Damir Mazrek, musician – percussionist
My father’s wish for me was to play accordion. As soon as I started listening to Guns n Roses I quit my accordion clasess where I had to play Slovenian folk songs.
I was always taping on all differend objects around me, making some grooves that I carried deep inside and exploring differend sounds around the living environment.
Not knowing anything about rich percussion cultures around the world I bought myself bongo drums when I visited Vienna for the first time in my life. While I was taping on my drums around the neighborhood I found out that a friend of a friend is visiting some percussion workshops that happened to be directly in my home town. He introduced me to his teacher and that is how my musical journey started back in 1996 inspired by my first percussion teacher Nino Mureškič.
I learned some West African grooves and after a few months I joined Nino’s percussion group Afir Bafir.
We were playing concerts around the country and I had a chance to explore different world percussions instruments and languages. Later on I found out that my grandfather was a tapan player ( the big drum played around the Balkans) and his brother was one of the best clarinet players in the area. Having Gypsy roots from my father’s side I always felt connected to various Oriental and Balkan music styles and I felt a powerful passion for flamenco music.
Around the year 2000 I took a trip to Rotterdam, where I visited Codart Music University , I wanted to find out some information about the program, teachers exams etc. Somehow I did not feel that it was a right path for me and also money problems turned me away from living and studying in Rotterdam. So there my personal musical research started. From there I went to explore music in the heart of all musical traditions that I felt connected to.
Several travels to Spain, West Africa, India, Turkey and the rest of the Balkan countries gave me an opportunity to study with different masters of their kind. I was able to participate at many rituals, ceremonies, festivals, workshops individual classes and also in many projects.
Creating some authentic musical expression with the knowledge of African polirhythmic, Indian konakol, intertwined with Balkan and flamenco rhythmic and of course a bit of funky hip hop from my teenages years gave me an opurtunity to collaborate in different projects and artists from various musical legacies.