Jazz guitarist and vocalist Ilya Lushtak has been an important part of New York jazz scene for over a decade, having worked extensively with legendary jazz figures all the while. His musical experience includes years of performance and recording with the likes of Hank Jones, Barry Harris, Jimmy Cobb, Cedar Walton, Mel Rhyne, Louis Hayes, Rufus Reid, Mickey Roker, Charles Earland, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jimmy Lovelace, Curtis Lundy, Joe Magnarelli, David Hazeltine, as well as working in the quintet and quartet of Frank Wess from 2003-2013.
He has worked just about all New York venues- major, minor and everything in between. These include, the Village Vanguard, Smoke, the Iridium, the Blue Note, Fat Cat, Small’s, Dizzy’s and outdoor stages for Jazz Mobile and the Charlie Parker Festival.
Since 1999 Ilya has also been busy as a band leader and singer throughout Europe, most actively in the country of his birth, Russia. In addition to performing in dozens of cities throughout, he has been a regularly featured artist at the Jazz-Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, as well as a continued colleague of the Russian jazz icon and cultural stalwart David Goloshokin. In Russia also came his extensive experience singing with the Philharmonic Hall Big Band of St. Petersburg, where dozens of sold out performances where met with critical acclaim.
Although born in Russia and seasoned in New York, Ilya actually grew up and spent his formative years in San Francisco playing and studying with Bay Area jazz figures such as Bruce Forman, Vince Lateano, Vince Wallace, Ed Kelly and Bishop Norman Williams. Yearly Ilya returns to the Bay for regular engagements with local legends Larry Vuckovich and Noel Jewkes.
Ilya is currently living and working in New York City with his family of four, playing extensively as a leader and as a sidemen in groups of Bernard Write, “Killer” Ray Appleton, Mike LeDonne, Joe Farnsworth, Todd Herbert and a myriad of others. Although rooted in classic jazz, Ilya has also worked continuously in the fields of gospel, soul and contemporary urban styles.