'...Eddie has a natural instinct to 'feel' the very essence of the music he plays, which enables him to create from a much deeper level than the average musician. This is a gift that one has to be born with. It is a gift that empowers him to pass on that 'feeling' to the listener and touch them at the very core of their being...' -Illinois Jacquet- '...Eddie Akhmetchine is an outstanding musician with great natural ability. I think that he is the most promising young saxophone player on the scene today. I feel that Eddie will achieve great recognition in Jazz...' -Clark Terry- Saxophonist Eddie Akhmetchine came to Houston, Texas from Russia on a music contract in 1993. One year later he got a full scholarship to the Clark Terry Institute Of Jazz Studies. During the years at the school Eddie received numerous awards from Chicago, St.Louis and Kansas jazz festivals. Nowdays Eddie frequently performs with top jazz musicians in Houston also often appearing with his own band. Besides listening to such greats as Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, and Yellowjackets, Eddie also enjoys listening to music from Eastern-Europe, India, Brasil, Argentina, and Cape Verde. Born in Tatarstan, Russia into a well known in the region family of musicians, Eddie at the age of six started singing in his dad's band. Around this time his dad Vasim Akhmetchine also taught him to play the recorder and a tatar flute called kurai. One year later Eddie having shown much interest in the piano entered his dad's music school where he continued his piano studies for the next seven years. At this young age Eddie's compositional skills were already apparent (Much thanks to his dad who is a professional composer. Eddie saw him sitting everyday at the piano and writing Tatar pop songs or music for different plays). One of Eddie's songs was published in a local magazine and became a small hit among children. Another song he wrote became one of the favorites of his mom Asiya Akhmetchine - one of the beloved singers in Tatarstan. At the age of fifteen Eddie entered music college in his hometown of Naberezhnyye Chelny, majoring in classical saxophone. Around this time his dad bought him an LP of Charlie Parker. Eddie then knew that he wanted to study jazz so he could improvise on his own song. Three years later Eddie auditioned for one of the most prestigious colleges in St. Petersburg, Russia, Mussorgsky College Of Music, and after playing two of Charlie Parker's solos he transcribed from the record note for note, Eddie was imidiately accepted, and soon started studying with the famous saxophone teacher Gennady Golshtein. Two years later in the summertime of 1992 Eddie went to Riga, Latvia to visit his roomate friend and drummer Sasha Loukachine (his wonderful CD with the great Clark Terry is also available on this site). They decided to play on the streets of the city which was crowded by tourists from all over the world. On the second day they were aproached by a young lady from Houston, Texas, Michelle Moore, who was there on a business trip. She had quickly fallen in love with the musicians' soulfull playing. She spoke good Russian so the comunication was not an issue. Much to the guys' amazement Michelle asked if they would like to visit Houston and play concerts there. And that's how it started! The next day she took the band (sax, drums, and guitar) into a local studio and two hours later they had an album! At the very end of the session Eddie suggested to record one of traditional Tatar melodies. Touched by the beautiful song, Michelle asked Eddie to start writing more songs with Tatar flavor and later to send her a whole album of originals. In the Fall of 1992, having one more year to study at the Mussorgsky college, Eddie began writing. By January 1993 ten compositions were ready and Eddie, Sasha, and Artur (guitarist) went into one of their friend's studios and recorded all of the material. At the end of the session Eddie's friends expressed that they really liked the music and thought it was unique. A few hours later the guys mailed their album to Houston, Texas. Just two weeks later Michelle called back and said that she loved the music and had already bought the tickets for the guys to fly in. In Houston under the six months contract the musicians played lots of concerts also appearing in 'Good Morning Houston' TV show. The band which then was called 'Russian Street Jazz' quickly made lots of fans. There were also many articles written in the local papers 'Houston Press' and 'Houston Chronicle'. Six months later when Eddie and Sasha's visas were expiring, some friends payed for the guys' tuition to go to University Of Houston where they studied English. This allowed Eddie and his friend to stay in the US by switching from tourist to student visas. Later they got an offer from the Clark Terry International Institute Of Jazz Studies to come on a full scholarship. ...You know the rest.
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