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The Russian jazz prodigies are coming

The Russian jazz prodigies are coming

I just stumbled across these videos from the recent Second International Children’s Jazz Festival “We Play Jazz” in Rostov-on-Don…

Here’s a combo playing Nicholas Payton’s Zigaboogaloo:

On Twitter, Payton approvingly wrote: “These lil’ MFs are gettin’ it!!! LOL,” and then: “I’m truly flattered by these little kids way over in Russia playing the stank outta my music. God is good!!!”

And here’s a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald — or to Nikki Yanofsky — from 8-year-old cowgirl vocalist Alexandra Boldareva:

Both of these groups were coached, from what I can tell, by Andrey Machnev of a Children’s Jazz School in Rostov-on-Don.

And from the recent children’s jazz contest “Rhythm-Express” in Ekaterinburg, here’s Mikhail Voeykov, also seen in the above videos, getting his Jaco Pastorius on with Portrait of Tracy:

Yes, these talented young’uns are, in a word, imitating. But isn’t that how Eldar got his start?