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A NIGHT AT THE COTTON CLUB: The Music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and more!
A City Lights Concert

Friday, November 9, 8pm
Saturday, November 10, 8pm
Copley Symphony Hall

Matthew Garbutt, conductor
Nikki Yanofsky, vocals
Eldar Djangirov Trio:
Eldar Djangirov, piano
Armando Gola, bass
Ludwig Afonso, drums

“This joint is jumpin’!”  It was often heard to describe The Cotton Club of Harlem.  Tonight, the sounds of New York’s famous hot spot return.  If you haven’t seen the Grammy®-nominated young jazz superstar Eldar Djangirov play the piano—you must!  And if you haven’t heard singing sensation Nikki Yanofsky, wow—you’re in for a treat.  They’ll perform the hits of Duke Ellington, Count Basie along with the legendary Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and the late great Louis Armstrong.  This joint is jumpin’, indeed!

San Diego City Beat had this short feature on "Night at The Cotton Club" in this week's issue, CLICK HERE to read!


Dress up in your favorite cotton club-inspired outfit and enter to win some great prizes. Come early to enter.


We will also have professional costumers there as well from our media partner the Costume Walkabout on both nights, as well as real swing dancers from Media Partner San Diego Vintage Dancers! There will be pre-concert entertainment from the acclaimed Rob Thorsen Trio on Saturday night in the lobby!


Nikki Yanofsky is a 18‐year‐old musical prodigy. Since Nikki’s debut at the 2006 Montreal International Jazz Festival, Nikki has toured North America, Europe, Asia and Israel, creating and performing alongside icons of the music industry. In the past 6 years, Nikki has appeared with Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett and Marvin Hamlisch, to name but a few.

Hers was the voice of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, singing “O Canada” at the opening ceremonies before an estimated world audience of 3.2 billion people as well as being chosen to sing “I Believe,” the anthem for Canadian spirit during the Olympics. That single had the highest first‐week sales of any Canadian artist in SoundScan history and was certified quadruple‐platinum, making Nikki the youngest artist to ever achieve quadruple‐platinum status in Canada. Nikki is also the first artist to attain the number one position simultaneously on three iTunes Canada charts: Pop, Jazz Album and Jazz Singles.

Nikki’s first studio album, Nikki, produced by 14‐time Grammy® Award‐winner Phil Ramone and Grammy®‐Award winner Jesse Harris, was released by Decca Records in the spring of 2010 and in Canada, achieved gold sales status within three months. Nikki was named as the 2010 Vocal Jazz Album of the Year on the annual iTunes worldwide “Rewind” list. She has been twice nominated for a JUNO Award; in 2008 as Best New Artist – for her first release, a live album entitled Ella…of Thee I Swing – and in 2010 for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Nikki also joined her fellow Canadian artists in the project Young Artists for Haiti, which recorded K’Naan’s hit song “Wavin’ Flag”, winning the 2011 JUNO Award for Single of the Year.

Nikki has used her budding fame to help the underprivileged – becoming an ambassador for the Montreal Children’s Hospital, The Children's Wish Foundation and MusiCounts. The local, national and international charity events that Nikki has been involved with to date have raised well over $10 million.

In October, 2010, Nikki was the inaugural recipient of the Allan Slaight Award. One of  the highest honors of her young career, this award will be presented annually to a young Canadian who is making a positive impact in the fields of music, film, literature, visual or performing arts, sports, innovation or philanthropy and was presented to Nikki at the Canada Walk of Fame Awards gala.

Nikki’s career continued to blossom in 2011, beginning with an appearance alongside Herbie Hancock at the MusiCares Foundation Person of the Year Gala honoring Barbra Streisand, taking place during the Grammy® Awards weekend in Los Angeles. Nikki also toured the southern United States as part of the “Three Generations of Divas” concert series, sharing the program with jazz superstars Dianne Reeves and Jane Monheit. During her European summer tour, Nikki was invited to the Montreux Jazz Festival by Quincy Jones to appear with his Global Gumbo All‐Stars – which has led to subsequent invitations by “Q” to continue performing with the group at various events internationally.

This past summer, Nikki completed a cross–Canadian tour, opening for the internationally‐acclaimed pop opera group, Il Divo, while simultaneously working very hard away from the spotlight, writing and recording songs for her upcoming album release. With professional and artistic success on an incline with no end in sight, the future is bright for Nikki Yanofsky.


The New York Times described the New York-based pianist Eldar Djangirov as "a blend of musical intelligence, organizational savvy, enthusiasm and prowess that was all the more impressive for seeming so casual… an ebullient impressionist."  Dr. Billy Taylor said, "Eldar Djangirov's playing shows brilliancy, complexity and discipline... he's serious about his music, he's thoughtful about what he does”.  Jazz Times said, “Maybe he made a pact with Lucifer to be the greatest pianist ever."  Downbeat magazine stated that Eldar’s “command of his instrument is beyond staggering," and he was praised as “a genius beyond most young people I've heard” by Dave Brubeck.

When Eldar Djangirov (pronounced john-'gear-ov) was signed to Sony Classical at the age of 17, the young pianist from Kansas City (with a stint in San Diego for high school) was already well known for his prodigious pyrotechnics and precocious knowledge of the bebop tradition.  Along the way, he has had the good fortune to meet and work with the masters including Dr. Billy Taylor, Marian McPartland, Dave Brubeck, Michael Brecker, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton, Harvey Mason, Ron Carter, Pat Martino and many others.  Through these opportunities and other wonderful musical experiences, Eldar continues to explore new frontiers through composing and performing, enabling him ultimately realize his own musical vision.

Born on January 28, 1987, Eldar came to the United States from the former Soviet Union when he was ten.  Among his first performances were in his hometown of Kansas City, as well as The Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.  He quickly then moved up the ranks and was featured on the National Public Radio program, Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz at the age of twelve.  He released two albums independently.  Eldar signed with Sony and recorded his major label, self-titled debut featuring the great bassist, John Patitucci, and Michael Brecker on tenor sax.  He followed up with the critically acclaimed Live at the Blue Note with guest appearances by Roy Hargrove and Chris Botti in 2006.  Eldar was nominated for a Grammy® in 2008 for his album Re-imagination.

Eldar has appeared at numerous major jazz festivals including Tokyo Jazz Festival, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Java Jazz Festival, Vienna Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival and San Francisco Jazz Festival, and he has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia.  He has performed at venues ranging from the Hollywood Bowl to Carnegie Hall and has played at the most notable jazz venues across the world.  Eldar has been seen on national television including the 2000 and 2008 Grammy® Awards, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, CBS Saturday Early Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live.  In addition, he has also played with world-renowned symphony orchestras such as NHK Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra and the San Diego Symphony. 

Eldar Djangirov has four critically acclaimed trio albums including the most recent, Virtue, featuring his trio, Armando Gola (bass) and Ludwig Afonso (drums), as well as guest appearances by Joshua Redman and Nicholas Payton. A typical review: "With the release of Virtue, Eldar may have sealed his role in future jazz history" (Bill Meredith, Jazziz).  Eldar's latest album and first solo piano album, entitled Three Stories, has already garnered rave reviews:  "This is certainly jazz piano, but it's the kind that belongs in a recital hall... Djangirov gets to the heart of every song" (Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz); "Something special goes on here… In Djangirov's hands, the piano is a dramatic personage" (Karl Stark, Philadelphia Inquirer); "Djangirov's playing is, simply, flawless" (Jeff Tamarkin, All Music Guide).


Watch & Listen,




November 9 - November 10, 2012

Online sales for this performance have now been discontinued. Please call the Ticket Office at 619.235.0804.

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