A must see live performance – Leonid Ptashka in Calgary!

Leonid Ptashka (Hebrew: לאוניד פטשקה‎, Russian: Леонид Пташка; born 3 May 1964) is an Israeli jazz pianist and composer. Lives in Ashdod, Israel. One of the most famous Russian-speaking Israeli musicians who popularized jazz in Israel in the 1990s – early 2000s. Included in the list of the 100 best jazz musicians of the XX century by the American Biographical Institute. Because of his emotional manner of performance and improvisation workshops he has been nicknamed “the destroyer of the piano”, in addition to playing drums and melodione.

In 1981, Leonid Ptahka became the first Soviet winner of the international jazz competition, which took place in Poland, in 1982, made his first tour in the United States. It was then proposed to him to stay in US, but he refused because of fears for the fate of his parents. In 1986 he won first place in the competition of pianists improvisers in Vilnius and later performed at many festivals of USSR. By the end of 1980 Ptashka already had all-union reputation, his concerts were collecting thousands of people, he has traveled on tours to many countries, worked in parallel on the Soviet central television. Performing as a soloist Ptashka played recital concerts all over the world, including solo recital in Carnegie Hall in New York in 1988, Boston University Concert Hall and the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art. Later on Leonid Ptashka continued his concert tours in Western and Eastern Europe. Ptashka was the first Soviet jazz pianist who was awarded the second prize at the international Pianist contest in Kalish, Poland in 1987 and got the first award of the Pagart Record Company. He won the first prize in the Pianist Competition in Los Angeles in 1988, the special prize at the Jazz Pianist Competition in France in 1989.

In 1990 he immigrated to Israel, with the mass immigration from the Soviet Union. At the beginning the musician had to start everything from scratch he played in restaurants and bars and his main audience was immigrants from former USSR. At 1991 he won the first prize in Eilat Jazz Festival in Israel. In 1994 Ptashka organized the first jazz festival in Ashdod. Three years later, he began to flight to Russia and take part in international festivals. Due to the growth of his popularity in Russia and the CIS in 2000 Ptashka was invited to US to play jazz at the White House and was included into the prestigious list of “100 outstanding musicians of the 20-th century” combined by the American Biographical Institute . In 2003 he received the Medal of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in recognition of his achievements and services to Israel.

In 2009, with the support of the new vice-mayor Boris Giterman and the Ashdod municipal culture corporation, Ptashka established an international Jazz festival in Ashdod named Super Jazz Ashdod. Many Jazz stars participated in the festival through the years, between them: Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Lenny White, Gunhild Carling, Al Foster, Ray Brown, Jr and more.

June, 9

7 p.m.
Temple B’nai Tikvah 900-47th Ave SW, Calgary
For more information call: 403-835-5717, 780-937-8146