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Composer and flutist Damjan Krajacic is an artist characterized by “his own style defined by the immediacy, intensity, quality and sophistication of sound” [Cantus Magazine].
A musician of eclectic styles, Damjan’s background spans jazz, latin jazz, and classical training flavored by his own Eastern European heritage. From an early age on, he was drawn to Latin music, partially due to his father — a classical guitarist with a love for Spanish guitar music — but he never lost touch with the great classical tradition of flute playing, either. A native of Zagreb, Croatia, Damjan holds a Master of Music degree in Afro-Latin Music from California State University Los Angeles. His teachers and mentors were the world-renowned flutist Danilo Lozano, with whom he studied charanga, jazz, latin-jazz and classical flute, as well as the award-winning flutist and composer James Newton, with whom he studied jazz. Damjan has performed in jazz concerts and festivals in both the United States and Europe, both as a leader and collaborator, and continues to be active on both continents.
In 2014, Damjan was instrumental in starting the Croatia Flute Academy, a week-long summer flute festival in Karlovac, Croatia. There he served as Artistic Director and Professor of Jazz and Latin-Jazz Flute from 2014-2016, teaching alongside some of the biggest names in the classical and jazz flute community, such as Pierre-Yves Artaud, Trevor Wye, Orlando “Maraca” Valle, and James Newton.
With 7 critically-acclaimed albums under his name, Damjan is a seasoned artist with a mature compositional and stylistic approach that seamlessly combines various musical styles and influences. Damjan’s music ranges from groove-packed latin-jazz to meditative ambient music. His compositions are infused with jazz and classical sensibilities as well as Eastern European rhythms and melodies. They continuously challenge the boundaries and role of the flute in small, improvisatory groups. His jazz quartet album “Visions”, with pianist Matija Dedic, bassist Martin Gjakonovski and drummer John Hollenbeck, was nominated in Croatia in 2015 for the prestigious Porin Award “Best Jazz Music Album”. Damjan currently leads his own latin-jazz quintet “baCLAVE”, with the band debut album released on Nota Bene Records in September of 2020.
In 2006, Damjan started a collaboration with pianist Robert Thies with a release of a crossover improvisatory album “Difference”. This led to two more critically-acclaimed albums for Gentle Rain Records in the Fall of 2012 and 2016: Blue Landscapes and Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries, two collections of original compositions and improvisations. The latter CD won a Global Music Award while the third album of the Blue Landscapes series was released to critical acclaim by Real Music in January of 2020.
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After years of launching some of the world's best in contemporary music, I have gathered a crop of artists who have made incredible strides in the world of modern musical discourse. Everyone on the roster creates a fresh landscape. View my roster and listen to this amazing collection of artists. Each month I will feature a different artist. Here is Tenor Saxophonist Rick Margitza playing with Miles Davis.