John Ilija Apelgren
John I. Apelgren is the most recognized jazz vocalist in Macedonia in the last 30 years.
Born in London, UK in the winter of 1969 from British/Macedonian descent , he has set high standards in performing the most popular jazz tunes. The critics often compare his voice with Nat King Cole’s. His developed jazz expression makes the illusion that you have travelled in time to the golden days of the big band era.
In his youth he studied the ballet and violin and later started singing in a rock band with his musical high school friends, to discover that his perfect pitch voice fits perfect with jazz, the music he has always cherished as special.
During his rich career he has performed on concerts in Macedonia, Serbia and Greece, with big band or smaller formation orchestras. Ha has taken part in the prestigious Ohrid Summer Festival and Skopje Summer Festival and on international pop music festivals in Macedonia. He has recorded thousands of meters of TV tape for the Macedonian National TV and New Year’s Eve TV Specials, both as host and lead vocalist of the Macedonian Radio TV Big Band. In the early 90’s he had regular gigs in elite hotels in London, UK. As a tradition he is always singing his jazz songbook on the Wiener Ball in Macedonia for a 13th year in a row and was invited to perform as a special guest at the Wiener Ball in Kosovo in 2012. As a performer he is often seen jazzin’up the atmosphere at corporate events, embassy cocktails and celebrations as well as at various events under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Macedonia. During his music career he has recorded more than 150 jazz standards.
His repertoire consists of the greatest jazz standards performed by legends such as Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Tonny Bennett and Antonio Carlos Jobim, just to name a few. Also it includes renditions of Paul Anka and Michael Buble’s latest hits.