For Oleg, as for many, getting jazz lessons in the early 70s in the former USSR was simply out of the question. Since both jazz piano and jazz saxophone were not taught, and Mr. Kireyev got bored studying classical compositions, jazz improvisation, first on the piano, and then on the saxophone, were his first attempts at jazz. Prior to this he started improvising melodies that could only be heard in his head, in a style that many years later became known as smooth music jazz. These melodies, once put down on paper, would be later called by crtics “incredibly good and smooth, full of verve, and style, and class”, ranking him as a top Russian jazz musician.
Lovers of the best jazz music take their time to trace the origin of jazz music. What they know about the history of jazz music is a central part of their personal musical experience.
A well-traveled person, Oleg has lived in Poland, England and America. Poland, although an Eastern Bloc country, was famous for its wide array of high-caliber jazz performances and it was there that Kireyev was first noticed there by international jazz aficionados. A scholarship to the Bud Shank jazz saxophonist school pulled him into the international jazz scene, where he is now one of the most well known musicians. After receiving a special award for outstanding performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland he began to garner worldwide respect at jazz festivals and jazz clubs.
After receiving accolades at the London Jazz Festival, New York Jazz Improvisation Festival, and North Sea Jazz Festival, Oleg Kireyev was then invited to New York jazz clubs such as Symphony Space, Iridium Jazz Club, Smoke and Smalls, where he collaborated with famous jazz musicians such as George Cables, Nicolas Bearde, James Weidman, Chris Washburne, Boris Kozlov, Peter King, Dick Pierce, Doug Weiss, Fay Victor, Ray Alexander, Scott Hamilton, Steve Ellington, and Adam Nussbaum. Jazz concerts in London jazz clubs featuring Oleg’s jazz band were played on air at leading jazz radio programs on UK stations including BBC and Radio Saga.
Oleg approaches jazz music projects with energy, creativity and sophistication. He founded the “Orlan” Jazz Band in 1985 and which became a revolutionary music phenomenon for the then-Soviet audience. Fascinated by Bashkir folklore, Oleg was the first in Russia who started to practice an ethnic approach to jazz. Much later “The Feng Shui Jazz Theatre” premiered at New York's Symphony Space in 2008 and exploded onto the jazz scene with his signature style featuring a great diversity of musical influences and instrumentation. With no end in site Oleg has recently launched into the “Rhyme and Reason” project together with The Keith Javors Trio, which debuted in New York in February, 2009.
Oleg Kireyev's jazz CDs number ten and one more is on the way. His 2007 album “Mandala”, released by New York recording label Jazzheads, was a first round Grammy Award nominee for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Oleg’s most recent effort, “Rhyme and Reason”, is planned for release in May 2010, and will be followed by a big Euro–American tour.