Russian-born jazz trumpeter Alex Sipiagin is an adroit trumpet technician and forward-thinking post-bop improviser who has made his mark on the international jazz scene ever since moving to the United States in the early '90s. Alexei "Sasha" Sipiagin was born on June 11, 1967, in Yaroslavl, Russia. Growing up, Sipiagin studied classical trumpet and played in a youth orchestra. At around age 15 he enrolled in a local music school, where he first encountered modern jazz. Inspired to study more jazz, Sipiagin auditioned and was accepted into the Moscow Music Institute at age 16, eventually graduating with his bachelor's degree in music. After college, Sipiagin's studies were waylaid for two years of compulsory service in the Russian Army, after which he enrolled in the Gnessin Conservatory in Moscow.
In 1990, Sipiagin competed and placed fourth in the Thelonious Monk Institute's International Louis Armstrong Competition in Washington, D.C. He not only won a Bach trumpet, presented to him by legendary jazz trumpeter Clark Terry, but also received much notice by critics and jazz musicians in the States – so much so that, by 1991, Sipiagin had relocated to New York City. Since that time, Sipiagin has become not only a sought-after session player and sideman with such ensembles as the Mingus Big Band and bassist Dave Holland's sextet, but a leader in his own right, having recorded several solo albums for the Criss Cross label, beginning with Steppin' Zone in 2001.
Currently Sipiagin is working on a new project to be released under noted Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba's label 5 Passions with a stellar line up including Rubalcaba himself, as well as Dave Holland, Antonio Sanchez and Seamus Blake. In additional, Sipiagin will also be appearing on Rubalcaba's own ensemble work. Both projects are to be recorded in 2013 with release slated for sometime later the same year.