good musicians in my city and we made some recordings. I still have some of them; maybe they’ll become an album one day.
In 2011 I recorded a violin part for a song called “Steklyannie sny” (“Glass Nightdreams”) from the debut album “Dytyna doshu” (The Child of a Rain) by Aziza Ibragimova. It is not a bad solo, but it was much more expressive in the premiere concert. Unfortunately, we don’t have a recording of that performance.
In the summer of 2012 I took part in the “Fete de la Musique” open-air performance. I played three original songs with my friend Alexander Gloshkin on guitar, Anthon Belitzky on bass, and Sergiy Dalec on drums. Check out the video and some pictures.
Later that year, I recorded my first single, “Lugsana”, with my cousin Andrew Tolmachev on guitar and Alexander Gloshkin on bass.
In the autumn of 2013 I signed a contract with an education company in Qatar. I put all my stuff into a suitcase and my violin on my back and went to Qatar, where I worked for about a year as a violin teacher.
I returned to Ukraine in the summer of 2014 and got a job with the “World Hits” orchestra. It was such a good time to play all that famous music with amazing professionals. I felt free of any group management, logistics, marketing, etc. Just travel, play, and earn money. Freaking ‘dolce vita’. I played two tours with that project. At the end of the second tour, my violin got a crack. It is a pretty old instrument and that stage sound volume was too much for it. So, I left the orchestra and went back to work on my music. In December 2014, I released a new single, “Verbovaya Doshechka”. It is one of my favourite Ukrainian ethnic songs. Along with my friends Julia Melnik and Alexander Gloshkin, I created an arrangement and then recorded the song. All the mixing and mastering as well as the video are Alexander Gloshkin’s hard work. At the same time, I started working on some new songs. We did arrangements for three of them with Alexander Gloshkin, who recorded almost all of parts for that EP.
Then I got a new teaching contract and went to Bahrain.
In the spring of 2015 I finished recording my songs and Alexander mixed and mastered them. I released a new EP, “Page Not Found”. In November of that year I released “Diamonds & Glass” and in March 2016 I released “Razzberty”, both as digital singles.
At the end of April 2006, I was invited to take part in the Battle of the Bands at the Hard Rock Cafe Bahrain. My band (me on violin, Alina Kharchenko on keyboard, Sunny Salis on guitar and bass, and Ryan John on drums) passed the audition and then won the finals. That was one of the best bands I ever had, and one of the happiest days in my life.
In September 2016, I moved to Al Ain, UAE, as I had a new job, still as a violin teacher. I live there now and am currently working on my new fusion album, which contains only songs composed during my Qatar and Bahrain period. The album is expected to be released on October 21, 2017.