JAZZ FOR LIFE : SOFIJA KNEZEVIC

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1.Does Jazz Music have enough media presence and representation in the media today? Does Jazz have many new fans?

My honest opinion is that: art is generally underrepresented in the media. With the growing demand  for reality TV and entertainment that does not seek intellectual and emotional involvement, the need for analytical thinking, ethics, morality and culture has been declining.
At the same time I have to admit that because of the social media networks and the newly established  “free” marketing through those, more people are informed about culture news and jazz events that are happening not just around them but also in the world. This definitely contributes to continued growth in the number of fans.

2. What has made you choose Jazz music? What other music styles do you like?

Unbeatable freedom of expression. I also find many other genres very inspiring, especially Flamenco, Serbian traditional music, Classical music, Fado etc.

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3. How is the jazz scene in the USA and how is it in Europe?

Both of them are definitely great because we live in a time of incredible musicians and great talents. Of course there is a difference in approach to the genre, in the expression and of course the sound. I personally associate that with the genetic predispositions and what is in us before we are even born, and we inherit directly from where are roots are. And also later on, the influences of the environment where we’re growing up.

4. Your husband is also a musician – do you “complement” each other in terms of composition and ideas for new music?

Definitely, I became a much better person and a musician since I met Elliot. We open new horizons for each other and educate each other about the music with which we have not had a chance to experience yet. So it often happens that one of us plays something to the other  that we’ve never heard before, and it inspires us to continue to create new work, or think about music in a different direction.

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5. You come from a famous family of artists – did that have an effect on you to choose Jazz? What else do you think you would be if you weren’t a musician?

Probably some kind of a designer or a neuro psychiatrist. Family has certainly influenced my career choice. Primarily because I was growing up with my parents and a brother who are fans of blues and jazz, and because I was exposed to that music really early on in my life. Secondly because I realized how much I value the creativity and freedom of expression.

6. What is your favorite Jazz composition, that you like performing the most?

God Bless The Child, You’re Everything, Blue Daniel.

7. Does every artist today have to be present on multiple media outlets, given the ubiquity of social networks and the media?

I don’t think anyone has to be involved in multiple media outlets, but it is an essential tool for artists to be connected among themselves, and also to constantly inform their audience about new works, projects and about the actual brand.

8. What album are you currently listening to and what would you recommend to our readers?

I’m currently listening to Elliot’s new album Efflorescence, Carmen McRae – Lover Man, Liane La Havas – Blood

Ivan Trajkovic

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