Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Stage Guitar by Hill Guitar Co.!

Hi Friends,

I wanted to share some exciting news in the world of guitars! My dear friend and luthier extraordinaire, Mr. Kenny Hill from the Hill Guitar Co., is currently working on a stage guitar! This is something Kenny and I have been talking about for quite sometime and it is very exciting to know it is in the works. I told him I needed something loud with a beautiful sound for live concerts and when I play with bands. Check out this picture of the prototype!

I will be demonstrating this new guitar at the 2011 NAMM Show in Anaheim. Stop by the Hill Guitar Co. Booth if you want to check it out!

Anaheim NAMM Show 2011
January 13 - 16
Anaheim Convention Center

Hall E
Booth 1418

See you there,

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

AlmaNova CD's: Great Holiday Gifts!!!!

Dear Friends!

Give the gift of music this year! AlmaNova's three exciting CD's are available for purchase just in time for the holidays!

AlmaNova "Debut"
AlmaNova "Classic Giuliani"
AlmaNova "After Hours"

CLICK HERE to buy your copies today!

Sheet music also available!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Almer and Jessica

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

AlmaNova in Santa Monica: Dec. 12, 2010

Special Showing for the Holidays!
International, Whimsical and Local Pieces
Artist’s Unique Boutique Items for Great Gifts!!




900 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 315
Santa Monica, CA 90401

November 7, 2010 – January 15, 2011
Monday – Friday 9am – 6pm

Open House and Reception
Sunday, December 12th
RSVP 310.434.2400

AlmaNova plays in Santa Clara this Saturday!

Dear Friends,

Please join us for a very special performance of our 'Balkan' repertoire this Saturday at the De Saisset Museum on the Santa Clara University campus. Our performance will conclude the 4th Annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian-American Academy Meeting. This is a free performance that is open to the general public!!! Please join us!

Here are the details:
Saturday, Dec. 4th, 2010
De Saisset Museum

Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

FREE and open to the public!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Great Teachers, Almer interviewed by Sean McGowan

Almer Imamovic

By Sean McGowan
Photo Credit: Almin Zrno
Bosnian guitarist Almer Imamovic is part of a new generation of progressive classical guitarists who inform their playing and teaching with influences from inside and outside classical music traditions. Like many contemporary classical artists, Imamovic understands the relevance of folk styles, jazz, flamenco, and even rock, integrating them into his arrangements and performance style. Imamovic’s musical diversity crosses many stylistic and international borders: he has performed with the London Mozart Players, the Sarajevo Philharmonic, Bosnian pop star Al’Dino; played solo jazz guitar in Paris cafes; and worked as a studio guitarist.

Imamovic’s teaching style reflects this diverse, multicultural approach. His broad range of experience has helped shape his teaching philosophy and the cultivation of open-mindedness, uniqueness, and musical expression in his students.

Born in Foca, Bosnia, Imamovic began playing guitar at age seven, and later engaged in serious study under renowned teacher Mila Rakanovic. With Rakanovic, Imamovic received extensive instruction in the Italian tradition with a focus on musicality and artistic expression. Later, he studied at the École Normale de Musique de Paris and earned a master’s degree from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Now living in the US, Imamovic is continuing his graduate studies at the University of Southern California under Scott Tennant, who taught him the importance of open-mindedness in becoming a complete musician. Imamovic credits Tennant and others with being part of a “new school of classical guitarists” who incorporate many different methods, in addition to classical guitar technique, to articulate their ultimate musical expression.

One difference between guitar pedagogy in Bosnia and in the US is the time devoted to lessons. In Bosnia, if a young person showed interest in an artistic discipline, he could enroll in a state-funded school that fostered arts education to a greater degree than schools in the US. Imamovic, who spent two or more hours of every school day studying guitar in Bosnia, wishes students in the US could devote more time to arts studies. Most Americans are accustomed to taking a single weekly music lesson. In that amount of time Imamovic finds it difficult to accomplish as much as he wants with serious students and encourages them to meet two or three times a week for a minimum of an hour. The fast pace of life in the US has moved Imamovic to caution parents of younger students against saturating their children’s schedules, since music demands a considerable amount of time spent practicing at home, not just at the lesson.

Many guitar teachers in Bosnia, especially before the war years in the mid-1990s, held state-funded, salaried positions at schools such as the one Imamovic attended. Imamovic points out how teachers acted as cultural role models throughout the war’s darkest days. He relates stories of how teachers continued lessons and student recitals, even during times of frequent bombing or sniper attacks. Under such conditions, Imamovic stresses the importance of art and music in keeping a community’s spirit alive.

