Toni & Andrej - Friends Make the Best Music: 64th Musical Evenings at St Donatus

21 Jun 2024

Inspiration runs wild in Zadar, so discovering an impressive calendar of culture throughout the summer shouldn't be a shock. Of particular importance is the Musical Evenings at St Donatus, entering its 64th year in 2024 and as magnificent as it was all the way back in 1961. The lineup of chamber music for this year is delightful, but even in a schedule of splendour, one show stands out.

Friends make the best collaborators, and the combination of keyboardist Toni Starešinić and trumpeter Andrej Jakuš is straight out of a melodious dream. The duo will perform on July 13, the “Sea Suite” program, an ambitious work that documents the development of life from its primal beginnings in the waters of the world. We had the pleasure of chatting with the duo ahead of the big event about their collaboration and the pride of performing in their home city.

Toni & Andrej playing together in Chui

ZIYP: Toni, how did your collaboration with Andrej come about?
Toni: I met Andrej as a musician at the Trianguli Zona concert in Zagreb. That performance left a strong impression on me, especially Andrej’s jazz trumpet performance with various digital effects. Later, the opportunity to work together opened up when my band Mangroove was invited to set the lyrics of Dorta Jagić’s Djetinjaste sobe to music for a compilation produced by Andrej, and on that occasion he was our guest on the trumpet. After that he joined the band, so we recorded the album Trip to the Moon together, and we also started with Chui, with whom we released the first album. We later renewed our cooperation during the recording of the soundtrack album Nesreća.

ZIYP: What are you preparing for the 64th Musical Evenings?
Toni: We will perform the complete Sea Suite, namely the first part of the Sea Suite we released on Chui’s first album, the second part on the Nesreća soundtrack, and for this occasion we will perform for the first time and the third part of the set with the first two, which we will perform in a new, fresh arrangement. The first part told the story about the birth of life in the sea, while the second part told about tragic deaths through the description of shipwrecks. The third movement will unite the circle of life and its infinity through the infinity and eternity of the sea.

ZIYP: You are both from Zadar, how does it feel to perform in your city?
Toni: I think we are both very excited about that performance and we can’t wait to take the people of Zadar on a journey with us, the journey from the sea to Zagreb and through the whole world where we performed and back to the sea. It is certain that today we are not the same people who went out into the world from Zadar, and yet I am sure that a part of Zadar has remained with us the whole time, how much of it, it will be interesting to discover at the concert.



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