“One needs to be true to himself and his music, even if that means paying the price of unsuccessfulness. One needs to believe in his work in order to succeed.Succeed in creative sense, not in fame. “
Name and surname: Kire Mitrev
Artistic name: KIM
Date of birth: 16.07.1948
Place of birth: Bitola (Bitolj), Macedonia
- 1980. Specialization on “Berklee School of Music, Boston, USA” – score scale, arranging and trombone in class of professor Phil Wilson. Receiver of Quincy Jones scholarship.
- 1968 – 1972. Graduated on the Music Academy, Belgrade, brass section, instrument – trombone, class of professor Vinko Valencic.
- 1964 – 1968. Music high school, Macedonia, main instrument-trombone
- 1960 – 1964. Elementary music school, Bitola, Macedonia, main instrument-trombone
- 1956- 1964. Elementary school, “Kiril and Metodi”, Bitola, Macedonia
From Bitola to Boston
Kire Mitrev is born in the family of music amateurs. His father and grandfather were playing traditional Macedonian instrument – bagpipes, and from them originates his talent and interest for music. Already from age five, he started to play guitar. From age eleven, he started music education in elementary music school with trombone as a main instrument. Performance on guitar and piano lead to formation of his music expression. Performing of traditional Macedonian music in national assembles and cultural societies, he discovered richness of latent harmonies, which Macedonian folklore is abundant with. Performing classical music, he built a stylistic expression inspired with sensibility. From that period, two longer tours are distinguished, as part of national and intercultural exchange: in Bulgaria and Slovenia, on which Kire Mitrev successfully performed as a part of national orchestra KUD “Stiv Naumov” from Bitola.
With his arrival to Belgrade, his musical path and career could be divided into four periods:
I Period (1968-1979.)
With his arrival to studies at the Music Academy in Belgrade, started his wide range of engagements. He cooperated with RTB (Radio Television Belgrade), PGP (Production of gramophone records), and concert agencies. His main engagement in that period was membership at, at the time most well known “Sasa Subota assembly” and later “One I Oni”. Main characteristic of this bend composed of rhythm section and two brass players was high professionalism and competencies to perform the most demanding performances. That included concert tours, festivals, television shows, multiple performances at festival “Pesma Leta”, fashion shows etc. Besides its own music, the assembly followed on concerts Yugoslavia wide, all most famous domestic and foreign singers. Well known are marathon tours across countries of Soviet Union with average of 80 concerts in 3 months. On these concerts there was enormous popularity but as well the country was presented through international exchange with over 1200 concerts. Assembly recorded the complete production of children show that was performed by Minja Subota, Dragan Lakovic and Branko Milicevic-Kockica. The most important period of work of the Sasa Subota assembly was representation of Yugoslavia on the gala Unicef concerts in Paris, Den Haag, Turin, etc. These concerts were shoulder to shoulder with ambassadors of good will and big artists: Danny Kaye, Peter Ustinov, Josephine Becker, Petula Clark, Charles Aznavour, Gigliola Cinquetti, Richi e Poveri, Claudio Villa and other. The assembly was performing humanitarian concerts in front of representatives of countries and king families.
From 1976, he was rewarded status of artist, from the Cultural society in Belgrade.
In this period, he was a member and solist of Big Bend Radio Television Belgrade, conducted by Vojisav Simic and Zvonomir Skerlo. Noticed was his appearance on the Jazz festival in Ljubljana.
