Aleks Girshevich – originally from Tashkent, Uzbekistan – began drumming at around four years old.
His father, pianist Vlad Girshevich, wanted Aleks to pick up a melodic instrument. Aleks didn’t have an ear for melodies, but he did have rhythm.
From the start, Aleks started imitating complex rhythms on a drum pad. By the age of six, he was immersed in advanced Cuban and Brazilian rhythms.
Aleks is no stranger to the word prodigy.
Vlad soon began including Aleks in his shows, allowing him to rapidly gain performance skills and experience. As Downbeat Magazine reported, Aleks had amassed a half-decade’s worth of gigs by eighth grade.
“Growing up with a really good pianist gives me the opportunity to play with him, which makes me a better musician,” Aleks said. “It makes music fun when you have good musicians around you.”
At 10 years of age, Aleks released his debut CD, Tomorrow, featuring his father and bassist Dave Arend. The album received critical praise along with radio play on nearly 50 stations.
Aleks, currently a freshman at Denver School of the Arts, was named Best Middle School Soloist by DownbeatMagazine in June 2015 and his trio received an Outstanding Achievement in Songwriting by The Great American Song Contest.
“Jazz is different because you can really communicate with the musicians around you,” Aleks said. “Jazz has an indescribable feeling.”
To celebrate 30 years on the air and invest in the future of jazz, KUVO interviewed 30 local musicians under the age of 30. These features will be released on-air and online June 29-October 31.