Friday, November 19, 2021


Ilya Serov
November 12, 2021

Los Angeles-based trumpeter /singer /guitarist /band leader Ilya Serov has a passion for jazz that knows no bounds. A talented young musician with an old soul, Serov brings an infusion of imagination, vision and energy to the many shades of America’s original musical art form. Possessing both chops and charisma, his live performances and recordings have attracted a solid following among jazz fans and seasoned musicians alike.

Serov’s experiences on the jazz scene have recently led him to expand his creative interests in a significant new direction. Following his first original single Chillin’ (August 2020), Serov recently released new track HEAT featuring platinum-selling saxophonist Dave Koz (January 2021).

In early 2020, Ilya has used the isolation and introspection brought on by the global pandemic to create Chillin’ — his first original single — which artfully blends Smooth Jazz with R&B and Neo Soul. Musically influenced by, and written in collaboration with notable guitarist Kay-Ta Matsuno, Ilya performs on both trumpet and keyboards, joined (socially distanced) by exceptional LA-based artists on the single, as well as in his new music video by the same name. Both were released in August of this year to enthusiastic reviews.

Ilya first encountered jazz as a teen by exchanging tapes and records with friends and fellow musicians. While at the conservatory he explored the local club scene, which stoked his love of the genre even more. His earliest jazz influence was Arturo Sandoval, and he subsequently discovered Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra and Nat “King” Cole, eventually incorporating their sounds and vocal stylings into his own music.

Following his passion, Serov relocated to the United States in 2008 at the age of 21. He settled and set up shop in Los Angeles, and it didn’t take him long to establish a name for himself. As a solo artist or with his band, he was soon performing throughout the greater Los Angeles area, including well-known venues such as Spaghettini and the Catalina Club. In 2014 he was honored to be named Best New Artist at the Hollywood International Music Awards.

After hearing Serov perform, Smooth Jazz sensation Dave Koz offered him the opportunity to join his popular Dave Koz and Friends at Sea Jazz Cruise as a guest artist. Over the past two years, Ilya has performed on cruises throughout Europe and Australia with Koz and other Smooth Jazz greats, sharing the stage with the likes of Jonathan Butler, David Benoit, Larry Graham, Peter White and BeBe Winans.

"JUST FRIENDS album is dedicated to one of America’s most iconic jazz trumpet players and singers, Chet Baker. I titled the album Just Friends after a classic jazz standard of the same name that Chet included in his own repertoire. His rendition of it inspired me when I was a young musician, and pushed me to start finding my own voice in the world of jazz. As my composition and playing styles matured over the years, I began to wonder what Chet, with his musical genius, would sound like if he was a contemporary jazz artist today.

That's how the idea behind my latest album was born. I have tried to show the connection between several generations of jazz, reimagining Chet’s most recognizable songs from the Great American Songbook with my renditions. I've also included a few of my own original, contemporary tunes, created from that same inspiration. And to add further to the evolutionary mix, this album is also a debut for my new, custom-built, one-of-a-kind instrument I call the "Jazzohorn." I hope you appreciate its smooth tone and unique look!

All in all, I’m convinced that the world of jazz is alive and well, and ever evolving. Thank you for being a part of my artistic journey!"