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Davor Kajfes

DAVOR KAJFES: Pianist, composer and teacher was born in 1934, in Zagreb, Croatia. He graduated in the Academy of Music in Zagreb in 1964, but his professional playing experience dates back to 1957, when he began performing with the Zagreb Radio-TV Big Band. While with the big band, he composed for the worldly known Zagreb Film Company and various TV shows. In 1959, he joined the Zagreb Jazz Quartet and quickly thereafter became its leader. In the period that followed, he toured with the quartet in Europe and the USSR, and played and recorded with: Art Farmer, Buck Clayton, Csaba Dese, Helen Humes, Big Joe Turner, T-Bone Walker, Albert Mangelsdorff, Red Mitchell, and other prominent jazz musicians and singers.

Since 1967, Davor has been a resident of Stockholm, Sweden, where he performed among others with Swend Asmussen and Alice Babs. With her he also made a record “Simple Isn’t Easy”. His daily work was devoted to the University College of Dance and Choreography, where he has been teaching, playing and composing for dance (modern and jazz) for more than 30 years. Additional composing and performances included the TV ballet “Balanse” with W. Nicks as choreographer, and the TV production “Choreographer is Improvising” with P. Christopher. On his many visits to his native city Zagreb, he played in many concerts, jazz clubs, and made various recordings at the radio, TV Zagreb and CD productions.

Most important performances were in 1979, at the Monterey Jazz Festival with trio and “BP Convention” group. In 1995-96, he played piano duo with John Lewis in a performance in Stockholm, Sweden.

Some of his more important compositions are: Davor’s Blues, Degression, Ornaments, Boogie Balkanique, Eftertanke, Collision (1974 won the prize at the “Concours International de Composition de themes de Jazz-Monaco”). Working with dance in various forms was and still is his main preoccupation,, but occasionally he is returning to his lifetime passion, the music of jazz. Nowadays, he is working with composer/cellist Peter Schuback. Their CD “Impositions” was released in 2002.

Selected discography:
“With Pain I Was Born” Zagreb Jazz Quartet (Fontana LP)
“Jazz Greetings from The East” (Fontana LP)
“Animal Dance” John Lewis/Albert Mangelsdorff/Zagreb Jazz Quartet (Collectables CD-6253)
“Meeting in the Studio: Davor Kajfes , Bosko Petrovic and various Soloists (PGP-TRG LP)
“Feel So Fine” Buck Clayton, Joe Turner (Black Iron LP, CD)
“Simple Isn’t Easy” Alice Babs sings John Lewis and Red Mitchell compositions (Bluebell of Sweden LP)
“Follow Me” Davor Kajfes & Bosko Petrovic duo (Jugeton LP)
“The Last Session” Zagrebacki Jazz Kvartet (Jugeton LP)
“The Zabreb Jazz Quartet” (Jugeton LP)
“The Best of the Zabreb Jazz Quartet” (Croatia records LP)
“The Zagreb Jazz Quartet in Concert (Jazzette CD)
“Zabreb 900” John Lewis, Zabrebacki Jazz Kvartet and Zabreb Soloist (Jazzette CD, 1995)
“Hrvatski Jazz Sabor” (Croatia records CD)
“Impositions” Davor Kajfes & Peter Schuback (Nosag CD)

Click on titles for more info.
Title Category Score Parts Time Listen
Balanse - ** - ** -
Davor's Blues - ** - ** -
E-4 - ** - ** -
Earthy Talk - ** - ** -
Fairy Tale For Goran - ** - ** -
Ornaments - ** - **
Silversides - ** - ** -
Three Golden Apples - ** - ** -

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