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Q & A with Nevena Djordjevic

How old were you when you first started playing?

I've loved music since I was born! My dad was a very talented musician and his influence and support were important to me. I've been singing at many festivals and competitions since I was six years old. At the age of nine I asked my parents to enroll me in music school. I lived in a small town so I went to the school alone, knocked on the door and enrolled for piano lessons. Two years later I took my first formal voice lesson.

Where did you go to music school? What's your degree in? What did you study there?

I graduated from Berklee College Of Music with a degree in Professional Music Education with a concentration on Contemporary Writing and Production. At Berklee I studied harmony, ear training, studio recording, composition, vocal technique and many more classes. Prior to Berklee I studied Jazz Performance at the University of Music in Belgrade, Serbia. I also went to a high school for the arts.

What are your favorite kinds of music to play and why?

I choose and appreciate music by its quality and purpose. Honest music that shares complex emotions will most likely be in my repertoire.

What are some of the musical styles you teach?

I teach pop, rock, jazz, blues, musical theatre and world music genres. There's something for every student!

Where are some of the places you've performed?

I've been performing at big concert venues back in Europe. Since I came to Boston I've had many solo performances at Berklee Performance Center and clubs around the area. Recently I had an amazing experience performing at Saint John the Divine Cathedral in New York for Paul Winter's Solstice.

Who are some of your favorite bands and musicians?

 There are so many but I'll mention a few of them: Dianne Reeves, Gregory Porter, Whitney Houston, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Earth, Wind & Fire and Peter Gabriel.

What are your other musical pursuits and accomplishments?

I'm a versatile artist who's interested in all spheres of music and arts! I also work at a music studio as an engineer, I perform live concerts and I volunteer as a music therapist. When I lived in Europe I was a finalist on First Voice. I've used my stardom back home to promote my long term goal of providing music therapy for underprivileged families in Serbia.

What are some of your artistic goals?

To share my love and experience through music with people who need it. I want to make other people happy and have a positive impact on their lives.

Tell us about your sound clips:

1) "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys was recorded recently by my new band. 2) "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen is an acoustic version Nikola (the guitarist and my boyfriend) and I made for our little friend who suffers from a serious disease. 3) “Lilac” by Tigran Hamasyan is one of my favorite songs to play on the piano. 4) "After You're Gone" is a jazz standard from 1918. I made this recording for the Sarah Vaughan voice competition.

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