Harri Stojka, a legend in the genre of Jazz is known for his extravagant style and mixing of different styles and genres. Born in 1957, he is part of Austria’s Roma community and he connects his work to the music, that is part of his heritage and touches his hart – Gipsy Jazz.
What scares you the most?
I am most scared of diseases.
If you had the chance to go back in time, what would you tell your 15-year-old self?
To stay away from drugs
What do you admire the most about your parents?
The most I admire about them is how they loved life. That is something they have passed onto me – I love life!
What would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered as a guitarist, playing the guitar is the most important thing in my life.
If your father had not given you another instrument, which instrument would you have chosen then?
I cannot really answer that question, for me, there is no other instrument (laughs).
What do you wish for Austria, your home country?
I wish them a successful future with a multicultural development.
where do you take your inspiration from?
From personal experiences, impressions, paintings, literature and people.
Where does your interest come to mix different styles of music?
For me, music cannot be cut into parts. It is a complete thing. I have always refused not to understand different genres and I do not speak one style – I listen to good music and I support mixing of different genres to create something new.
You have played all over the world. Why do you always come back to Vienna?
Well, it is home. Here, I have my friends, my life and my places where I drink my favourite coffee (laughs). I can only say – there is no place like home!
After many years, your father could finally speak about his experiences during World War II, the holocaust and the murder of his family during the occupation of the Nazis. Do you think the world could begin to forget what xenophobia could lead to?
No, it is important never to forget the biggest crime in human history.