The participants

Leonid PTASHKA

Pianist, composer, musician

Israel

Member of the International Jury of the XXIII International Pop Song Performers Contest “Vitebsk”

Pianist, jazzman, and composer, Leonid Ptashka was born in Baku in 1964. He began to study piano, aged 4. At the age of 7 he performed the Mendelssohn'sConcertowith the Baku Symphony Orchestra. At the age of 14 he started performing on a professional scene. He also plays drums and melodeon.

Leonid Ptashka finished the Baku Music College in piano and the class of Professor Bril at the pop jazz department of the Gnessin Academy of Music in Moscow.

In 1981, he became the first Soviet prizewinner of the international jazz contest held in Poland. The following year he went on tour to the USA.

By the year of his immigration to Israel (1990), Leonid Ptashka had received 17 awards at jazz competitions.

At the International Pianist Contest in Kalish (Poland, 1987) he got a special award of the Pagart Record Company.

He won the first prize in the Pianist Competition in Los Angeles (1988), a special prize at the Jazz Pianist Competition in France (1989).

Performing as a soloist, Ptashka gave recitals all over the world, including his solo recital in Carnegy Concert Hall in New York (1988), Boston University Concert Hall (1988), Los Angeles Country Museum of Art (1989).

Leonid Ptashka recorded and produced records and CDs in Russia, USA (Mobile Fidelity Company), and Israel (NMC Company).

In 1994, he founded the International Jazz Festival in Israel which is held in different cities across the country.

Since 1997 he has taken part in the international jazz festivals in Russia. During this time he initiated the opening of a jazz department at “Akadma” Conservatoire, taught in Shtriker Music Conservatory in Tel Aviv, opened a private music school.

In 2000, he was included into the list of “100 Outstanding Musicians of the 20th century”, compiled by the American Biographical Institute.

In 2003, Leonid Ptashka was honoured a Medal of the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) as a state recognition of his achievements and contribution to the country.

Since 2003, he’s been a host of the music show “The Night Bird” (Ptashka in Russian means a bird).

Leonid Ptashka takes part in jazz festivals all over the world. His has collaborated with many famous jazz musicians such as Larry Porter, Benny Carter, Joan Brekin, Tom Lee, James Newton, Edd Tickepen, Al Foster, Dusco Goikovich ,Freddie Hubbard, Herb Alpert and others.

Apart from the arrangements of jazz compositions, he performs the cycles “A Different Classics” (jazz cover versions of the compositions by Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven to the accompaniment of a symphony orchestra) and “A Different Beatles” (jazz cover versions of pop compositions of the group).

His trademark compositions are “Vihr” (Whirl), based on Jewish tunes, and “Blues of Hot Pepper”, composed under the impression of Mexican spices.

Every year he gives about 200 recitals all around the world. In 2013, during his world tour he performed in the USA, Canada, Germany and Russia.

In 2014, he performed with Marius Preda and Baldi Olier in the project “Show Trio Virtuosos” in the cities of Israel.

 Discography: “Flight of Fantasy” (1984), “The way to anywhere” (1988), “Kaminsky trio plays Ptashka” (1996), “Eastern Wind” (1999), “Leonid Ptashka & Jazz Friends” (2005).

Leonid Ptashka performed in the jazz festival held in Vitebsk in the 1980s.

He is a participant of numerous concerts of the International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk”, including “This Eternal Joyful Jazz”, “Masters of Arts of Jerusalem to Vitebsk”.

In2005, he was a jury member of the International Pop Song Performers Contest “Vitebsk”.

In2013, Leonid Ptashka and the violinist Sanya Kroitor (Israel) took part in the concert “Double Energy from Freilehs to Jazz” in format of theInternational Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk”.