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Meet Inna Dudukina

Today we’d like to introduce you to Inna Dudukina.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?

Born in Siberia, Russia, I was surrounded with music since my very early days. When I was a toddler, my parents were studying musicology at the State Music Conservatory in Novosibirsk, and they introduced me to music, too. I started studying classical piano when I was 5, and by the age of 7 I was already touring around Siberia and was quite well known locally. During my childhood and well into teenage years, I was immersed into the world of classical music of all periods, from baroque to aleatoric, and this was an important time for my musical appreciation and taste to grow. Subsequently, my version of a teenage riot was to switch my style to jazz music and becoming a jazz vocalist. When I was 14, I enrolled to the Novosibirsk State College of Music majoring in both jazz voice and later in jazz piano performance.

After my graduation, I was accepted not Berklee College of Music in Boston with a full-tuition scholarship. This experience became a big transition for me as I changed my course from a jazz and bebop vocalist to a performer, writer and arranger in World music styles, Eastern European Folk and Middle Eastern traditions. I’m immensely grateful to say that during my time in Boston I performed with and wrote for some of the best musicians today, artists like legendary jazz vibraphonist Garry Burton, multi Latin-Grammy winning producer Javier Limón, and one of the most famous singers in India Shreya Ghoshal, to name a few; among other things I was very fortunate to I have conducted my arrangements in the concerts where the audience included giants like Julio Iglesias and Jimmy Page, and I’ve been featured as soloist on stage performing for the likes of Missy Elliott and Justin Timberlake.

To add to voice and piano performance, over the last few years I became one of the very few women in the world who plays Armenian duduk. The story behind it is that I was always puzzled with my last name since there is no Russian word it could be based upon. One day, I looked it up, and found out that duduk is a beautiful ancient instrument. It interested me and inspired me, so I acquired this instrument and I found an absolutely amazing teacher from Armenia, and I am very happy to say that my first live duduk performance was with no other than illustrious modern  Armenian jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan. Writing for this concert and performing in it was one of my favorite moments of my career so far.

Please tell us about your art.
My incentive for creating music is to fuse every style I know, while doing my best to preserve and respect what’s unique and true about them. I love putting together the elements of music I was brought up with, to mix classical orchestration with modal jazz harmonies and ethnic vocal techniques, or to add jazz harmony and traditional instruments to a pop song, or to play a Bollywood song on Armenian shvi. I would love the audience to feel that the music all over the world serves the same purpose, goes together beautifully, and how all the rhythms together make the same heartbeat.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
For me, the very least that music can, and perhaps should do is to introduce the general public to the cultures that are often “demonized”. If we as musicians can eliminate “the fear of the unknown”, then we’ve done at least something.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
There are several projects in the making right now, I’m expecting two very dear to me releases next month: a music video by my Balkan band “Dashina”, in which we have explored vocal harmonies fusing with middle eastern and electronic music; and a music video of my original for the new solo project where I’ll be combining eastern ornament with English lyrics and modal harmonies. A great way to support my work is to follow me on my social media, Facebook, Instagram, or my website. I regularly perform in Boston and East Coast, and I would love to meet you at one of those events.

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Image Credit:
Taiga Kunii, Matthew Muise

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