Nataly Merezhuk has been attending Django in June as a participant since 2017, which is around the time she took up the study of jazz after years of classical violin training. We’re welcoming her for the first time as a teacher this year. All together now: Welcome Nataly!
Nataly holds a degree from Peabody Conservatory and performs regularly with a variety of both orchestras and Swing ensembles in the greater DC area. In February of this year she brought the Nataly Merezhuk Quartet to the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. You can see a full hour of that performance in this video.
By birth, Nataly is half Russian and half Ukrainian. That should tell you something about what the past year has been like for her. But it wouldn’t tell you everything, because in addition to joining our teaching staff for the first time and wrapping up a degree in Computer Science, she recently released her debut CD: Jazz on Bones. The title makes reference to an ingenious way that bootleggers found to skirt the ban on jazz in Stalin’s Soviet Union: the tracks were etched into the surface of old X-rays. On the album, Nataly reimagines a variety of Russian and Ukrainian tunes, interspersing them with original compositions. The project was the subject of an NPR piece you can hear and read here. Here’s a cut from the album, “Tchaivals”.