George Garanian Biography (Wikipedia)
Georgy Aramovich Garanian (Russian: Гео́ргий Ара́мович Гараня́н; 15 August 1934 – 11 January 2010) was an ethnic Armenian Russian jazz saxophone player, bandleader and composer. He was the People's Artist of Russia in 1993.
Born in Moscow, Garanian was trained at the Moscow Conservatory. He was one of the first Russian musicians who attracted attention of Western world as part of the jazz from the USSR. He belonged to the first generation of Russian jazzmen who started to perform after World War II. As a musician (alto saxophone), conductor and composer he was the leader of country's best big bands: Melodia (1970s–1980s) and Moscow Big Band (1992–1995). He led the Municipal Big Band in the Southern Russian city of Krasnodar. He toured regularly as a trio with pianist Daniil Kramer and guitarist Aleksey Kuznetsov during the 1990s.
Garanian recorded more music than any other jazz musician in Russia, performed at many international jazz festivals (Finland, India, Indonesia, Cuba etc.), toured Germany, the United States, Japan, Australia, Sweden, France, Taiwan and many other countries. Frederick Starr wrote in his book about Russian jazz that Garanian is one of the best jazz musicians in Russia. Starr quoted famous American critic John Hammond, who heard George at the jazz festival in Prague, Czechoslovakia, — "Georgy Garanian is phaenomenal". And person number one in jazz, Willis Conover, the host of "Voice of America" jazz program, invited him many times to participate at International jazz festivals in Hungary, Yugoslavia and other countries.
George Garanian Tracks