Imamovic’s own guitar teacher, Mila Rakanovic, was once a victim of cross fire on her way to teach a lesson and sustained permanent arm damage. “Her bravery and care for her students above all was limitless and continues to inspire me now,” he says. “From her, I learned never to give up on your students.”

Imamovic once served a three-month residency in England teaching group lessons to people who had suffered serious brain trauma. As part of therapy, they could choose between two hours of art or classical guitar a day.

His residency culminated in a concert featuring patients in duo and ensemble formats—remarkable considering many had deficiencies in memory and communication skills. “I remember the joy in their eyes,” Imamovic recalls. “It was a fantastic day, and one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever been part of. I felt proud that I helped bring some happiness to them through music. As a teacher, it’s extremely important to support your students and let them know you’re always there for them.”

“By the time I was 15,” Imamovic recalls, “I had played several times on television and traveled to other countries performing in guitar ensembles of all sizes.” He provides similar experiences for his students.

“When your students play in ensembles, they learn to be professional in a performance situation. They learn how to listen, to play with others, and to be connected to the music and with each other, and it definitely improves their reading. These experiences are unforgettable because the students become part of a community. This is what I’d like them to experience.”

To this end, Imamovic places great emphasis on student recitals with his current students. He believes in the pragmatic application of lesson material and prepares his students for several recitals throughout the year.

“I always like to have a recital ending a session or season,” says Imamovic. “After that, we can open new doors and work on new concepts to prepare for the next one. That way, students stay focused and have something to work toward. Plus, it makes them feel comfortable performing because they’re doing it regularly. I always perform with them as well, so it’s a collaborative effort.”

Finally, Imamovic emphasizes keeping lessons fresh by constantly introducing new repertoire that resonates with each student. “There is so much great material out there now,” he says. “I don’t necessarily subscribe to the older tradition of having students learn the same pieces with the same fingerings and perfecting them for the next ten years. I prefer to constantly expand the repertoire to help the student find a unique voice through diversity of material.”

Rather than strictly adhering to standard material from Carcassi to Tarrega to Bach, Imamovic gives his students pieces from different cultural sources as well as contemporary guitar music from new composers. Imamovic believes strongly in players creating their own unique repertoire that reflects their personality. “As my teacher in Bosnia used to say,” he remembers, “‘If you copy somebody, you’re always going to be a very bleached copy—you’ll never be original.’”

Almer’s Advice
The Third-Week Challenge

Although he favors a casual lesson atmosphere, Imamovic uses this technique to prevent lessons from becoming predictable. “Even with very talented students, you need to maintain a focus,” he says. “So, usually around the third week of the month, sometimes randomly, I become tough and really push them. Maybe I’ll force them to sight-read or give them a very demanding piece. They will usually start practicing harder and perform better in the next lesson. You have to be tough, but also fair, and give them a break from time to time.”

To hear audio samples or purchase recordings by Almer Imamovic, visit his website:

From Guitar Teacher Magazine

Friday, November 12, 2010

CALIFORNIAN: AlmaNova duo mixes business with pleasure

CALIFORNIAN: AlmaNova duo mixes business with pleasure

By CHARLES HAND - For The Californian North County Times - Californian | Posted: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 4:42 pm |

Jessica Pierce was an average American girl, no more interested in becoming a flutist than any other girl, probably. So, how she ended up a graduate of the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, married to and touring with a Bosnian guitarist she met by accident and with whom she will perform as the Alma Nova duo in the Nov. 7 installment of Classics at the Merc is something of a tale.

Even Pierce's decision to take up the flute when she joined her middle school band was an accident. She just liked the instrument. A supportive family and quality teachers helped.

"I was lucky to have very good teachers," Pierce said.

It was not until she was in college that she decided on a career as a musician, however. Her flute teacher was French and recommended the Ecole Normale de Musique, which fit well with her studies in French as a college student, as well as her interest in the flute.

Not that she was otherwise prepared for what followed.

Without knowing exactly what she would do to set up a life in France beyond a friend of a family friend who could offer a place to live for a couple of weeks, Pierce headed for Paris.

"It's something I don't think I would do now," she says today, a repatriated San Diego resident and holder of master's and doctorate degrees from USC.

On the other hand, the presence of her husband, Almer Imamovic is anything but accidental, even if their relationship was. They were introduced by a mutual friend on the Ecole Normal de Musique campus on a day when neither had a class ---- they had no classes together in any case ---- and were at the school on other business.

Almer Imamovic was a student of the classical guitar who came to music through a route no less serendipitous than Pierce's. As a 7-year-old, he had an opportunity to take up the accordion, a very popular instrument in his native Sarajevo.

