SELIMI & HAFISJA
by HAJI MAJI
Clarinetist Selimi and vocalist/violinist Hafize were brother and sister, coming from a long line of famous musicians from the city of Leskovik at the southern border of Albania. By the mid-1920s they were living in Istanbul where they were the star attractions of the Albanian music scene. Selimi and Hafize recorded for Columbia during a session in Istanbul in 1928. Columbia made some 300 recordings the following year in Albania itself. To this day, the beautiful deep voice of Hafize is considered a benchmark for female Albanian singers of the southern repertoire, and Selim’s reputation as a clarinetist is highly regarded.