Guitarist Dejan 'Deyo' Rafailovic hails from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the ethnic conflict in his country would make his family flee, never to return. He gained his first musical experiences during his refugee years in Croatia, by touring with the local wedding/funeral orchestra as a trombone player, but soon realized it was the guitar that really captured his imagination.

 

In Canada Deyo continued to pursue music, eventually joining Montreal based Eastern-European gypsy band Les Gitans de Sarajevo, with whom he was featured on their Juno Award nominated album En Voyage. He holds a degree in Jazz Performance from Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba, under direction of a renowned American bass player Steve Kirby and with one of Winnipeg's finest guitarists Laurent Roy as his mentor. Deyo has performed in various settings at numerous outdoor festivals and bar shows and was recorded several times by CBC. His self-produced 2011 debut trio record Balkan Folk Talesdisplays his cunning compositional skills and a unique and mature instrumental voice, heavily influenced by the traditional folk sounds of his native Balkans, albeit in an acoustic jazz trio format.

 

Deyo's Balkan heritage and various influences he absorbed while constantly on the move are evident in his unique and eclectic guitar and compositional style. He is fluent in variety of musical genres and chooses both nylon acoustic and hollow body electric guitar as his voice. He now resides in Ottawa with his wife and son, where he remains active on the local jazz scene.

© 2016 Dejan Rafajlovic

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