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Nick Levinovsky | Listen Up!

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Jazz: Big Band Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Listen Up!

by Nick Levinovsky

Nick Levinovsky's highly creative, original contemporary jazz arrangements combined with the earthy hard swinging performances of the "best" New York cats, gives listeners the brightest "smokin'" Big Band sounds.
Genre: Jazz: Big Band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Second Wind
Nick Levinovsky Big Band
7:58 $0.99
2. Lazy Afternoon
Kathy Jenkins
8:33 $0.99
3. Breath of North
Nick Levinovsky Big Band
4:52 $0.99
4. My Favorite Things
Kathy Jenkins
8:44 $0.99
5. Mysterious Beauty
Nick Levinovsky Big Band
7:45 $0.99
6. Listen Up!
Nick Levinovsky Big Band
4:56 $0.99
7. Last Flight
Nick Levinovsky Big Band
7:04 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Nick Levinovsky...an excellent jazz pianist and even better
composer/arranger whose memerable charts are the wings on
which his band soars beyond the commonplace.
Jack Bowers - CADENCE

"Nick Levinovsky has abundant technique and his music
offers moments of reflection and lucidity."
Peter Watrous, NEW YORK TIMES

"Nick Levinovsky is an undoubted talent... highly
recommended." Gary Burton

"...world class ability." Ira Gitler

As a young boy growing up in Saratov in the former Soviet Union, Nick Levinovsky
was expected to become a classical pianist or orchestral conductor. His parents,
both opera singers, started their son on the piano at age 6. Gifted though he was,
Levinovsky nevertheless drifted through his musical training until one day when his
father tuned their short-wave radio to the Voice of America and jazz entered
Levinovsky's life for the first time. "I was knocked out," Levinovsky recalls about
that day when he was just 13. He had never heard music so alive, music that spoke
directly to him. "Jazz turned my life upside down," and from then on Levinovsky
knew what he wanted to do, what he had to do -- be a jazzman.

Levinovsky went to the Saratov State Conservatory of Music to study composition, piano and
theory. He entered the Soviet Army and was soon leading the jazz ensemble for the army
orchestra, which won the grand prize at the local jazz festival. Returning to Saratov after his
military service, Levinovsky formed a quartet and began to combine modern jazz techniques with
Russian folk music. It would become a hallmark of the Levinovsky sound.

Gaining recognition from his performances at jazz festivals and on Soviet radio, Levinovsky soon
came to Moscow and became music director and arranger for the top jazz bands in the city. He
met and jammed with all the jazz greats passing through Moscow -- including Duke Ellington, Dave
Brubeck, Chick Corea, Milt Hilton, Thad Jones and Dick Hyman -- and he played piano on a
recording by Ray Coniff, the first American artist to record in the USSR.

Levinovsky formed his own group, Allegro, and quickly became nationally famous. They
recorded 8 LPs and Allegro was named "best jazz band in the USSR." Levinovsky himself won
"musician of the year" honors four times, one of the very few artists accorded that honor
repeatedly. As a member of the Union of Soviet Composers and the Jazz Federation, Levinovsky
and Allegro were representing the jazz of their country at jazz summits and major festivals the
world over. One particularly memorable performance was in Bombay, India alongside the great
Don Cherry. According to newspaper accounts, "Playing together they achieved what the Soviet and
American diplomats could not -- creative interaction, beauty, harmony."

For a jazz artist the siren call of the New York jazz world had become impossible to ignore, so Levinovsky
immigrated to New York, his fantasy since he first embraced jazz as a boy. Since arriving in New York,
Levinovsky has performed with Tom Harrell, Joe Locke, Victor Jones, Valary Ponomorov and other noted
musicians. When His first trio debuted in New York City, Peter Watrous of The New York Times wrote,
"Nick Levinovsky has abundant technique and his music offers moments of reflection and lucidity."
Nick's charts are played by the Vangaard Orchestra and New York University's Jazz Orchestra, and his
revived group, Allegro, has performed everywhere from Boston's Hancock Hall to the JVC Jazz Festival at
Lincoln Center.

In the early 1990s Levinovsky met and subsequently married singer Kathy Jenkins. The union has
had a profound effect on his music. "Kathy's emotional approach to lyrics has been transferred to
me. When she sings "My Funny Valentine," a song I have played for many years, I hear and
understand the lyrics as I never did before."

Levinovsky and Jenkins formed the 17-piece Nick Levinovsky Big Band, a group whose
repertoire is Levinovsky's original compositions as well as jazz evergreens. Its debut CD, "Listen
Up!" was celebrated at New York's Birdland and Jack Bowers noted in Cadence magazine that
Levinovsky "is an excellent jazz pianist and an even better composer/arranger whose memorable
charts are the wings on which his band soars above the commonplace." The Band next backed
Jenkins on her debut vocal CD, "From This Moment On" in 1998, again earning accolades for
Levinovsky's swinging, sparkling arrangements that support Jenkins' stunning vocals.

The Levinovsky Big Band performs concerts & clubs in New York such as The Supper
Club, Birdland, Roseland Ballroom, Waldorf- Astoria, The Plaza, Red Blazer, Visiones and Atlantic
City's Taj Mahal, among other venues. It has performed for organizations including the UJA
Federation, New York Swing Dance Society, the Arthritis Foundation, National Organization for
Women and many others.

Having achieved his desire to work in the jazz capital of the world, are there any challenges left for
Levinovsky? The answer comes quickly. "I want to do what I was put on this earth to do -- be a
creator of music."



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