Sébastien Hélary, Nextbop

Russian saxophonist Makar Kashitsyn left Moscow in 2017 to enroll at the Manhattan School of Music following the advice of jazz veteran Vincent Herring with whom the youngster was taking Skype lessons at the time. Just a year later, Kashitsyn would win first prize at the inaugural International Festival Competition of Saxophonists in Ekaterinburg. Today, at the tender age of 19, Kashitsyn is releasing his recording debut, Jazz Animals, on St. Petersburg-based music label Rainy Days which has made it its mission to promote Russian jazz musicians to the rest of the world.

The album features tenor saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown and trumpeter Josh Evans from the US, Dutch vocalist Hiske Oosterwijk on two tracks, and guitarist Alexey Polubabkin, drummer Sasha Mashin, bassist Makar Novikov, and pianist-keyboardist Alexey Podymkin all representing Mother Russia.

We invite you to check out Kashitsyn’s newest single, an original composition entitled “Going To Ekateringburg”, below. The song is ravishingly swinging with hints of Latin jazz ornamentation and features stellar performances by all, most notably a murderous first solo by Lefkowitz-Brown. Kashitsyn demonstrates maturity beyond his years and a great amount of potential. He might, however, still need a bit of time to develop a truly distinctive and original musical identity in order to carry the genre beyond the scope of what is already being done today. We hope he figures out how to put his own unique spin on the music, hopefully drawing from his singular roots and life experiences. We’ll be on the lookout.

Jazz Animals, the debut by saxophonist Makar Kashitsyn is out today on St. Petersburg-based music label Rainy Days.

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