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Take Five With Samir Fejzic

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Samir Fejzic:

Samir Fejzic, composer and pianist, born in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), studied composition at Music Academy in Sarajevo, where he graduated in 1998. Currently he teaches renaissance and baroque counterpoint at Secondary Music School in Sarajevo.

His work is characterized by different influences, a variety of styles and the constant effort of assimilation of classical vocal styles, traditional folk music and contemporary techniques into his compositions under the personal perspective. His interest for vocal music resulted in the writing of the book Vokalni kontrapunkt, which he finished in September 2003 and was published by Svjetlost in Sarajevo.

He is also the co-author of the book of Bosnian Songs for Voice and Piano.

Simultaneously to composing and lecturing, Samir performs as a jazz pianist and has up-to-date recorded a couple of TV shows ("Jazz in action" for Bosnia and Herzegovina TV), three CDs from which he would single out the album Vintage, performed with the Swedish singer Karolina Ollinen. A remarkable part of his energy is focused on preserving the traditional Bosnian musical heritage: he arranged and stylized numerous traditional Bosnian tunes. For his work he got recognition of a wide audience at home and abroad and received several awards, the most important Charter, in 2001, attributed by the Association of Music Educators Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He founded the "Samir Fejzic Band" in 2008 and with that quartet he released an album Bosnian Songs For Voice And Trio, (Yaman doo, 2009).

Samir Fejzic, jazz pianist with a classical education...



Teachers and/or influences?

Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, Chopen, Shostakovich, M. Jelicanin, Bird, T. Monk, Evans, Corea, Jarrett, J. DeJohnette, J. Patitucci, Vagif, Aziza, and Bosnian highlands...

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

I was 8.

Your dream band:

Jack DeJohnette, John Patitucci, Bobby McFerrin

Favorite venue:

"Bihaccko ljeto" fest, or "Ulicom Bisca," Balkan cafe—Sarajevo.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

Vintage, performed with the Swedish singer Karolina Ollinen, because it is a different view of jazz standards, to which I always return with joy.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Something from Charlie Parker... I think: The Genius Of Charlie Parker.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

Among other things, that would be a work on stylization and modernizing the Bosnian traditional music heritage. With those, that it is done in the past, mainly I wasn't happy, so I wanted to offer my vision for "sevdalinka" in the 21st century.

Did you know...

I love fishing... :)

CDs you are listening to now:

Matthew Shipp4D

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Jazz today is developing and progressing with big steps. This progress enables openness to other musical genres, primarily modern serious music, and ethno music of the world. (I don't like expression "world music").

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Jazz festivals and clubs.

What is in the near future?

This days I start new recording sessions: solo piano and trio.

By Day:

Professor... Currently I teach a renaissance and baroque counterpoint at Secondary Music School in Sarajevo.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

Physicist or mathematician.


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