Pianist YELENA ECKEMOFF Blends Jazz with Classical Influences on New Album, “A Touch of Radiance” – Album Release Show Tonight, August 12 at Jazz Standard in New York



Pianist YELENA ECKEMOFF Blends Jazz with 
Classical Influences on New Album, A Touch of Radiance

Featuring Mark Turner, Joe Locke, George Mraz and Billy Hart

Album Release Show Tonight at Jazz Standard in New York
(see performance lineup below)

“A Touch of Radiance maintains consistently high compositional standards, 
first-rate musical craftsmanship, and an inspired level of creativity… 
A careful listen will reveal elegantly complex music. Everyone 
involved is playing at his or her best. ” All About Jazz

Pianist/composer Yelena Eckemoff defines radiance as “a state of happiness or confidence when everything around you is shining.” On her latest album, A Touch of Radiance, she explores that idea from 10 different perspectives, drawing rich inspiration from memories, emotions, and dreams, and the inner world where all three intersect.

In addition to the 10 musical expressions of radiance on the album, Eckemoff also examines the concept in other media; she painted the vivid sunset on the album cover and wrote 10 short poems to expand on each piece, all of which are included in the album’s liner notes. A Touch of Radiance also expands her horizons instrumentally, marking the first time that the classically-trained pianist has recorded with more than a trio. She’s assembled a stunning – yes, even radiant – band for the occasion, featuring saxophonist Mark Turner, vibraphonist Joe Locke, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Billy Hart.

“I was ready to move on,” Eckemoff says. “My goals didn’t change: I wanted to express in music what I feel and what I experience. But utilizing more instruments gives your music a wider angle.”

These four gifted artists respond gorgeously to Eckemoff’s music, wringing bold colors and deep feeling from pieces that are both airy and intricate. “The musicians helped me to paint my musical picture,” Eckemoff says. “What made the project a success is that in addition to improvising brilliantly, all the musicians were extremely respectful to my written structures, tunes and melodic lines. The combination of written and improvised music as well as totally loose group improvisations has been my chosen musical language. With each new recording I am more comfortable with this language.”

Eckemoff will celebrate the release of the album tonight at Jazz Standard in New York with sets at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Accompanying Eckemoff for the performance are saxophonist Donny McCaslin, bassist George Mraz and drummer Eric McPherson. 

About Yelena Eckemoff:

Eckemoff began playing piano at the age of four, studying first with her mother Olga, a professional pianist, then at the prestigious Gnessin Academy of Music and the Moscow State Conservatory. Despite the repressive atmosphere in the Soviet Union at the time, she began to explore rock and jazz music with other like-minded musicians. “Everything from the west was prohibited at that time,” she recalls, “and jazz was one of those things. But there was a jazz studio formed by some activists who were also professional musicians and we studied traditional jazz. I used jazz principles in my composing, which put me on a different path from other musicians.”

Eckemoff stepped away from her life as a concert pianist for several years to concentrate on raising her children. She finally left the Soviet Union with her husband, momentarily leaving her three children behind. “That was the hardest thing I ever did,” she says, “but we had the drive to leave the Soviet Union. It was a very hard and scary thing to do, but it worked out and we never regretted it. It ended up helping me in my musical development because I had much deeper spiritual experiences because of it.”

After returning to the piano, she turned increasingly to jazz and has now recorded several acclaimed albums with such respected players as Peter Erskine, Marilyn Mazur, Arild Andersen, Darek Oleszkiewicz, Mads Vinding, and Mats Eilertsen. “Very rarely am I surprised like I am with Yelena,” enthuses Hart. “Somebody that comes out of nowhere with this much maturity and experience and musicality. You don’t expect somebody that you don’t know to challenge you in such an enjoyable way. In a very euphoric way it was a very satisfying project for me.”

A Touch of Radiance CD EPK
A Touch of Radiance – EPK

Album Release Performance Tonight:
Yelena Eckemoff @ Jazz Standard
August 12 · sets at 7:30 PM & 9:30 PM
Yelena Eckemoff, piano
Donny McCaslin, tenor saxophone
George Mraz, double bass
Eric McPherson, drums
116 E. 27th Street
New York, NY 10016
ph: 212-576-2232

Yelena Eckemoff · A Touch of Radiance
L&H Production  ·  Release Date: August 12, 2014   
For more information on Yelena Eckemoff, please visit: yelenamusic.com
For more information on L&H Production, please visit: landhproduction.com

For media information, please contact:

DL Media  ·  610-667-0501
Don Lucoff  ·  don@dlmediamusic.com

Amy Miller ·  amy@dlmediamusic.com 

Information and press materials (including album covers, promotional photos
and bios) on all DL Media artists can be found at our website: dlmediamusic.com

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