Hlib Baisha is a musician from Ukraine holding a double-major Bachelor degree in Jazz Guitar & Jazz Composition / Arranging from Conservatorium Maastricht. Currently, he is studying Jazz Guitar at a Conservatorium Amsterdam’s Master’s program.
Hlib is an innovative musician bringing to jazz new sounds, techniques, and unconventional arrangements: He merges jazz improvisation concepts with a variety of different forms of classical and contemporary music. A possession of a unique archtop nylon-string guitar allows Hlib to enrich his jazz performance with classical, flamenco, and Brazilian techniques.
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” This famous Mark Twain’s proverb in the best possible way describes the early years of a future virtuoso: Hlib’s first acquaintance with the instrument happened in the age of 14, with no teachers of music around; his only tutor was loneliness. When he was a teenager, Hlib’s mother brought him to the United States, which appeared to Hlib no less weird and hostile than to Columbus-led adventurists centuries before. Trying to escape the new unfriendly reality, Hlib was locking himself in his room and diving in a sounds of music. YouTube stars, whose play he tries to mimic, made his virtual company.
After one and a half year of self-imposed confinement, Hlib decides to study music professionally. He insists on leaving the US and returning to Ukraine. There, under the guidance of his grandmother – a classical music educator at Kharkiv Conservatory – he learns music esthetics and theory. His grandmother inculcates in Hlib love for classical music; no matter what he plays today – jazz, rock, or pop – his listeners can always feel his classic-style fervor.
It was his grandmother’s classes that prepared Hlib for entering Kharkiv music college named after the famous Ukrainian composer Boris Lyatoshinsky. There, Hlib is lucky to become a disciple of Vitaliy Pazera – an avant-garde composer, who, with the passing of time, becomes Hlib’s dear friend. Pazera strongly advises Hlib, now interested in jazz improvising, to continue his musical journey in Europe as jazz education in Ukraine is of a rather low level. Traditionally, the emphasis is on teaching classics there.
In 2015, Hlib is admitted to Conservatorium Maastricht. Under the supervision of Jan Formannoy, an outstanding jazz performer, Hlib learns to understand jazz-guitar esthetics and traditions. The more time passes, however, the more Hlib realizes: as much as he enjoys studying jazz guitar, it is never enough for him. His most cherished idols, great Prokofiev and Shostakovich, studied piano and composition simultaneously, and Hlib is dying to follow their path.
During his first two years in Maastricht, Hlib completes almost all school’s side subjects. Interested not only in playing but in composing as well, he is taking composing classes and participates in composition projects. As a recognition of Hlib’s achievements, he is awarded an excellence scholarship and allowed, as an exception, to study two majors at once: jazz guitar and composition/arranging.
During his last two years in Maastricht, under the guidance of distinguished maestros Joachim Schoenecker (guitar) and Wolfgang Braun (composition), Hlib develops his own ideas of merging jazz improvisation concepts with a variety of different forms of classical and contemporary music. He performs at numerous venues as a solo guitarist and in bands, playing with such outstanding musicians as Piter Bernstein, Gilad Hekselman, Jesse van Ruller, and Kurt Rosenwinkel at their workshops. He finds his unique sound with the nylon archtop guitar manufactured by a Dutch luthier – Daniel Slaman.
“For more than two years, I had been looking for an instrument that would bring all my ideas to life in the most accurate way possible. And then I finally found it, a reflection of myself: half classical, half jazz guitar soul. Not only has she brought my ideas to life; she is constantly challenging me with new, most audacious visions.”
Hlib has written music for Amsterdam Concertgebouw jazz orchestra, underscored the movie “In de mond van waanzin,” performed together with Mike Roelofs and Ron van Straatum. He has produced two albums: Lost Under the Guidance, Prt.1 is recorded by Hlib Baisha's Trio, while Lost Under the Guidance, Prt. 2 in a duo with Mike Roelofs, a virtuoso pianist.
Hlib Baisha is a winner of “Louis van Dijk Jazz Award” and “Mechelen Jazz Contest” of 2019.
Improvised Sonata I from an album Lost Under the Guidance, Prt.1 - Three movements written by the leader which is brilliantly mixed with classical music (influenced by Bach and Russian composers) and trendy atmospheric Bill Frisell. But many other scents are mixed with these compositions which is an absolute relief to hear. It’s rich. The balance between introspection and swinging shards is ingeniously brought, the sound is woody, sometimes muffled, and the cohesion between the three musicians is perfect. It's clever, catchy and beautifully executed and the trio already have a very strong personality.
Luminous Dash Muziekzine, written by Mark Van Mullem
The trio did that with a particularly modest and atmospheric set, in which the nylon archtop guitar of Hlib Baisha was central. The three compositions from Lost Under the Guidance, Prt.1 that the trio played were very cinematic and had a very strong structure. It is not surprising that the pieces of music adorned classical music because Baisha himself indicated that it was his "first great love". But in the crystal-clear guitar playing of the young musician you could also hear the hand of his jazz heroes Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell.
Written in Music, Written by Wouter Schenk
We hear Hlib's preference for classical music in his composition from the second album Lost Under the Guidance, Prt.2 - Improvised Sonata II (Second Movement), beautifully elaborated with beautiful harmonies.
This great talent recently received the Louis van Dijk Award. Keep an eye on him!
Lost Under the Guitance, Prt.1
A debut album featuring Hlib Baisha's Trio. Pre-order at hlibbaisha.bandcamp.com/releases
Lost Under the Guitance, Prt.2
A debut album featuring Hlib Baisha's & Mike Roelofs. Pre-order at hlibbaisha.bandcamp.com/releases