Amala ("Friends") was established by bass player, teacher, and composer Imer Traja Brizani, who has Romany roots (his ancestors are from Kosovo). Before establishing the group, he had played conventional jazz, Latin, pop and funk with numerous musicians in Slovenia and abroad. Amala, which performs a mix of gypsy and jazz music, has played at several jazz/world music festivals in Slovenia and has also performed in Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Ukraine, Macedonia, and Austria. The band has also appeared in concert at Cankarjev dom Culture and Congress Centre with Esma Redžepova, the queen of gypsy music, backed by a classical orchestra, pitting tradition against the modern.
Releases and projects
Amala has released two studio CDs: Gypsy Music (1996/1997) and Dudum (2000). Many of their concert performances have also been released as live CD recordings.
The latest big project by Imer Traja Brizani was the creation of the Slovene-Romany musical Stekleno jabolko [The Glass Apple] performed by an international group of singers and instrumentalists in Cankarjev dom in April 2009.
In 2010 Imer Traja Brizani presented his thesis defence for his doctorate from the Department of Musicology, University of Ljubljana about his father, Romany musician Uka Brizani, a trumpeter and important force in the musical life of Prishtina from 1953 to 1987.