He's a Grammy-winning pianist and composer who's toured with everyone from Josh Groban to Larry Carlton. Get to know Ruslan Sirota, our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the Week.

NAME: Ruslan Sirota

HOMETOWN: Bat Yam, Israel

MUSICAL TRAINING: Classical studies from age seven to 17. Jazz from age 12 until today.

FIRST GIGS: Local bar gigs around Boston, churches, wedding bands. Then I slowly started getting bigger gigs like Brian McKnight, Seal and Stanley Clarke. It sort of snowballed from there.

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Kenny Kirkland, Yellowjackets, Pat Metheny Group, Sting, among many others.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Kacey Musgraves, Sergei Rachmaninov, Coldplay.

MY BIG BREAK: Winning a Grammy Award in 2011.

LATEST PROJECTS: I released my latest solo album A Lifetime Away two months ago and it went to Number One on iTunes and stayed there for over a week. The album features John Patitucci, Bob Mintzer, Stanley Clarke, Gary Novak and a symphony orchestra.

FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY?: Call me old fashioned, but you’d be surprised how useful a good old Yamaha Motif still is. Its very versatile, it cuts through in a PA and it sounds great. From X-Factor to Josh Groban to Marcus Miller and Stanley Clarke, to a wedding band, it's saved me in countless musical situations. There are endless incredible keyboards with amazing textures and endless tone possibilities, but, from a "bread-and-butter" practical perspective, throw me just about anywhere with a Motif and I’ll make do!

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I'm writing for my next album as we speak. I'm also touring with Larry Carlton and Bob Reynolds in 2020.

ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Ditch the shortcuts. Learn to do the most with the least amount of tools. Learn everything you possibly can about the music you love. Have a mentor. Take your small gigs very seriously, if you want big gigs.

For more information visit www.ruslanmusic.com