Making a Scene Presents an Interview with Katarina Pejak
Katarina Pejak is a blues singer, songwriter and piano player and a Ruf Records recording artist. She is best known for her eclectic musical approach – her style lives on the crossroads of American music genres such as blues, soul, folk and jazz.
Katarina started performing in her late teens, playing blues clubs in her hometown (Belgrade) and other cities in Serbia. She put out three albums in her home country, “Perfume & Luck”, 2010, and “First Hand Stories”, 2012 and “Old, New Borrowed and Blues”, 2016, a live mini album recorded in 2015.
Though she has been classically trained at piano, she strayed away from classical music found her passion for songwriting and improvised music in her high school years. Through her father’s music collection, she discovered her main influences: Otis Spann, Ray Charles, Tom Waits, Nina Simone, Norah Jones and many others.
In January 2011, she began her studies at Berklee College of Music, where she was admitted on a scholarship. She graduated in May 2014, from the Songwriting major and in her last semester was awarded the Songwriting Achievement Award for her overall success within the department. During her studies at Berklee, she was mentored by the likes of Dave Limina (a long-time keyboardist for blues legend Ronnie Earl), Pat Pattison (an internationally acclaimed lyric writing guru), Scarlet Keys (accomplished song and jingle writer)…
In the summer of 2018, Katarina signed with Ruf Records, a German-based blues label, known best for their cross-over approach, and joined the long list of internationally-acclaimed artists such as Victor Wainwright, Mike Zito, Ana Popovic, Samantha Fish, Bernard Allison and so many others. In 2019, Katarina was a part of the Blues Caravan 2019, a Ruf records travelling show and has played over sixty shows all across Europe.
Her fourth album, “Roads That Cross”, came out in February 2019, and has been listed as one of the 2019 Favorite Blues Albums at allmusic.com. The album was produced by a fellow Ruf records artist, Mike Zito and it features: Laura Chavez (guitar), Lonnie Trevino (bass), Damien Llanes (drums) and Mike Zito (guest guitar and vocals, co-writer of “Nature Of My Blues”.
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