His mother talked him into the guitar instead.

"My mother said the guitar was cooler," Imamovic said.

By 10 years of age he had put together a rock-and-roll garage band that occasionally did gigs, mostly for free, but sometimes paid. They played larger and larger festivals as they got better and better. That the band played rock is not as odd as it may seem.

"Bosnia was the center of rock," Imamovic said.

At the same time, he studied classical guitar. On the electric guitar, he played rock. But he owned a classical guitar and studied it as well.

Unfortunately, that guitar was at home when the Bosnian war broke out and he was in high school and could not get home. For four years he could not practice classical guitar and was on the verge of giving it up when he finished high school.

Those four years are considered essential time in the development of young guitarists, a time when muscles are easily trained, when information is easily absorbed. His family thought his future lay in electrical engineering anyway. But, in one year of four-hour-a-day practices, he recovered his skill on the classical guitar.

At the end of that year, he auditioned for the Ecole Normal de Musique and won a full scholarship to the renowned school, where he studied all four of the major classical guitar styles.

When they graduated, Pierce and Imamovic headed in different directions, he to England to focus on the English style of classical guitar and she to San Diego where she enrolled at USC to finish her musical education.

When Imamovic finished his studies in England, he joined Pierce in California and they began performing together.

And Imamovic began composing in yet another serendipitous turn of events. One day he did a bit of improvisational composition during a performance and afterward was approached to write it down and to compose more. To make a long story short, he did and today is published around the world.

His compositions are drawn from the folk tunes of his native land. Some of them will be incorporated into this weekend's performance at the Merc, along with classical works by Beethoven contemporary Giuliani, by one of the few composers who wrote for flute and guitar, Astor Piazolla, and numbers from their CDs.

Their first recording, 'Debut', is of works by Imamovic.

It was recently named best instrumental album of 2009 and one of the cuts named best instrumental song of 2009 by the largest worldwide organization of independent musicians.

Their second CD, 'Classic Giuliani' was presented the 2008 Critic's Choice award by American Record Guide.

Classics at the Merc

3 p.m. Nov. 7

The Merc, Old Town Temecula Community Theater, 42051 Main St., Temecula

$11 general, $5 students with ID


By CHARLES HAND - For The Californian North County Times - Californian

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

AlmaNova in Altadena: Wednesday, Oct. 27th

Dear Friends,

Please join us for a memorable night of music at the legendary Coffee Gallery Backstage!!! AlmaNova will be performing with percussionist-extraordinaire, Matt Hillegass. It will be a great night of exciting music...hope to see you there!
Help support local live music!!!!!

Here are the details:



The Coffee Gallery Backstage
2029 N. Lake Ave.
Altadena, CA 91001
Reservations/Information: (626)794-2424

Friday, October 1, 2010

Concerts in October: Bay Area and Southern California Performances!

We hope you can join us!

Wednesday, October 13th
12 noon
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara, CA

Thursday, October 14th
Concerts at Old St. Hilary's
Tiburon, CA

Sunday, October 24th
Epiphany Music Guild
Oak Park, CA

Wednesday, October 27th (with Matt Hillegass, percussion)
The Coffee Gallery Backstage
Altadena, CA

Friday, September 17, 2010

Review of "After Hours" in SOUNDBOARD Magazine

Review of After Hours from AlmaNova (Jessica Pierce, flute and Almer Imamovic, guitar)

Two earlier discs by AlmaNova were well received here and this one is also very engaging. Much of it involves the infectious mixed meters of Imamovic’s native Balkan region, but there are also pieces of a very intense, sinuous and melodic beauty. Some are original works by the duo while others are arrangements. It all holds together very well. It begins with Bosna Nova (no, it’s not a misprint) with the guitarist multi-tracked on steel string and classical guitars, a texture used repeatedly and effectively on the disc. (The flute is also multi-tracked occasionally.) Among my favorite cuts are the fourth, Zajdi, Zajdi, a hauntingly beautiful melody, and the sixth, Jovano, Jovanke, which the notes call “a highly energetic arrangement of an old traditional Macedonian folk song.” Yes, indeed. The energy is aided by very nice percussion work by the guitar. Massimo Dancing, inspired by the artist’s nephew, is another gem. These are very sophisticated arrangements for flute(s), guitar(s), and percussion: the musical structures, though miniature, are impressive. Liner notes and recording quality are fine. I enjoyed this disc very much. In fact, it made me want to grab the guitar and start improvising in 7/x. Luckily there was no one to hear the result!

