JASMINA MAKOTA (23) began singing at the age of 10, when she performed the lead role in the Northeastern University production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Early in her life, Jasmina was classically trained as a soprano and frequently performed in churches, at various festivals, and concerts. She was a member of the world-renowned Chicago Children’s Choir and Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Based on her talent, she received a full scholarship to the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, where she studied with vocalist Kathy Cowan for 9 years. She also studied guitar and piano. Jasmina was the only student to represent the school at the Chicago Consortium of Music Schools in 2000. Jasmina also performed with Irish Folk band “Kiltartan Road” for five years. She was a member of several choir groups during her time at the Old Town School.
Jasmina was very active musically at her school, the prestigious Francis W.
Parker School in Chicago, where she was accepted as a full-scholarship student based on her academic and musical success. Jasmina was introduced to Jazz in high school, and an immediate connection happened. She sang in the school’s Jazz band for 5 years and continued her private vocal training. She participated in many musicals, concerts, and other music-related events throughout her school years (including playing the lead role of Carmen in the hit musical "FAME").
In 2007, Jasmina was honored with a full-tuition scholarship to the highly prestigious Oberlin College, a Liberal Arts institution in Oberlin, Ohio with a world-famous Music Conservatory. She studied Psychology, Neuroscience, and Hispanic Studies while continuing her music education and collaborating with fellow musicians. Based on her leadership skills and potential, she was honored with the Jesse L. Jackson Fellowship Award. Jasmina received her diploma in 2011.
Jasmina has been visiting Croatia frequently, where she has participated in recording music projects, performances, and other musical endeavors. She has performed extensively and worked on many individual projects with musicians from Croatia and beyond. Most recently, she has been studying with several Zagreb-based vocalists, including Lela Kaplowitz, Carol Cass, and Maja Savic.
Jasmina currently lives in Zagreb. She is working on many musical engagements, including writing lyrics for Pula-based rock band Dogma, performing with her Jazz quartet, and working on original music, which she hopes to record this year.
"She was magnificent...she has a great natural ability and is a superior musician. She is intelligent and artistically gifted. I have been in education for over forty years, [and] this young woman is in the top five or ten percent of all of the scholars I have encountered."
~Dr. Ronald Combs (Chairman, Vocal Department at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago)