Bassist, educator, and administrator, Dr. Karim Yengsep began studying music at the specialized Tulebayev Music School for children in his home town Almaty, Kazakhstan, at an early age. Years later he picked up an interest to study jazz at the Jazz Society of Turkey workshops while studying in Ankara, Turkey.
He first came to the US in 2000 as an International student and attended Western Oregon University on a competitive International Cultural Service Program scholarship. He began studying double bass with Portland jazz bassist, Dan Schulte, soon thereafter. At Western he also got to work with pianist and ethnomusicologist, Dr. Diane Baxter, whom he considers to be one of his main influences in music pedagogy.
In 2007, he was admitted to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Music on a full tuition waiver and had the privilege of studying double bass in the studios of Professors Michael Cameron and Larry Gray. While in graduate school, Karim executive produced, arranged, and performed on an album of Brazilian jazz and Argentine tango nuevo, Bossa Nuevo (TC-2021), which was released by Teal Creek Music in 2010. The CD is available for digital or physical delivery through CD Baby.
He was awarded Doctor of Musical Arts degree in May 2012 and returned to Kazakhstan where he held administrative and teaching positions at Almaty Tchaikovsky College of Music, Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory, premier English language startup university in Central Asia -- Nazarbayev University -- and, Kazakh National University of Arts. Additionally, he produced, authored, and hosted thirty radio-essays in a program called Jazz Review for Kazakh Radio from November 2013 through March 2015.
Karim returned to the United States in 2015 and settled in Chicago with his wife, Dinara. He is active as a performer in and around Chicago and Central Illinois, and teaches privately from his home studio in Oak Park.
Jazz Education Network, Suzuki Association of the Americas