Verbalists interview: Elina Duni, a leading Albanian jazz singer and language lover (VIDEO)

Elina Duni with Verbalists Language Network

Elina Spiro Duni is a Swiss-Albanian jazz singer, born in Tirana, Albania, in May 1981.

Elina was born in Tirana, Albania, to an artistic family and made her first steps on stage at the age of five. Her mother and grandfather were writers, her other grandfather was a singer, whereas her father was an actor and theater director.

In 1992, she settled in Geneva, Switzerland along with her mother. Between 2004 and 2008, she studied singing and composition at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern, in the jazz department. During this time she developed the Elina Duni Quartet, which represented a return to her musical sources – a combination of Balkans folk songs and jazz.

Between 2004 and 2008, she studied singing and composition at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern, in the jazz department. During this time she develops the Elina Duni Quartet with Colin Vallon on piano, Patrice Moret on double bass and Norbert Pfammatter on drums, which represents a return to her musical sources, a combination of Balkans folk songs and jazz.

In 2008, the CD Baresha, the first album of the Elina Duni Quartet, was released on Meta Records. This first musical departure with her quartet received marvelous acclaims from the German and Swiss press and is followed by European tours and festivals.

In February 2010, the second album of the Quartet Lume, Lume (World, World) was released on Meta Records.

In 2011, Elina Duni was a guest in the album “Melanchology” (Universal) by French pianist and composer André Manoukian.

In 2017, Elina Duni was one of the recipients of the Swiss Music Prize and started two new projects:

  • A duo with the highly acclaimed london guitarist Rob Luft.
  • “Aksham” a quintet featuring pianist Marc Perrenoud and trumpet player David Enhco.

The project entitled “Partir,” featuring Elina Duni as a soloist (accompanying herself on piano, acoustic guitar and percussion), has been released on record in April 2018 on ECM.

We are talking to Elina about her music, but also about languages since she sings in many different languages. How many actually?

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