In the news - Dr V still swinging

28 February 2011

Con alumnus Vlad Khusid, better known to his students and fellow band members as Dr V, is surely one of Sydney's busiest jazz musicians and teachers.

On top of his day job as the head of jazz at Sydney Grammar School, Vlad will this week lead his 20 piece big band, Dr V's Swing Thing, comprised of the school's old boys, in a lunchtime performance at the City Recital Hall.

A trumpet and flugelhorn player, Vlad also performs with four other bands - the ARIA award winning Monsieur Camembert, Marsala, Black Train and Balkano - and teaches big band at Sydney University.

"Calling me Dr V was a joke that stuck," Vlad told the North Shore Times.

"My goal is to give what I can to the kids... I want to give them a chance to entertain and perform because when I was their age I was firing to play."

Born in Azerbaijan, Vlad started playing violin when he was 5 and graduated from music college when he was 14.

But his music career was halted after his trumpet was confiscated when he left communist Russia 30 years ago.

"I wanted to go to New York and be a jazz musician but my wife pointed out that we had two kids, so we ended up in Australia," Vlad told the North Shore Times.

"I tried courier driving and failed immediately. Then I worked nights at Roseville Bakery and loved the smell."

Thankfully, Vlad's wife Gala encouraged him to study again, and he graduated from The Con with a diploma of jazz in 1982.

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

Email: 0818485a1c260f1d16312f1914276b290d05260b566c3752346b1447