Sinan Alimanovic Inernational Band will perform at the Sarajevo War Theater on December 8. Sinan Alimanovic is the founder of the jazz band in which the world’s best jazz musicians perform, and about the expectations from the Sarajevo concert, the new album and plans, Sinan speaks in an interview for the magazine VISIT B&H.
What do you expect from the concert in Sarajevo?
– With the help of the Ministry of Culture of the Sarajevo Canton and the Association of Composers – Music Authors (AMUS), we got the support to bring top jazz artists such as Harvie S – Contrabass (New York) and Vancho Manoilovich – drum (London) to Sarajevo. Together with a team of professionals from Sarajevo, I work on organizing this, in my opinion, a special concert where, for the first time in B&H, the fusion of Bosnian and American jazz in the true sense of the word will occur, so I expect an excellent concert in a good atmosphere.
This year you have promoted the new album “Live in Studio: Bosnian Blue”. How satisfied are you with the album and can we expect your new sound carrier soon?
– I am very pleased with the concert performed at the International Sarajevo Winter Festival, on the basis of which a sound carrier was issued a year later. My band consisted of the contrabassist of HRT Big Band Orchestra Sasa Borovec and a great young drummer with a permanent address in Vienna, Vladimir Kostadinovic, while the guest vocalist was my daughter Lejla Alimanovic, who is a master in the field of jazz and literature relations. The sound carrier ‘Live in Studio: Bosnian Blue’ is a live, concert recording, released with the help of the Ministry of Culture of the Sarajevo Canton, and was promoted in May this year at the Bosniak Institute. The young, Sarajevo painter Safet Begic made a beautiful picture that served as a CD Cover, while Samir Plasto did an excellent album design. The local and regional critics evaluated and rated the album remarkably, which is especially pleasing to me. Already at the beginning of next year, I will be planning a new edition titled “Sinan Alimanovic Trio – Live in Skenderija”.
Sinan Alimanovic International Band is composed of the world’s best jazz musicians, including Harvie S, an American contrabass player and professor at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. You already played with him in New York and Beijing. What’s it like to work with such a great musician?
– It is always a pleasure to work with great and accomplished musicians because they are able to give special energy, so that, as a soloist, I can easily express myself with music. I noticed this a long time ago, as a young man when I was working with world-class musicians such as Dusko Gojkovic, Gianni Basso (who at that time recorded albums for Frank Sinatra), Ladislav Fidri, Joze Privsek, Václav Zahradník, later came Randy Brecker, Alex Blake … Harvey S is a great musician with enormous continuity, but also a good man which additionaly puts our cooperation to a higher level. He has collaborated with artists such as James Brown, Chet Baker, Brock Brecker, Gil Evans … On the other hand, drummer Vancho Manoilovich, a former Sarajevo student has collaborated with the great David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), the legendary groups The Who, Irakere …
You are teaching at the Music Academy in Sarajevo and transfer your love for jazz to new generations. At the beginning of the year, the first student jazz concert was held in the history of the Music Academy in Sarajevo, and later a series of concerts. Do young people in B&H like jazz?
– Not only do they love jazz, but I firmly believe that now we have a new generation of young jazz instrumentalists, who at a very serious level interpret jazz. I think it is very important that they give them an opportunity to develop and build in that direction. I do what is in my capacity so I will take the opportunity to have Harvie S, who has been teaching at one of the most prestigious music schools in the world for more than three decades, the Manhattan School of Music, to hold workshops at the Sarajevo Music Academy.
They call you the ambassador of BH jazz. Thanks to you and your band, the whole world has met Bosnian jazz. How is it to bear that title and does it please you?
– Committed and continuous work is always worth it. I am grateful that my music has found its way and understanding in the region as well as in Europe, America and Asia. I think that the key is that an individual is honestly approaching the job, and the results come sooner or later. It is a great reward when world jazz authorities, those you have learned from, show respect and support for your work. But nothing comes over night, just by working and persistence. Frankly, it makes me feel that the confirmation must always come from outside, so that it will only then be adopted as a fact in B&H.
What are the plans of Sinan Alimanovic International Banda for the future?
– In addition to the announced concert, the promotion of sound carriers ‘Sinan Alimanovic Trio – Live in Skenderija’ is planned. We have calls for a concert tour in South America, the Middle East, a call for a new tour in China, as well as calls for some important jazz festivals in the region.