Ludmilla entered this country as a political refugee with no possessions, not speaking English, and having only her own wits and talent. It has taken many years to master the language, but even more daunting is the challenge of understanding the system. Back in Russia, she had her choice of performance venues in a culture that honored art and music. In America, when she says, "I'm a musician," the response is usually, "Well, what do you do to make a living?"
Ludmilla applied her skills by working with various ballet companies, playing for corporate parties in piano bars and restaurants, teaching and composing. She wrote and produced a musical play, and put together a nightclub act called "Black Russian" with the British pop star Linda Lewis.
Performing in a variety of styles and venues-original-song showcases, tango shows, Victor-Borge-style cabaret, and evenings of classical music interwoven with jazz, blues and pop tunes-she attracted the attention of diverse audiences: from John Kerry and Gerald Ford to French art festivals, the Moscow circus, a Japanese recording company .and ultimately, she began fulfilling her dream by recording her own music and lyrics, gaining international recognition.
Listening to Ludmilla will take you down a path that shares musical styles and multi-cultural experiences. By blending East and West, new and old, classical and jazz, she creates her own signature style.
Ludmilla may be the most interesting and enigmatic person I have met this year. She boasts a crushingly sexy Russian accent, sultry poise and dark looks. She moves like a velvet cat and men can barely contain themselves as they trample over each other to be near her. Like moths to a flame, they come in droves as if a band of tranquilized zombies and she gives them a brief, seemingly intimate audience, and blows them away gently to make room for the next block. It is truly a delightful thing to watch such a phenomenon. She seems to make no effort and has a way about her which makes the whole thing flattering to her and her admirers. Unlike other vixens which may have women feeling catty, I have never felt jealous or threatened by Ludmilla, only bemused. She always has enough energy, charm, and good humor to go around, even after a gig at 2:00 in the morning. Did I mention besides her extraordinary presence, she is also an extremely talented composer and jazz pianist? Her music is fun, energetic and original. She makes that all seem easy and fun too.
- Jennifer McWethy