By: Al Kunze
Soundboard, vol. XXXV, No. 3, pg. 117

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Almer Imamovic "Putnik s gitarom" by Milenko Miso Maric

Milenko Mišo Marić

Almer Imamović
Putnik s gitarom

Almer Imamović je gitarista. Imamović je od rođenja, a gitarista od osme godine. I po prezimenu i po instrumentu asocijacije su jednako muzičke. Na pomen Imamovića čujem Zaima kako sevdiše kraj tanana šadrvana. Il' objašnjava zašto je Bosna divna, mila... Plemenita. Na pomen gitare čujem španske Berbere s dugim prstima kako prebiraju po žicama pod džinovskom narančom Mjeseca, nad Andaluzijom. Dok zaljubljen Lorkin Gitano nosi dragu na rijeku. Niko ne zna šta mu je rekla. Sigurno je da su se ljiljani mačevali s vjetrom i da su sevdisali. Jer kojeg bi je vraga nosio na rijeku dok se negdje daleko za noćnom vodom gitara sjećala Alhambre. "Oh, gitaro/ srce ranjeno/ sa pet mačeva./" - uzdisao je Lorka. "Sve što radim je vezano za gitaru. Lijepo je imati uz sebe, putovati i živjeti uz gitaru", kaže Almer dok u Los Anđelosu završava novi CD i s dvije svoje najveće ljubavi, Džesikom i gitarom sprema put treće, Bosne. Iz koje je, s gitarom, krenuo u svijet.

O zavičaju, gitari i sevdahu govori:
- Mislim da smo svi mi Bosanci i Hercegovci sevdah porodica. S puno topline se sjeæam familijarnih sijela uz harmoniku i sevdalinke. Moj otac Alija je izvanredan pjevač i pjesma je uvijek bila prisutna u našem domu. Ja sam na početku izabrao gitaru da sviram rock sa prijateljima. Krenuo sam u Nižu muzičku školu u Foči, zavolio gitaru i muziku svim srcem. Pored klasične svirao sam i bass gitaru u KUD "Braća Ribar" što mi je jako pomoglo u razumjevanju harmonije, različitih ritamskih paterna, specifično iz Makedonije, jer smo svirali muziku iz cijele ex-Jugoslavije. Stekao sam bogato iskustvo svirajući koncerte svake sedmice. Onda je došao rat koji sam s familijom proveo u herojskom Goraždu. Imao sam puno prijatelja i bio vezan za muzičku produkciju. Snimili smo preko 200 pjesama. Uz sve strahote rata muzika je uvijek bila prisutna i počeo sam komponovati. Uradio sam muziku za pozorišnu predstavu, preko 20 pjesama i nekoliko solo klasičnih kompozicija. Kad govorim ko sam moram pomenuti moju dragu profesoricu Milu Rakanović koja je zaslužna za nastavak mog školovanja i jako važna osoba u mom životu. Ranih devedesetih u Sarajevu je bila samo Srednja muzička škola sa odsjekom za klasičnu gitaru, bez gitarističkog odsjeka na Muzičkoj akademiji. Tu sam studirao kod profesorice Mile koja je vodila i Ansambl Gitara u kojem sam svirao sa pedesetak gitarista i prijatelja što je neprocjenjivo za muzičara. Nauči se svirati kamerna muzika i shvati značaj timskog rada. Ova iskustva su mi omogućila da budem bolji muzičar - gitarista i da razumijem značaj organizacije i profesionalizma što je jako važno ovdje u Americi.

Od Foče preko rata i Sarajeva do Amerike, nije cigar puta. Po svetim knjigama: čudni su putevi gospodnji. Nakon što je hodoljubio njima, Zuko mi je pričao da su asfaltirani. Iskusio sam da su putevi izbjeglički rđavi, opasni, neizvjesni. Putevi Almerovi su ljepši. Notni.
- Imao sam sreću da sa 14 godina snimam u Velikom studiju BH televizije ili sviram koncert u centru Žorž Pompidu (Georges Pompidou) u Parizu. Gdje sam otišao '97. da studiram na Ecole Normale de Musique u klasi profesora Rafael Andia. Francuska Ambasada iz Sarajeva obezbjedila mi je francusku državnu stipendiju. Možete zamisliti moju sreću i radost kad sam krenuo u Pariz. Naučio sam jezik, stekao puno prijatelja i svirao koncerte širom Evrope. I ono najljepše: upoznao Džesiku Pirs (Jessica Pierce), studentkinju flaute. Poslije toga dolazi magisterski studij na Royal College of Music u Kardifu kod profesora Džona Milsa (John Mills) a školarinu sam dobio od Akademije. Maestro Mils je bio izvanredan profesor i prijatelj. Po magisteriju odlazim u Los Anđelos na postdiplomske studije na Univerzitetu Južne Kalifornije (USC) kod profesora Skota Tenanta (Scott Tennant) i Maestro Pepe Romero. Los Anđelos je centar svijeta za filmsku i muzičku industriju tako da su najbolji muzičari u gradu fenomenalni. Počeo sam da sviram gitare i druge žičane instrumente za filmove i sarađujem sa velikim brojem muzičara. I ovdje sam spustio sidro i ostao da živim i stvaram. Rekoh vam da sam u Parizu upoznao Džesiku . To je bilo prije deset godina i evo još uvijek sviramo i uživamo u našoj muzičkoj avanturi. Tek prije pet godina smo počeli ozbiljno da sviramo kao duo AlmaNova i snimili 3 CD-a. Prelijepo je svirati sa Džesikom koja je izvanredan muzičar i iznad svega divan životni partner. Još draža mi je što je veliki zaljubljenik u Bosnu i sevdalinke. Kad navratite kod nas uvijek će vas dočekati Zaim ili Himzo. Ta ljubav prema sevdalinci se može čuti na našem prvom CD-u "Debut" gdje sviramo nekoliko u našim obradama.

Debitantski CD životnog i muzičkog dua AlmaNova (čitati kao AlmerJessica) ušao je u izbor za Instrumentalni Album 2009. godine u US. U konkurenciji 42 hiljade albuma iz 160 zemalja svijeta, proglašen najboljim. Čestitam Almeru, Džesika se podrazumijeva, a pitam kako doživljava nagrade.
- Ovdje su jako važna gitaristička takmičenja. Ja nisam imao vremena da putujem i radim takmičenja punom parom ali gdje sam otišao ostvario sam dobre rezultate. Osvojio sam, recimo, prvo mjesto na veoma uglednom takmičenju Fresno International u konkurenciji najboljih gitarista iz 20 zemalja. Moj profesor Tenant bio je u publici. Nakon izvedbe dođe i samo kratko kaže: "Hej, čovječe, ti stvarno možeš fantastično svirati gitaru" što mi je bilo draže i od same pobjede. Ja personalno nisam takmičarskog duha kad je riječ o gitari tako da takmičenja gledam kao specifične koncerte i onda mi je lakše da se koncentrišem i sviram bez pritiska. Ako već treba oko nagrada da pomenem naš album "Classic Giuliani". Ugledni American Record Guide nagradio nas je sa Critic’s Choice 2008. a moju kompozicija "Sarajevo Nights" JPF (Udruženje 51.500 kompozitora i muzičkih autoriteta) je u Nešvilu (Nashville - domaćin najpoznatijeg Festivala country muzike na svijetu) proglasio za najbolju Originalnu Instrumentalnu Kompoziciju 2009. godine. Što me, dabome, čini sretnim. Sad imam puno studenata koje spremam za takmičenja čiji me uspijeh raduje kao sopstveni. Sa studentima sam počeo raditi kao asistent na Royal College of Music i na USC, a trenutno radim na privatnom Konzervatoriju u Južnoj Pasadini gdje sam profesor gitare i Direktor gitarističkog odsjeka. Imam odlične studente. Prije 6 mjeseci bilo je međunarodno takmičenje ovdje, u Los Anđelosu. Od pet nagrada moji studenti su osvojili tri.

Interesujem se šta je najrađe: kompozitor, tumač svog i tuđeg djela, il' muzički pedagog? (Članstvo u AlmaNova ne pominjem, smatram ga van konkurencije a preporučujem poznanstvo na internet adresi: The AlmaNova Duo - - što je prečica do umjetnosti i zavičaja).
- Humanista i kompozitor! Ima dobra rečenica u filmu Burn After Reading gdje glumac kaže: "Ja sam samo putnik na putu". A ja dodajem: "I uživam u tom procesu". Prije svega, ja sebe vidim kao muzičara i radim sve što me čini sretnim. Ja nikad nisam umoran od muzike i gitare i ako mogu pomoći mojim studentima i pokazati nekoliko "trikova" onda sam još sretniji. Uzgred, moram vam reći da se rado sjetim Montenove i vaše pjesme "Gitaro moja" jer se mogu poistovjetiti sa njenim štimungom.

Iščitah kritike US muzičkih kritičara. Postoje dva mišljenja: jedni smatraju da je Maestro Almer Imamović rijedak, vrhunski talenat. Virtouz. Drugi se slažu s prvim. A i jedni i drugi u njegovim kompozicijama prepoznaju "zvuk rodne Bosne". Pitam: koliko je ostao vezan za zavičajne muzičke korijene i zavičaj kao geografski pojam?
- Trudim da bar jednom godišnje odem kući mada je ponekad to teško zbog obaveza, ali to ne utiče na prisustvo Bosne u mojoj muzici. Bosna je uvijek uz mene. Ja sam prije svega klasični gitarista, ali sam svirao i družio se sa izvarednim bh "narodnim" muzičarima. I što se kod nas kaže "naučio fazone". Naši muzičari sviraju sa dušom što je teško naći na Zapadu. Ovdje imaš probu ili koncert i svi sviraju notalno. Kad imaš note ispred sebe onda nema komunikacije između muzičara i čitav band je bez konekcije. Svaki naš bh muzičar memoriše 500-600 pjesama što je ogromno znanje. Za tako nešto ovdje ljudi dobijaju fakultetske diplome. To iskustvo mi je pomoglo da razvijem vezu sa našom muzikom i ubacim te "fazone" u moje kompozicije i svirku. To će uvijek biti uz mene i dio mene kao muzičara. Pored naše bosanske, jako volim i makedonske narodne pjesme što se može čuti na našem novom albumu "After Hours". Sad završavamo snimanje novog i pakujem se za Sarajevo. Jer moja karta je povratna, samo trebam potvrditi rezervaciju. Ovaj put imam koncert u Sarajevu i nekolika u Zenici i Tuzli. I susrete sa svojim najdražim. Sva moja bliža familja je u Bosni. Ali imam rodbine u Irskoj, Švedskoj, Americi. Ako imate prostora, molim vas da im prenesete puno pozdrava kao i čitaocima Barikade - svim zemljacima širom svijeta.

Tri posljednja oktobarska dana (2009.) Sarajevo je bilo domaćin naučno - umjetničkog skupa Dani BHAAAS (Bosanskohercegovačko Američka Akademija Nauka i Umjetnosti) pod nazivom "We are strionger together" - Zajedno smo jači. Trodnevna razmijena naučne i umjetničke misli svečano je završena gala koncertom Sarajevske filharmonije u Narodnom pozorištu. Solista na koncertu bio je član BHAAAS, elitni US klasični gitarista i opunomoćeni ambasador bh sevdaha u svijetu, Njegova Ekselencija Maestro Almer Imamović.

Opet čujem Zaima. Onu lijepo sjetnu, i usvjetnu: "Kada dođem rodnom kraju..."

From -World of Music

Thursday, August 19, 2010

National Flute Convention 2010

We played a great concert last Saturday for the National Flute Convention's annual festivities! This year the convention was held in Anaheim so we didn't have too far to go! We saw many of our dear friends and fans and really had the best time playing with our percussionist extraordinaire, Matt Hillegass! Fresh from his trip to Africa, he enhanced our performance and really added something special. He was a huge hit and our concert was a big success! Special thanks to all who attended! We especially enjoyed meeting Mr. Abell from the Abell Flute Company, specializing in wooden flutes. I still have that sound of his special instruments in my ear....I am putting myself on his waiting list and am hoping to get one in a couple years! Flute World also held a CD signing at their booth. Almer's compositions were quite a hit with all the attendees!

Can't wait for the 2011 convention in North Carolina!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Zana Mesihovic and the Balkan Soul Orchestra

We had a great time last weekend performing with the wonderful singer/songwriter Zana Mesihovic and the talented James Brandon Lewis on sax. The concert was celebrating 50 years of music making at Capitol Records and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was a great honor to perform at this historic and iconic building. Zana's music was infectious and the crowd outside loved her! We performed her hit, "If You're Wondering" that was in the film "The Lightkeepers" with Richard Dreyfuss. We can't wait until the next concert with this great ensemble. Keep an eye out announcing Zana's new CD that will feature AlmaNova!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jose Oribe

As a classical guitarist, one of the greatest pleasures is to meet various luthiers and tour their workspace where they make their wonderful guitar masterpieces! I recently had the great fortune to meet with Mr. Jose Oribe. One of my students was in search of a guitar with a long scale and Oribe is one of the few luthiers who make this their practice. He lives and works just an hour north of San Diego with his wonderful wife, Juanita. His guitars and simply fantastic! His craftsmanship is of the highest level and it shines through upon hearing and playing his guitars. It was great to meet such a master in the Los Angeles area. My student is extremely pleased with his Oribe guitar and I hope to have one as well in the near future!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Two Concerts this Saturday...

BUT, we will not be playing them together! Bummer!!!

