Jazz legend, bassist Ron Carter, wrote the following, as liner notes for Dmitri’s debut album: "His sound is warm and big, and his choice of notes is truly inspirational. His playing continues to grow and make his presence on New York jazz scene necessary. His compositions also merit close attention."
Dmitri is originally from St. Petersburg, Russia. Growing up in the Soviet Union, in the age of the “Iron Curtain”, he was steered towards jazz music by his father—a mathematician, jazz fan and a piano player. He taught himself to play upright bass by listening to Willis Conover’s Voice of America Jazz Hour and transcribing from smuggled records.
Kolesnik abandoned his engineering career to become a professional musician. He graduated from Mussorgsky College of Music and began touring and recording with top Russian groups, jamming with visiting American and European musicians including Dave Brubeck, Billy Taylor, Jon Faddis and Pat Metheny. At the age of 24 he was voted “Discovery of the Year” by the Russian Jazz Federation and for the next several years was listed among the top bassists of the country. He was featured on eight LPs on the state-owned Melodia label. His name is recognized in "Jazz. XX Century. First Russian Encyclopedia."
Dmitri’s love of American Jazz made it one of his life long dreams to come to New York to learn first hand from great musicians there. He was trying to get this opportunity for 15 years but was refused by the Soviet government. He finally came to New York in 1991. Legendary bassist Ron Carter accepted him as a student and Kolesnik studied with him for 4 years while earning his Master's degree in Music from City College of New York. Asked by Carter, he wrote a book: "Ron Carter Collection. Note-for-Note Solo Transcriptions to 19 Songs," which was published by Hal Leonard Corporation in 1996.
Composing was always a part of his musical personality. His compositions are recorded on following CD’s: Dmitri Kolesnik: "Blues for Dad" (Boheme Music), Dmitri Kolesnik: "Five Corners" (Challenge), Dmitri Kolesnik & HMK Trio: “Russian Caravan” (Bomba-Piter), The Corners Five: “Live at the Hermitage Theater” (sponsored by Finnair) and Meeting Point: "Quintessence" (Challenge) produced by Todd Barkan. Also his compositions performed and recorded by Anthony Wonsey, Keith Loftis, Elliot Zigmund and others.
Over the years in New York Kolesnik worked and recorded with many wonderful musicians: Mark Murphy, Eric Alexander, Andrei Kondakov, Jim Rotondi, Lenny White, Gene Jackson, Graig Handy, Joe Farnsworth, Harold Mabern, Paul Bollenback, Ravi Coltrane, Ralph Peterson, Billy Drummond, Alex Sipiagin, Phillip Harper, Joe Cohn, Grant Stewart, Bob Mover, Jed Levy, Valeri Ponomarev, Richie Cole, Woody Allen, Julian Lampert, Chris Gillespie, Anthony Wonsey, Keith Loftis, Bill Ware, Johnny Colon, Joe Magnarelly, Harry Whitaker, Jimmy Madison, John Hart, Café, Bobby Purceli, Willard Dyson, Manny Duran, Papo Pepin, Duke Ellington Big Band and many others. He performed at such well-known places as Iridium, Birdland, Smoke, Jazz at Lincoln Center Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Small’s, Café Carlyle, Symphony Space, Flushing Town Hall, Knitting Factory, JVC, Montreal, Rochester International Jazz Festivals.