About Charles Sibirsky

Piano keys

Charles Sibirsky has freelanced as a Jazz pianist in the New York City area for over 30 years. There are many venues for jazz in the metropolitan area and he has played as a solo artist or in a combo setting at Birdland, One Fifth Avenue, Cornelia Street Café, Barbes, The Coach Inn, The Angry Squire, Café Royale, The Waterfront, The Iron Horse Pub, The Brown derby, Griff's Seafood Plaza, Citylights, The Grand Prospect Hall, Cleopatra's Needle, La Belle Epoque, The Duplex, and The Water's Edge, to name a few. He also accepts booking for parties and other social affairs. The mood he creates at these celebrations sets a special mood.

Playing at weddings was Charles' first foray into the world of "music for hire." He was just 17 when he embarked on his career as a professional musician. He played in trio and quartet settings in the Catskill Mountains of New York. He majored in music at Brooklyn College and began his teaching career at Academy Music Studios in Brooklyn. That teaching position led to an introduction to the legendary pianist Sal Mosca. Sal accepted Charles as a student. For 24 years Charles made the weekly trek up to Mount Vernon to study with this wonderful jazz pianist, who remains one of the leading proponents of the Lennie Tristano School.

The concert setting has provided opportunity for Charles to share his original music and improvisation on standards. He has given concerts at the Henry Street Settlement House, The Riverdale Country School (where he taught for six years), and The Brooklyn Academy of Music. He has appeared several times at the Bethlehem Music Festival. He has played numerous library concerts and several concerts at The Old First Reformed Church for the benefit of City Harvest, an organization providing food for the homeless.

His compositions have been recorded by Elaine Comparone and have been performed at Merkin Hall in New York City and on tour through various European venues.

Charles lives in Brooklyn where, as the founder and director of Slope Music he continues to teach jazz. Many of Charles' students have gone on to establish music careers. It is a special joy for Charles' to go out to clubs to hear his own students perform.

His first recording as a leader, "Just Jazz, Just Two" (Zinnia Records, 1995), with Murray Wall on bass, established that "Sibirsky clearly has his own voice," according to David Dupont's review in Cadence. "His scholarship marks the work here - the long, snaky lines, the judicious use of block chords, a strong left hand, the usual suspects as vehicles for improvisation, and a couple of well-turned, Tristano-influenced originals. ... He does not overwhelm you, but seduces you."

Charles's recording, "The BQE" (Zinnia Records, 2000), with Drori Mondlak on drums, and John DeCesare on bass, highlights his interplay with vibraphonist Mark Josefsberg. The compositions are "ranging from dreamily slow to head-long fast, changing tempos and moods at a moment's notice," raves reviewer Nils Jacobson and goes on: "These two players seem to have a near-magical ability to predict each other's moves and go with them, not knowing in advance exactly where they will lead."

Charles teamed up with his longtime student, vocalist Christiana Drapkin, to record her second CD, "Songs About You" on IANA Records, 2003. The recording highlights not only his superb solo playing and accompanying skills, but features four original compositions. The ballad, "Songs About You", which gives the CD its title, is almost impressionistic in its harmonic development and treatment. Charles's bossa nova, "Open Your Heart", with added guitar playing by John Merrill, has been called "one of the high points of the session" by Michael P. Gladstone in his review in All About Jazz. The bebop line "Formation" carries on the Tristano tradition, while the witty cabaret number, "Cholesterol Blues" is a hit with live audiences.

His latest album, "Jazzman's Serenade", also on the Zinnia Label, is a quartet with Charley Krachy on Tenor, Ed Fuqua on bass and Pete Scattaretico on drums has some originals, some standards some free music and a Bird tune called Quasimoto. Its release in 2005 was celebrated at Birdland.

All of Charles's playing is not only deeply musical, but it demonstrates the empathy between him and his fellow-players. Lovers of jazz piano should not pass this up.

About Slope Music

House detail

Just walk down Ninth Street between Fourth and 5th Avenues, past the post office and the next thing you see is a beautiful garden fronting a French Empire house. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly feel a connection to both History and Music.

The building inspires a sense of history because it was built in 1850, before brownstones, before Prospect Park, before the Brooklyn Bridge. The house is awash in music because its owners, Vita and Charles Sibirsky, who moved there in 1981, started a music school called Slope Music. Since those early days Slope Music has grown to include a select staff of teachers who not only are highly trained instrumentalists and vocalist but also have a calling to teach. It is truly an honor for a teacher to take students through the personal adventure of learning music.

Charles Sibirsky studied composition and theory at Brooklyn College and studied the art of Jazz Improvisation with the great teacher and pianist Sal Mosca. Charles has been teaching since he was 17. Charles teaches Jazz improvisation on most instruments and accepts vocal students as well.

Vita Sibirsky has been a student of the piano since childhood. She has been accepting students since 1989. Her students range from four year olds to seniors. Many of the children who started at a young age have continued their music studies through high school and even college. Some have grown up to find a profession in music.

The studios at Slope Music feature Steinway Grand pianos. The 9 foot Steinway is the same model D that graces the stage at Carnegie Hall. All keyboard students have opportunity to play these fine instruments. Voice students have the thrill of being accompanied by the finest pianos in the world.

“People need more good music in their lives. They need to make music and to learn how to listen. This enhances peoples’ lives in physical, emotional and spiritual ways. We live in complicated times and music can be an enormous tool to help people chase away some of the stress daily life gives us,” Charles says.

As Slope Music has expanded, choosing the right staff members is a job that has fallen to Charles, in his capacity of Director at Slope Music. Most of our teachers perform regularly in the NYC area and that gives students the opportunity to hear their own teachers perform as solo artists and as members of professional ensembles and bands. Motivation is encouraged in so many ways at Slope Music but the opportunity to hear ones own teacher demonstrate the accomplishment of a lifetime’s practice and study is a unique motivator.

Slope Music also offers live music for your parties or catered affair. Slope Music is not an agent or a middleman. Bookings are made through the “band leader” directly and that keeps prices reasonable.

If you walk down Ninth Street on a cool fall evening you will see Montauk Daises in lush bloom in the front garden of 271 Ninth Street. You might even hear jazz or chamber music drifting through the open window.

There are no semesters. Free interviews are offered and students can start at any time during the year. Now is the time for new beginnings! If you have been thinking about learning to play all your life or would like to pick up your studies where you left off or you have a child who has expressed interest in learning to play get in touch with Slope Music.