Flutist Alexander Zonjic may be Canadian by birth and by citizenship, but Detroit — just across the river from his hometown of Windsor, Ont. — has been his second home for the better part of three decades. Now, Zonjic brings his internationally renowned talents to downtown Howell for a very special Acoustic Café.
Growing up in Windsor, Ontario — and excited by all the music of the British invasion — Zonjic launched his guitar dreams at age nine and was playing lead guitar in an R&B band in high school. At age 21, when Zonjic was home on hiatus from a rock tour, a stranger on the street who had seen him play guitar offered him a flute for 50 dollars. “I liked how it looked in the case,” Zonjic recalls. “I saw mastering it as a challenge and found an immediate passion and all-encompassing desire to play it. I had the nerve to audition with it for the new University of Windsor music program and got in on a probationary basis. That’s where I started my classical training.”
Zonjic attended school during the day, worked as a rock guitarist by night, and even found time to teach others how to play the flute. Over the years, Zonjic has performed with orchestras nationwide, including The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, The Windsor Symphony Orchestra, The Florida Symphony Orchestra and many others.
On the jazz side, while playing at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit, Zonjic met jazz legend Bob James, who was so impressed that he asked the young flutist to join his band. The collaboration began a decade’s worth of international touring in the ‘80s, later leading to his appearance as a featured flutist on two of James’s records.
Over the years, Zonjic has released over a dozen solo and collaborative CDs, and he continues to tour and perform as well as host the morning radio show on Detroit’s 98.7 FM and “Alexander Zonjic – From A to Z,” a weekly entertainment variety show on WADL Detroit TV-38.
“It’s never the same ole same ole,” says Zonjic. “I’m always looking forward. I’m always optimistic.”