Verbalisti Interview: Elina Duni – The Leading Albanian Jazz Singer and Language Lover (VIDEO)
Elina Spiro Duni is a Swiss-Albanian jazz singer, born in Tirana, Albania, in May 1981.
Elina made her first steps on stage at the age of five. Born to an artistic family (her mother and grandfather were writers, her other grandfather was a singer, whereas her father was an actor and theatre director), she was exposed early to different types of art. When living in communist Albania, the only opportunity for her was to sing in the “palace of pioneer” (Albanian: Pallati i Pioniereve). 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 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.
We’re talking to Elina about her music, but also about languages since she sings in many different languages. How many actually?