Pianist and Composer
CD RELEASE: DIMITRIJE VASILJEVIC, METAPHOR
Metaphor is a contemporary jazz solo piano album influenced by classical music aesthetics and a touch of Balkan traditions. Compelling original compositions radiate a vivid blend of artistic virtuosity and a delicate music thought which send the listener on a musical journey filled with varying emotions.
French pianist Jean-Michel Pilc praises the album with words “astonishing virtuosity, unique personality and straight to your heart sensibility. Dimitrije has it all and is a new force to reckon with. I am a fan.”
The album brings a fresh treatment of solo piano as a device of compositional expression. Through the clear presentation of somewhat dreamy yet confident celebration of piano sound, Metaphor successfully blends modern jazz language, impressionistic harmonies and Balkan rhythms.
“Living in a loud and fast world of modern age, people tend to neglect the obvious and skip the present, chasing the phantoms of somewhat delusional future. In such a setting, the metaphors of timeless virtues smolder in the ether of reality, reminding us about our true nature and indigenous spirit”, said Dimitrije Vasiljevic, explaining the title of his new record.
The album features eight original jazz solo piano compositions, seven of which recorded and produced at Oktaven Audio studio in New York, while one, “The Love Is Out There” recorded at the live performance in Montreux Jazz Festival where Vasiljevic debuted it. “Metaphor” was produced by LeitmotivArts.
The opening track, “Wardenclyffe”, pulls in the audience with its strong and passionate texture at the very introduction, while painting a musical portrait of Nikola Tesla. And then there’s “Sacre-Coeur” a beautiful track that evokes footsteps of the cobblestones of Paris. “Ditto” and “Anima” are insightful picturesque dedications in which Vasiljevic wistfully depict the complexity of individual characters. Mysterious “Ellipsis” and moderately discreet “Far” introduce a contrasting mood which suggest composer’s tendency for the exploration of strong melodic passages. And finally, “Tronozhats”, a traditional Montenegrin three-legged stool, metaphorically refers to the piano, Vasiljevic’s roots and traditions which inspire and influence his music expression.
Through a wide palette of moods and colors, the album brings a lyrical story about a search for inner worlds and their emotional vigor using the power of jazz in a very personal way. Stunning cover artwork alludes to the infinite movement and ebbs and flows of emotions present in Vasiljevic’s music.
Dimitrije Vasiljević is a New York-based award-winning pianist and composer who has been hailed by jazz masters as one of the most promising names in the jazz world. His is a new voice combining the gentle flavor of European jazz with intricate musical landscapes full of exotic rhythms and sophisticated harmony. This multi-talented pianist is today among the most exciting new artists on the NYC jazz scene.
From his native Serbia, where he was a member of prominent jazz ensembles and performed extensively throughout Europe, Dimitrije’s journey has taken him to Berklee College of Music in Boston where he received a number of prestigious awards including the Jazz Performance Award and Piano Department Achievement Award. Dimitrije then completed his master’s degree in Jazz Performance at NYU where he was also an adjunct professor of jazz. He will begin studies for a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Jazz Division of the University of Illinois School of Music in the fall this year.
Dimitrije is performing extensively at renowned jazz clubs and concert halls in New York City and in spring 2014, he had a very successful debut at Carnegie Hall, as well as concerts in United Nations and Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. In April 2013, he released his debut album as a leader “The Path of Silvan” consisting entirely of his original compositions. Prior to moving to New York City, Dimitrije has headlined performances at many jazz venues and festivals in Europe among which are the Norrtelje Jazzdagar (Sweden), the Miskolc and the Bohem Jazz Festivals (Hungary), the Gmunden Festival (Austria) and the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), where in 2008 he was selected as one of twelve finalists to compete at the prestigious “Montreux Solo Jazz Piano Competition” – and won both third jury prize and the audience prize. Dimitrije performed with the jazz greats such as Joe Lovano, Chris Potter, Marko Djordjevic, Klemens Marktl and Brad Shepik.
Dimitrije Vasiljević’s music can be described as an original music mixture that incorporates modern jazz and traditional Balkan music resulting in a perfect synthesis of modern jazz and world music. Drawing on mythology and the past for his inspiration, Dimitrije seamlessly combines his talents as pianist, composer and arranger to create his original musical expression and contemporary sound.
“Iridescent and captivating. A cascade of weaving twists and turns.”
All About Jazz
“Dimitrije is a rare example of a musician whose qualities – sensibility, virtuosity, harmonic and melodic invention – all converge towards the same point: a music of deep and rewarding beauty. His latest CD is a brilliant demonstration of music making at the highest level.”
“Imaginative, harmonically intriguing music that centers around personal grooves.
Expressive, emotionally charged compositions in which modern jazz meets the music of the Balkans. Tight, attentive interplay within the quartet. Congratulations, very nice, heartfelt music!”
“Dimitrije’s debut recording, “The Path of Silvan” features brilliantly balanced, intricate writing and pithy solos throughout; a compelling and vibrant musical vision.”
“Dimitrije captures the heart of Serbia with a jazz soul. His compositions are thoughtful and personal and his playing evokes his great respect for the masters”
“Dimitrije Vasiljevic has lots of wonderful musical energies and his enthusiasm is boundless.”
“Dimitrije is a strong modern player with an impressive vocabulary”
Tony Germain on behalf of Piano Department at Berklee College of Music, Boston
“Powerful modern improviser, shows promise that he will be a new voice in modern jazz”
Tony Germain on behalf of Jazz Performance Division at Berklee College of Music
Online Jazz Piano: DIMITRIJE VASILJEVIC´- an interview @ Mark Polishook Studio