II Period (1980-1988)
In the period after specialization at the Berklee School of Music, started his composer and arranging activity with particular interest in the elements of jazz. In order to realize his music ideas, he gathered around the best jazz musicians. That is how “Kim bend” was formed, in which Kire Mitrev was conceptual leader, composer, arranger, trombone player and producer. From the early start, compositions and arrangements were followed by extraordinary positive critique and support of all media. It was evaluated that it is a bend that is seriously trying to find its own style and new music expression. The music group worked as an institution, through which passed many musicians and singers which later inspired by its work and knowledge gained made big steps in their own careers. The style of music which this bend was cultivating could be characterized as jazz-rock, compositions with non-standard form, attractive music sequences followed by the “Berklee modern style” of arrangements. In order to perform the arrangements superior performing techniques were needed, where particularly noticed was brass section. This is the most fruitful period of his composer and arranger creation. Experience that he collected working with all styles of music from classical until jazz, and prestigious schools that he finished helped him to create his own style. Freedom of expression, improvisation and richness of harmonies in modes, (old church scales), became challenge in his later work. In context of close cooperation between TV Belgrade and TV Skopje, and with the aim of promoting Kire Mitrev´s music, TV Skopje made an ambitious, show for Yugoslavian radio television YRT, dedicated to “KIM”. Special guest was eminent macedonian trombonist – Kiril Ribarski. Show had a great success in country and was noted in the competitive part of the TV realization festival in Montreux. “KIM” bend, has been performing with great success on festivals in Yugoslavia and it had concert activity in country as well as abroad, together with extraordinary presence on programs of YRT. It is a receiver of many prestigious awards.
Few years he was a soloist at the unique music theatre on Balkans – “Terazije theater”. This theatre was specific because it held on its repertoire musicals. Musicals that were performed were: “Some like it hot”, “Story about a horse”, Queen of the gypsies, I love my wife, Kiss me Kato.
III Period (1989-1994.)
In this period Kire Mitrev started independent career in West Europe. He became visiting member, arranger and trombonist at famous orchestra from Munich – “John West & Singers” Big Band. This international big band was composed of most eminent European musicians, among which was well renowned trumpeter – Dusko Gojkovic, as well as Benny Bailey and many others. This orchestra performed on the most eminent gala nights in Europe, such as: Berlin film festival, Opera gala in Stuttgart, Zurich fashion festival. Kire Mitrev has with “John West & Singers” Big Band, cooperated with world stars – Donna Summer, Shirley Bassey, La Toya Jackson and many others. For this band, he wrote arrangements, and made a contemporary sound filled with macedonian folklore.
IV Period (2000-2007.)
In this period, Kire Mitrev became visiting professor at Jazz&Rock School in Freiburg, Germany – “Jazz & Rock Schule Freiburg”, working in trombone department and conducting combo bands. This international school is one of six official partners of Berklee School of Music in Boston, USA. This school is cooperating with numerous currently leading musicians in the world. Kire Mitrev, according to his words is proud that besides music education was able to bring closer to students music from these areas. His work in school was marked from student and professor side as being highly professional and it has largely contributed to the development of school in this period. This has been confirmed in the recommendation letter from the school´s artist director – Mr. Bernhard Hofmann.
In cooperation with his student band “Parahraph 10”, from Basel, Switzerland, he received 1st price in Zurich, on the competition of jazz schools, which was organized by “Jazz and Rock School” Zurich. This band has had appearance on the prestigious jazz festival in Montreux, Switzerland.
Regarding 45 years of his artistic performance, Production of gramophone records – PGP RTS, published a CD under name “The best of Kire Mitrev”. Time has shown that statements by conductors Miljenko Prohaska (RT Zagreb) and Joze Privsek (RT Ljubljana), that his music was ahead of time, were absolutely correct. Young musicians and bands are today again discovering, listening and remixing his music.
Few compositions from Kire Mitrev, in new versions are currently on the high positions of existing top lists in country, and are emitted intensively in the media. There are many websites and fun clubs which are complimenting the music with words: “Where were Jamiroquai and Incognito, when Kire was on the throne.”
Artistic works( 1980-1988 year)
- 1980. LP “No, I am really in hurry” – KIM Band, published by PGP RTB, record was sold in Yugoslavia, Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. He is a composer of 6 compositions, arr. of 6 arrangements, soloist on trombone, music producer and band leader.