For those of you in the Pasadena Area, please come see Almer play with the FABULOUS Zana Mesihovic and the Balkan Soul Orchestra. Almer is her special guest and they are performing in the annual Pasadena MakeMusic Festival.


Saturday, June 19th
Emerging Artist Stage
Make Music Pasadena

For those of you on the Westside, you can come to hear Jessica perform at the Live at the Lounge concert series in Hermosa Beach. She is happy to be a part of the West Coast premier of Stig Jonas Petterssen's opera, A Dream Play (Dromspel).


Saturday, June 19th
7:00pm Dinner (optional)
8:00pm Concert
Live at the Lounge
Hermosa Beach, CA

See you there!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Two New Reviews from U.K.'s Classical Guitar Magazine and Australia's Flute Focus!

Please read this great review of After Hours from Australia's premier flute magazine, Flute Focus written by Cathy Wainwright on May 21, 2010.

Alma Nova After Hours

Alma Nova – After Hours

Jessica Pierce – Flute

Almer Imamovic – Guitar

If you want to be inspired and uplifted then this is the album for you! The infectious rhythms and haunting melodies of folk tunes from Macedonia and Imamovic’s native Bosnia reflect the gamut of human emotion from sadness and pain to hope and belief in the future.

Flute and guitar duo Alma Nova present in this their third album, their own compositions and arrangements linking traditional folk themes of love, loss, sadness and the search for peace, tranquillity, and hope, with events in their own lives, giving the album a very personal focus and expression. The energy, passion and sincerity of the artists shine through in every track.

Every track has a freshness and a personal investment in the music which is sometimes missing in recordings of mainstream repertoire. The title After Hours expresses the idea that this is the music the artists choose to play when they have finished rehearsing or playing their ‘classical repertoire’ – truly music from the heart.

Flautist Jessica Pierce, a graduate of the famed Eçole Normale de Music de Paris, plays with effortlessly flowing melodic lines that range from sensuous to plaintive and wistful. Guitarist Almer Imamovic is likewise a master of his instrument, and together the pair form a perfectly balanced duo. Overdubbing of additional parts on some tracks adds to the depth and interest without compromising the balance.

But don’t take my word for it. Have a look at their attractively presented website where you can not only hear sound clips, but also follow links to YouTube videos of their performances. Their YouTube video of Massimo Dancing, with guest artist Jim Walker (Jessica’s current Doctorate supervisor) is fantastic! And if you are anywhere near the NFA Convention in Anaheim CA in August be sure to catch them performing there on the 14th.

This CD will certainly be an addition to my iPod!

Cathy Wainwright - Flautist Royal Australian Navy bandAble Seaman Musician Cathy Wainwright is a Flautist with the Sydney Detachment of the Royal Australian Navy Band, and was one of the first group of women to serve in the Royal Australian Air Force Band. Cathy holds a MMus from the University of New South Wales, a Fellowship Diploma in Flute Performance from Trinity College, London, and has extensive flute teaching experience both privately and in schools.

Review from Classical Guitar Magazine, the U.K.'s premier guitar magazine.

AlmaNova: Debut

This duo met while studying at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and have toured North America, Mexico, France, Eastern Europe and the U.K.

This disc encompasses Imamovic's original compositions and arrangements of love songs from his native, Bosnia. Many of the tunes are instantly hummable, they have a musical simplicity which is charming and whether originals or arrangements, Imamovic has done an exceptional job throughout. Mixed in with the sentimental sounding tracks are several up-tempo ones which really get the feet tapping (especially notable being the final track where both players are, one assumes, double tracking) and a couple of well-played guitar solos, too. There is not really one low point in the whole program, all the pieces are of a most attractive nature and are well performed by this ably equipped duo.

The recording quality is of a high standard, the presentation lets the side down a little though with just a one-sheet insert containing little information about the duo of the music, for that, you have to visit their website.

-Steve Marsh, Classical Guitar Magazine, UK

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Dear Friends,

Hope to see you at one of our upcoming performances!

