Kaja Draksler

Kaja Draksler by Sara Anke

Kaja Draksler (1987) is a Slovenian pianist and composer. After her studies in the Netherlands (BA in jazz piano and MA in classical composition), she decided to stay in Amsterdam, where she is an active member of the improvisors scene, performing extensively all over the Europe. Besides her frequent solo concerts, she has been working regularly with Čudars-Draksler Duo, Feecho, BadBooshBand, and Draksler-Santos Silva duo. She is also one of the founding members of the interdisciplinary group I/O. She recently formed her Octet. As a composer she has been commissioned by various international groups, ranging from vocal and chamber ensembles to big bands and orchestras. Kaja is interested in finding ways to merge the composition and (free) improvisation by working with different structures and musical logics. She is drawn to the idea of erasing the stylistic and historical musical borders, and discovering personal expression and language through composition and improvisation.

“The young Slovenian pianist Kaja Draksler shows off a wealth of sturdy ideas and nonchalant technique on this stunning solo recording.” Peter Margasak, Downbeat, April 2014

“/.../ the young Slovenian pianist Kaja Draksler pulls together information from a century of experimental music and jazz. She also makes rhythm a priority, and reminds you subtly that she knows what she’s doing. /.../ It’s hard, or maybe impossible, to predict where she’s going to take you. That’s not so common from a young musician.” Ben Ratliff, New York Times, December 2013

Selected works:

''The Lives of Many Others'' for solo piano with percussion
recorded on The Lives of Many Others, Clean Feed (2013)

''Delicious Irony'' for solo piano
recorded on The Lives of Many Others, Clean Feed (2013)

''Lovenija'' for a big band
premiered by Italian Instabile Orchestra on EJN General Assembly, Bari, Italy, September 2012

''All Around Me'' for violin, clarinet and vibraphone (2012)
premiered by Looptail on Composers' Festival Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June, 2012

for Kaja Draksler Acropolis Quintet (voice, piano, guitar, electronics, double bass and drums)
to be released on CD Chestnut is the Best Nut
''Army of Drops'' (2009/12)
''Perseo Line''(2011)
''Chestnut is the Best Nut (2012)

for BadBooshBand (piano, double bass, drums)
to be released on CD Best of , ZKP (2013)
''Forrest Road'' (2011)
''Dot'' (2011)
''Južni Otok'' (2012)
''Every one more once'' (2012)
''My Soul is Sexy'' (2012)

''Wronger- Eerier- Stronger than (just a thought)- I recall'' for solo piano (2011/12)
premiered on 53rd Ljubljana Jazz Festival, Slovenia, June 2012
recorded on The Lives of Many Others, Clean Feed (2013)
''To Open'' for a traditional jazz big band (2011)
commissioned by European Movement Jazz Orchestra, premiered on Cairo Jazz Festival, Egypt, March 2011
''Perseus; I: Atlas- II: Andromeda- III: Bis Centrum'' for voice, piano, flute, oboe, violoncello, electric guitar and drum set (Katarchestra) (2010)
premiered on Festival Lent, Maribor, Slovenia, June 2010

''Creation'' for big band with chamber orchestra (2009)
commissioned by Metropole Orchestra  Amsterdam, broadcasted on Dutch National Radio, 2009

''Army of Drops'' for piano, guitar, tuba, drums (2009)
premiered in Concertgebouw Amsterdam, The Netherlands, August 2009

''Impresija'' for traditional jazz big band with two soloists (2008)
commissioned by European Movement Jazz Orchestra
released on CD EMJO Live in Coimbra(Clean Feed, 2011), premiered in Jazz Festival Cerkno, Slovenia, June 2008

''Orpheus and Eurydice'' for accordion and symphonic orchestra (2006)
commissioned by Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, premiered May 2007, released on CD Filharmonika, (SF Records, 2008)

Akropola (2004-2008) for two separate quartets: piano, guitar, tuba, drums and saxophone, piano, double bass, drums
''Sirtaki'', ''Akropola'', ''Meteora'', ''Ugledalo je upanje oko'', ''Olimpija'', written in 2004;
''Jukič in Pukl aka Titovo Velenje'', ''Primer: Uršičeva ali filozofski žolč'', written in 2007
premiered on 49th Jazz Festival Ljubljana, Slovenia, released on CD Akropola, Goga Records (2008)

Selected arrangements:

Turku (2009) - arrangements of Turkish traditional songs for voice, guitar, piano, tuba and drums
''Cay Elinden'', ''Ben Giderim Batuma'', ''Bulbulum Altin Kafeste''
premiered in Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia, November 2009, released on CD Turku, DruGod Records (2009)

''Ne orji ne sejaj'' (2008) - arrangement of Slovenian traditional song for two soloists (alto and bass), choir and symphonic orchestra,
commissioned by Janez Dovč, performed and broadcasted on the national TV on Slovenian Day of Independence, June 2008

Katarchestra (2007) - arrangements of European folk songs for voice, flute, oboe, clarinet, violoncello, acoustic guitar and percussion
''Triccentu Pampini'', ''Abbalati''- Sicilian trad, ''Zreilo je žito'', ''Vsi so venci vejli'', ''Da bi znalo sunce govoriti''- Slovenian trad., ''Laska''- Czech trad., ''Polegnala e Tudora''- Bulgarian trad.
released on CD Katarchestra, Celinka Records (2007), premiered in Festival Lent, Maribor,  Slovenia, June 2007

bend/break solo festival 2017 day 1

14 Sep 2017 - 20:00
Kaja Draksler by ZigaKoritnik

bend/break solo 1

Makiko Nishikaze –  clavics-more 1 (2017) for amplified solo clavichord and tape
Agnes Hvizdalek – abstract vocal music
Charo CalvoPhonobiographie / That Wound
Kaja Draksler – piano