- 1981. LP “For whom the bell tolls” – KIM Band, published by PGP RTB, record was sold in Yugoslavia, Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. Composer of 8 compositions, arr. of 8 arrangements, soloist on trombone, music producer and band leader.
- 1984. LP “Payed to love” – KIM Band, published by PGP RTB. Composer of 9 compositions, arr. of 9 arrangement, soloist on trombone, music producer and band leader.
- 1986. LP “The best of”- Remake of foreign hits performed by KIM Band, published by PGP RTB. Arranger of 9 arrangements, composer, music producer, and band leader.
- 1983. LP “On the razor edge”- KIM and Dusan Prelevic, published by PGP RTB. Arranger of 8 arrangements, composer of 2 compositions, soloist on trombone and music producer.
- 1982. LP “Thinking about you” – Pet Vita, published by PGP RTB, record was sold in Yugoslavia. Arranger of 5 arrangements, soloist on trombone and music producer.
- Sasa Subota ansamble (1969-1979 year) – 4 LPs published for the institute for publishing of music works “Melodia”, author of few arrangements and soloist on trombone. Few single records recorded in Yugoslavia and Soviet Union.
- Compilations of LP records from the Yugoslavian festivals of popular music (1980-1988.) – composer of 10 compositions and arrangements, performer on trombone.
- Continuous music for Radio Belgrade and radio stations of former Yugoslavia – author of around 100 compositions and arrangements, performer on trombone of various music genres (jazz, rock, pop, children music and other purposes music).
- “Tattooed on heart” – Ljiljana Vid, cassette published by ITMM 1999. year. Composer of 6 compositions, arranger of 10 arrangements, soloist on trombone and music producer.
Music for film and dramas (1983-1986)
- “Far away sky”- TV film, music Ksenija Zecevic, arrangement Kire Mitrev
- “Mouse hunt” – TV Belgrade – Director Zoran Atanaskovic, music and arrangement Kire Mitrev
- “Day, days of Nedzad K.”, TV Sarajevo – Director Dusan Sabo, music and arrangement Kire Mitrev
- Appearance on television shows on Yugoslavian and Serbian radio television and European TV centers year (1969-2000) – About 600 appearances on various occasions (show programs, music television, TV festivals).
Awards and honors
- Score of the year – Awarded to Kire Mitrev for his composition, “Do it your way”- Kim Band, Sarajevo, 1981 by RT Sarajevo. That same year, the same editorial, declared Kire Mitrev for “composer and arranger of the decade”!
- Yugoslavian show business award – Zagreb 1978, awarded by the Yugoslavian association of show business art for significant achievements in creative, social and organizational work – for the expansion and improvement of show business art in Yugoslavia.
- Serbian show business award – Belgrade 1982, awarded by the Serbian association of show business artists and for the improvement show business industry.
- Charter to “KIM” band – Belgrade 1981, awarded by the Association of Musicians and the Serbian pop music.
- 1st price on the Republic competition for Trombone by Music Schools of R. Macedonia – Bitola 1966.
- 1st price on the Republic competition for Trombone by Music Schools of R. Macedonia – Skopje 1967.
- Award for Artist instrumentalist – Belgrade 1976, awarded by the Association of Jazz and popular music of SR Serbia.
- 1st place award for the composition “Yugoslavia” – Kim Band, on the festival of radio big bands, Radenci 1981.
- Award to Kire Mitrev for participation on the children’s music festival, “Do-Re-Mi” – Bitola 1978.
- Acknowledgement to vocal-instrumental “KIM” Bend – Belgrade 1981, awarded by the Federal Secretariat for National Defence.
- Acknowledgement to “KIM” Bend – Split, R. Croatia, awarded by the Board of Pop Music Festival – 1985.
- Prize for TV drama music: “Day, days of Nedžad K.”
“I am glad that my audience comes from all parts of former Yugoslavia and mostly from Serbia and Macedonia. I can proudly say that my music lasts, and I believe that it will last much longer. This is a music that brings people together, and this is the best reward for my continuous work. “
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