Sunday night headliner: Alexander Zonjic

Flutist Alexander Zonjic is GRandJazzFest 2014’s Sunday-night headliner. Zonjic started as a guitarist but the story goes that at age 21, when home on hiatus from a rock tour, a stranger on the street who had seen him play guitar offered him a flute for $50. Zonjic got it for $9. He auditioned with it for the new University of Windsor music program and got in on a probationary basis, and that’s where he started his classical training.

Over the years, Zonjic has performed with orchestras nationwide, including The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, The Windsor Symphony Orchestra, The Florida Symphony Orchestra and many others. On the jazz side, while playing at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit, Zonjic met Bob James, who asked the young flutist to join his band. The collaboration began a decade’s worth of international touring in the 1980s and two recordings in the 1990s.

His Warner Brothers debut, Neon (1990), featured James and Earl Klugh and was produced by Kirk Whalum. Zonjic’s 1993 follow-up, Passion, which featured vocalist Angela Bofill, was an investigation of several musical periods and styles. Zonjic began recording in 1978 with a self-titled project that featured everything from Beatles tunes to jazz standards. Other recordings in his catalog include Elegant Evening (1982), Romance with You (1984) and When Is It Real (1987). (More at http://zonjic.com.)

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