VLAD WEST, known in Russia as Vladimir Sermakashev, was a child prodigy. Born in Baku (Russia) he studied piano from age 3, composition from age 5. At that early age he was playing solo piano concerts at Baku Conservatory and was taking composing and arranging lessons with well known professors. Mr. West has technique and knowledge of classical and jazz music well beyond ordinary piano player. As Mr. Starr (president of Oberlin College, Jazz Study) said about V. West in one of his books on jazz: "In his combination of grittiness and lyricism, blues feeling and sheer drive, he has few equals, in Europe certainly and even in America."
Not fully satisfied only with classical music, Vlad West started to learn about jazz at the age 9 and at 16 he was already very well know jazz musician in Moscow. Articles about him were printed all over Europe and America: VILLAGE VOICE, JAZZ FORUM, DOWN BEAT: "His rhythmic sense is simply unbelievable, and he is, I would say, swimming in rhythm." Mr. West and his quartet played extensively throughout the European Jazz festival circuit. Among many others, he has played with Duke Ellington and Gerry Mulligan, Ted Jones and Mel Lewis. He has recorded many discs in Europe and, when he came to live in America, he recorded 3 more discs here. On his jazz recording SAY HELLO TO RUSSIA Scott Yanow from JAZZ TIMES said: "West comes up with creative and frequently hard-driving solos on six of his originals and three standards, making one wonder why he is not better know." And Owen Cordle from DOWN BEAT MAGAZINE: "As a composer, he demonstrates an affinity for the classic Coltrane quartet of FAR AWAY and BLACK SNOW."
Vlad West's relation with a movie business started early, when as a child he has to sit in only movie theater ("Nostalgia") and play different kind of music for the silent movies. He composed, arranged and performed music with the orchestra for 9 movies in Russia. Some of the movies were distributed in America. Now, living in USA for many years, Mr.West wrote songs and music for the documentary movie TO AMERICA WITH LOVE (Public Broadcasting) and he was the inspiration, story and music consultant, and musician for the movie MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON (Columbia Pictures).