DIMITRIJE VASILJEVIĆ is a Serbian jazz composer and pianist from Belgrade who lives and works in New Orleans, USA. He has been portrayed as “a strong jazz player with an impressive vocabulary and a powerful modern improvisor who shows promise that he will be a new voice in modern jazz” (Tony Germain – Berklee College of Music). Vasiljević is an author who innovatively combines in his music American jazz, European classical heritage and traditional Serbian music.
Vasiljević graduated from Faculty of Music in Belgrade (2006) and from Berklee College of Music, Boston (2010). He earned his master’s degree in jazz piano from New York University Steinhardt, New York (2013) and his DMA degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2017). Prior to becoming an assistant professor at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, where he currently resides and works, he taught as an adjunct professor at NYU Steinhardt, and was a teaching assistant at University of Illinois.
Vasiljević has performed throughout Europe and America as an active jazz solo pianist, but also with his own jazz trio/quartet/quintet. Some of the prestigious venues where he held concerts include Carnegie Hall (New York), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), UN Headquarters (New York), Krannert Center (Urbana), Montreux palace (Montreux, Switzerland), etc. In 2008, he won the third jury prize and the audience prize at the world-renowned Montreux Solo Jazz Piano Competition, as the only Serbian musician to ever have achieved this. The same year he also received the Jazz Performance Award from Berklee College of Music, and the following year the Piano Department Achievement Award from the same institution. In 2014, Tesla Science Foundation in New York City awarded him with a Recognition of Achievement for his contribution in promoting the life and legacy of Nikola Tesla through his music, and in particular for his piece Wardenclyffe, dedicated to the renowned scientist. The same year he won Creative and Performing Arts Fellowship from University of Illinois. A year later, Vasiljević was a finalist in two big jazz competitions, namely Luminarts Jazz Competition in Chicago and Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship. He has performed with renowned jazz artists such as Joe Lovano, Chris Potter, Brad Shepik, Victor Garcia, and many others.
In addition to his composing/performing and teaching careers, Vasiljević also scores music for films (There Has to Be More Than This, Tierra Utopia) and is one of the founding members of Music Defying Boundaries, American non-profit organisation dedicated to engaging individuals with experimental electronic and improvised music through education, performance, and documentation. For 5 years, he was also on the faculty of Blue Mountain Chamber Music Festival summer camps in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Vasiljević has already released three albums (The Path of Silvan; Metaphor; Accidental Nomad) and is a Ropeadope Records artist. He is a member of American Jazz Education Network (JEN), and a curiosity is that Vasiljević is the first and so far the only one to hold a DMA degree in jazz piano from Serbia.