The Kyrgyzstan-born American pianist and composer, Eldar Djangirov (known as Eldar), began playing the piano when he was 3 years old. The first piece he remembers learning was C Jam Blues. He later took classical lessons and was "discovered" at age 9 by the late New York City jazz aficionado Charles McWhorter, who saw him play at a festival in Siberia. The family moved to the USA when he was 10 years old, relocated to Kansas City, drawn there in large part by the city's jazz history. During his Kansas City years, even before reaching his teens, Eldar already started building a reputation as a child prodigy, appearing on Marian McPartland's award-winning NPR show, Piano Jazz, when he was only 12 years old, being the youngest performer to ever appear on her show. Eldar attended Interlochen Center for the Arts in his young teenage years. Eldar attended St. Elizabeth's grade school and the Barstow School in Kansas City, Missouri. Eventually, the family moved to San Diego where he attended the Francis W. Parker School (San Diego), and then to the Los Angeles area where he attended University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music
Eldar Djangirov released two albums independently. When he was signed to Sony Masterworks at the age of 17, the young pianist from Kansas City was already well known for his prodigious pyrotechnics and precocious knowledge of the bebop tradition. Along the way, he's had the good fortune to meet and work with the masters including Dr. Billy Taylor, Marian McPartland, Dave Brubeck, Michael Brecker, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton, Harvey Mason, Ron Carter, Pat Martino and many others. Through these opportunities and other wonderful musical experiences, Eldar continues to explore new frontiers through composing and performing, enabling him to ultimately to realize his own musical vision. Eldar recorded his major label self-titled debut with Sony featuring the great bassist, John Patitucci, and Michael Brecker on tenor sax. He followed up with the critically acclaimed "Live at the Blue Note" with guest appearances by Roy Hargrove and Chris Botti in 2006. Eldar was nominated for a Grammy in 2008 for his album "Re-imagination." Eldar's playing style is characterized by prodigious technique and musicality. Downbeat noted in a review by Bob Doershuk: "his command of the instrument is beyond staggering.".
Eldar has appeared at numerous major jazz festivals including Tokyo Jazz Festival, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Java Jazz Festival, Vienna Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, and San Francisco Jazz Festival and has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has performed at venues ranging from the Hollywood Bowl to Carnegie Hall and has played at the most notable jazz venues across the world. Eldar has been seen on national TV including the 2000 and 2008 Grammy Awards, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, CBS Saturday Early Show, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. In addition, he has also played with world renowned symphony orchestras such as NHK Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, and San Diego Symphony Orchestra. He has 4 critically acclaimed trio albums including the most recent "Virtue" featuring his trio Armando Gola (bass) and Ludwig Afonso (drums) as well as guest appearances by Joshua Redman and Nicholas Payton. "With the release of Virtue, Eldar may have sealed his role in future jazz history" (Bill Meredith, Jazziz). Eldar's 5th album is his first solo piano album entitled "Three Stories" which garnered rave reviews. "This is certainly jazz piano, but it's the kind that belongs in a recital hall... Djangirov gets to the heart of every song" (Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz); "Something special goes on here… In Djangirov's hands, the piano is a dramatic personage" (Karl Stark, Philadelphia Inquirer); "Djangirov's playing is, simply, flawless" (Jeff Tamarkin, All Music Guide).
Eldar Djangirov released recently two projects simultaneously; his album "Breakthrough" is a dynamic trio outing featuring longtime bandmates Armando Gola (bass) and Ludwig Afonso (drums). The album displays Eldar's singular sonic imprint on an infectious array of standards and originals, with guest appearances by jazz greats Joe Locke and Chris Potter. His second release "Bach/Brahms/Prokofiev" is a classical solo piano album that showcases his unique interpretations of renowned pieces like J.S. Bach's Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826, Johannes Brahms' Eight Piano Pieces, Op. 76, and Prokofiev's Sonata No, 7, Op. 83. "Breakthrough" was released in April 2013 and "Bach/Brahms/Prokofiev" in May 2013.
Eldar Djangirov currently resides in New York City.