Gregory Fine, pianist, composer and arranger (Russia)
Gregory Fine was born on 22 July 1949 in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia. He is one of the more experienced, highly educated and brilliant pianists of Russia today.
Gregory started to play jazz at the age of 6 in his father's dance band in Gorky (the Soviet name for Nizhniy Novgorod - the old name was returned in 1991). From childhood Gregory had a passion for dancing to music and rhythm. During his youth he studied at dance school, skated and attended ballet school at the same time. And, of course, like every average musician in Russia, he studied at a music school, graduated from a music college, and then completed one of the best music conservatories in Russia, the Gnessins Institute (now The Gnessins Russian Academy of Music, Moscow).
In 1967, at the age of 17, he won 1st prize at the Dmitry Kabalevsky Piano Competition of young pianists in Kuibyshev (now this city's old name, Samara, has been returned). Gregory Fine and his family have been living in Samara since 1974.
After graduating from the Gnessins Academy, Gregory began his jazz career in Samara where he became soloist at the Samara State Philharmonic.
Aged 15, Gregory first heard the Canadian pianist, Oscar Peterson, who became his lifelong musical idol. From this moment, he dreamt of creating his own trio and playing jazz music in the style of his idol.
Despite the official semi-prohibition of playing jazz in the former Soviet Union, in the late 70’s Gregory received official permission to play two-set solo concerts in the whole Philharmonic system of the USSR. During the next ten years, Gregory toured all 15 republics of the USSR including the North Pole region, the Far East and Siberia.
Gregory's first LP, "Fascinating Rhythm", was released by the Soviet monopoly record label, Melodia, in 1989. The same year, aged 40, Gregory first played abroad. He toured Sweden, Belgium (there he made a record for the BRT label at "The Sugar Village Jazz Club" and played at Juul Anthonissen's "Heist op den Berg" club), Canada (where he played at the Montreal Jazz Festival and has recorded an album in Montreal with the Canadian rhythm section) and Wales (UK).
For Gregory Fine, Jazz music is music of Freedom
Gregory Fine is currently performing in Sweden with a Swedish rhythm section
(Tranas, Vadstena and other towns).
In Samara, which has a population over 1.500.000, Gregory hosts the Philharmonic series
called "Solo, trio, and a Band". The Gregory Fine trio and his friends play 6-8 concerts per season there.
Gregory Fine is not only a performer. Many of his musical scores were published in Russia. For example,
“Sonata-improvisation” in 4 parts,” Kinds of Blues”,” A Ten Standards for Beginners” for piano, “Eight Standards
for 4 hands”, “I Will Be Back”, “Lonely Girl”,” Caravan”,” Someday My Prince Will Come” for two pianos
(the last number written for piano and symphonic orchestra, "Jazz album for children and adults" for piano, "Red Hat",
a musical, as well as songs for combo and for big bands.
His next LP was "Night time" ("Aprelevka Sound", 1993).
Since 1999, Gregory Fine has taught the Art of jazz improvisation
(His books with the same titles are for sale)
at the Moscow Conservatory and in several Russian music colleges and conservatories
In 1998, Gregory made his first record in London with Martin Drew on drums and Len Skeat on bass. In 1999,
this album was released in Moscow on the Bohemia Music label ("Happy Bluesday", BMR 901032).
This album includes:
There Is No Greater Love
In late 1999, Gregory recorded another album in Britain with Jim Mullen on guitar and Len Skeat on bass.
This album was released in 2000 under Gregory's own label and included:
These Foolish Things
Waltz For You
Willow Weep For Me
His next CD “Fine Plays Fine” was recorded in 2001
as a quartet: Jim Mullen on guitar,
Len Skeat on bass and Ralph Salmins on drums. Some of the tracks were:
In Dizzy’s Mood
You Are My Dream
When I Met You
and six more songs
His latest CD is “I Will Be Back”. The 13 original songs are performed by Olga Oleynikova with the accompaniment of the Gregory Fine Trio.
This is the first CD to be released in Russia with songs in jazz styles with Russian lyrics (Music and lyrics by Gregory Fine)
All Gregory Fine’s CDs are available by mail order.
In 2003 Gregory Fine the “The Friends of Jazz” club
www.jazzfriends.ru The club attracts more and more jazz fans from Russia to this very interesting genre of music and has arranged 12 concerts per season.
In 2004 Gregory Fine made a performance for children entitled “Jazz from A to Z” in Moscow’s new concert hall MMDM www.mmdm.ru
Gregory Fine’s hobbies include photography, dancing (see www.tango.be) writing lyrics, playing chess and living in the country.
Gregory Fine is married to Natalya and has a daughter Julia, an elder son Alexander, younger son Dima and a grandson, Grisha.
Gregory Fine’s motto is:
Welcome To The World Of Jazz !