Smooth Jazz | C-Jazz | Funk | Fusion
Less ‘From Russia With Love’ and more ‘From Russia With Groove’ multi instrumentalist Valeriy Stepanov is all set to take the smooth jazz world by storm with his Skytown Records debut release, ‘New Beginnings’.
This YouTube sensation who, to date, can boast almost three million Internet views, enjoys such an online profile that musicians around the world are clamoring to both cover and rework his music. Indeed Stepanov has been identified as having the ability to traverse the entire spectrum of jazz, from his smooth jazz sensibilities, that are very much the province of ‘New Beginnings’, through to his own brand of fusion that can accurately be described as Chick Corea meets Jeff Lorber.
Above all, what makes Valeriy stand out from the crowd is the formula he has for rhythm and melody, his unbounded energy and the sublime technique that he first learned from his father then built on by studying music theory at the prestigious Central Music School of Moscow State Conservatory,
Not only that, with six years of recording and performing with his band VSAK, Valeriy has polished these skills yet further so that now, at age 27, he is perfectly positioned to join the ever increasing band of Eastern European artists to have found musical fame in the west.
Nevertheless, his journey has been more challenging than most. His father, who not only went on to become a drummer and singer but also taught the then six-year-old Valeriy, to play piano, was born in the Siberian city of Yermakovo, located in the far eastern reaches of Russia. It was the site of the infamous 503th Gulag building where prisoners were kept and made to work on Stalin’s ill-fated railway that was meant to run across the extreme north of the country.
Shortly after Stalin’s death in 1953 Valeriy’s father moved further south to the city of Irkutsk, close to the Mongolian border and Lake Baikal, the largest body of freshwater in the world. It was here that Valeriy grew up, surrounded by music and destined to become the artist he is today.
The story of Valeriy Stepanov is very much a story of today, a story where the Internet combined with an abundance of talent can propel a performer from the most unlikely of locations into the global spotlight.