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Slovenian jazz composer hits the right note in New York

New York, 19 June - The New York-based Slovenian drummer, educator and composer Žan Tetičkovič has created quite a buzz with the US premiere of his awarded project Port of Life at the National Sawdust in New York.

ZDA, New York.
Slovenian drummer, educator and composer Žan Tetičkovič launches Port of Life project in New York.
Photo: Robi Poredoš/STA

Tetičkovič, who was accompanied on stage by ten musicians, including two Slovenians, Marko Črnčec on the piano and Jan Kus on the saxophone, performed the narrative dedicated to immigration and acculturation on Saturday.

Through eight parts, Port of Life examines the phases of his personal journey to find and establish a space for himself in the new culture. The launch was accompanies by Tetičkovič's story in photographs by Andrej Lamut.

"We had only launched the album in Slovenia before. It took me five years to write the music, which is based on my experience as an immigrant," Tetičkovič said on the sidelines of Saturday's event.

The piece has earned the artist, whose stage name is Jean John, the award for the best retrospective composition from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), which he welcomed with open hands as it "allows me to focus more easily just on my music".

Michael Spudic of the ASCAP said that "we want him to stay in New York as long as he wants to". He added that "numerous other very good Slovenian jazz musicians have worked in New York, which is quite impressive".

Tetičkovič graduated from New York's New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in 2015. He has received a number of awards and has performed at renowned festivals and venues.

He draws inspirations for his compositions from global issues and is currently composing his first climate change classical symphony. He has also been commissioned by a Slovenian national theatre to compose an opera about islamophobia, Alamut, which is set to premiere in 2020.

Tetičkovič plans to release his second record, with a trio featuring pianist Aaron Diehl and bassist Russell Hall, in 2017.

© STA, 2017