Sunday, May 2, 2010
Benefit Concert and Silent Auction in support of Breast Cancer
TIX: $25 includes wine and refreshments
*ALL PROCEEDS go directly to a dear friend who is currently battling breast cancer
South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory
1509 Mission
South Pasadena, CA

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Jessica Pierce, flute and Angela Cholakyan, piano
program includes Bach, Enesco, Khachatourian, and Mendelssohn-Rachmaninoff
Pasadena Presbyterian Church
585 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA

Friday, May 7, 2010
Bach's Lunch @ Trinity Lutheran Church
1340 Eleventh St.
Manhattan Beach, CA

Saturday, May 8, 2010
AlmaNova plays with Matt Hilly (percussion)
Jessica plays Piazzolla's 'Four Seasons' with piano and cello
Live at the Lounge
1014 Hermosa Ave.
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Saturday, May 22, 2010
"The Sound of the Balkans" hosted by Annette Bening
feat. AlmaNova, Rade Serbedzija, Miroslav Tadic, and Zana Mesihovic
$50/each ALL PROCEEDS benefit the orphaned children in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Barnsdall Gallery Theatre
4800 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
TIX CALL: (310) 733-6858

Music for a Cause: Support Breast Cancer

Friday, April 23, 2010

AlmaNova plays Benefit for Bosnian Orphans hosted By Annette Bening

Dear Friends:

On behalf of the Democracy Council and Bosana Foundation, it is our pleasure to invite you to attend “Sound of the Balkans, Music that transcends boundaries and divisions” to be held on 22 May, 2010 at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Los Angeles.

All proceeds collected from the event, including the sale of tickets will go towards a scholarship fund for a number of exceptional young adults living at the orphanages all over Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) that would like to pursue university education. The program will cover university costs, a small stipend and, if necessary, the housing costs. Our goal is to give these young adults the skills and opportunity to become self-reliant and productive citizens of their country. We are expecting approximately thirty (30) people to participate in the pre-event cocktail party and over three hundred (300) to attend the concert.

The featured musicians include Rade Serbedzija and Miroslav Tadic, AlmaNova and special guest appearances. The event will be a rich cultural evening, filled with music from various parts of the Balkan region. We will have three distinguished performances each with a slight variation and adaptations of added worldly cultures and sounds. In addition, American actress Annette Bening will give a special performance at the main event.

The Democracy Council is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization based in Los Angeles that will provide tax-deductible letters for any generous donations. Bosana Foundation is an organization that has worked two years with a number of orphanages in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

You can purchase the tickets by going online to

If you cannot attend the event but you would still like to contribute to the cause, please visit

Monday, April 19, 2010

Visit from a Kiwi!

Had a great time last week with one of the premier guitarists from New Zealand, Owen Moriarty. He was my duo partner during our time together at USC. He's an exceptional guitarist and a great friend! Enjoy this photo of Owen and I with Maestro Scott Tenannt.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The music of Henry Mancini

I am very happy to present three new digital downloads now available through iTunes. I recorded these with guitarist and friend, Gregg Nestor for BSX Records. Gregg is also the arranger of these great and fun tunes.

Here are the links:

1."Who's Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?" (Mancini)

2. "The Sweetheart Tree" (Mancini)

3. "The Pennywhistle Jig" (Mancini)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Music Lessons with AlmaNova

AlmaNova, flutist Jessica Pierce and guitarist Almer Imamovic, is currently offering private music instruction and group music classes in flute and guitar. For the past 15 years, Dr. Pierce and Mr. Imamovic have provided a nuturing environment and the inspiration necessary to help students reach their musical goals.

Our studio is located in Pasadena, CA near Pasadena City College. Please contact us if you would like to set up a free 20 minute trial lesson.


or call: 626-434-5585

All ages and levels welcomed!

For more information please click here!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New mp3's Now Available for Download!!!

Jessica recently had the privilege to record for BSX Records two themes for flute and guitar arranged by good friend and exceptional guitarist, Gregg Nestor. They are both available on Amazon and iTunes for immediate download!

Theme from the Motion Picture Cross Creek music by L. Rosenman (click here)

The Inner Light from Star Trek: The Next Generation music by J. Chattaway (click here)

Link on iTunes!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Photos and reviews from ASTO Concert

Please enjoy these photos from our recent concert at the ASTO museum in Los Angeles. Thanks to everyone who was a fun night especially with our guest artists, Matt Hilly on cajon!

We were grateful to the Pasadena Classical Music Meet-up Group who also attended. Read what they had to say about our performance:

"Terrific married duo of flute and guitar--energetic, heartfelt, refined playing. And the repertoire was eclectic but focused on stylized dance, from Piazzolla to Ravel to Bosnian and Macedonian music." - A.D.

"Guitarist Almer Imamovic's and his flutist wife Jessica Pierce's marvelous mastery of their instruments was beautifully demonstrated in pieces they played by Astor Piazzolla, Maurice Ravel and Jacques Ibert. In the second half, they---along with percussionist Matt Hilly---dazzled the audience with pieces (love songs and dances) from Bosnia and Macedonia, beautifully arranged or composed by Almer. The audience was captivated. It was a concert well-worth attending. To sample some of the award-winning duo's eclectic music visit" -M.E.