Monday, 1 August 2022

Groznjan Jazz Programme Gathers Generations from Multiple Countries

August the 1st, 2022 - The Groznjan jazz programme has succeeded in gathering together generations of jazz music lovers from a multitude of different countries from all across the world.

As Morski writes, exceptional cooperation between participants of various educational programmes and their mentors, along with top-notch knowledge and great talent have been woven into the foundations of the International Cultural Centre of Croatian Musical Youth under whose auspices jazz programmes are being held in Groznjan, which is fondly referred to the smallest jazz metropolis in the world.

The Groznjan jazz programme, Festival Jazz is Back! BP, the Summer Jazz School and the Croatia Drum Camp, has successfully brought together all generations from as many as twenty countries spanning four continents, as well as a large audience, that enthusiastically followed the musicians this summer.

Along with the main organiser, Croatian Musical Youth (HGM), the co-organisers of Festival Jazz is Back! BP, is the Istrian Municipality of Groznjan itself, and the Polyvalent Cultural Centre in Groznjan.

''With its favourable geographical, climatic and traffic conditions, this small, old Istrian town on the one hand optimally meets the needs of artists and the Musical Youth for a place to gather together and work, and on the other hand, the artists and the Musical Youth offered a superior programme back to Groznjan,'' pointed out Dubravka Dujmovic Kusan, the secretary of the HGM.

The participants of the Groznjan jazz programme were from all over Croatia, Germany, the neighbouring countries of Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, as wellas Israel, Bulgaria, Austria, Australia, USA, Italy, Finland, France, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Russia, Puerto Rico, Greece, Ukraine, Spain, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

Workshops were held daily as part of the Groznjan jazz programme, and music was also played on the streets of this quaint Istrian town, sometimes in an organised manner, and sometimes quite spontaneously, which was enjoyed by both Croatian and foreign visitors to the town.

It is important to mention that the participants of the Groznjan jazz programme were accompanied by their mentors Luis Bonilla, Alex Sipiagin, Famoudou don Moye, Elvis Penava, Karlheinz Miklin Jr., Lea Lovrencic, Joe Kaplowitz, Goran Rukavina, John Riley, Dick Oatts and Marko Lazaric. Also performing were Jim Rotondi, Jon Boutellier, Gary Smulyan, Andrea Pozza, Aldo Zunino, Bernd Reiter, Primoz Grasic, Mario Mavrin, Vid Jamnik, Blaz Jurjevcic and Tijan Grasic, all of them being truly excellent musicians immortalised by their numerous awards, and among them were and multiple Grammy and Porina winners.

Zvjezdan Ruzic, Borna Sercar and Lado, Zdenka Kovacicek and the Green House Band, Amira Medunjanin and Ante Gelo, Branko Sterpin, Srdjan Kolarevic, Srdjan Kuzmanovic, Marco Quarantotto and Edi Maruzin with the Edi East Trance Blues Band also performed as part of the Groznjan jazz programme.

Young talent is continuing to arrive in Groznjan to attend the string seminar led by Andjelko Krpan, Milan Cunko, Branimir Pusticki and Ilin Dime Dimovski, and the programmes of the International Cultural Centre of the Croatian Musical Youth in Groznjan are going to be held until the middle of September.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Friday, 18 March 2022

Croatian Singer Ines Trickovic Will Hold Voice Workshop in California

March 18, 2022 - Renowned Croatian jazz singer Ines Trickovic will hold a voice workshop in Santa Monica, California called ''Liberate your Voice''. In the workshop, the participants will learn along Ines to use their voice to express themselves freely through singing.

Julia Quena Kavi, a famous holistic life coach presents “Take control of your voice to take control of your life” by Ines Trickovic.

This workshop is designed for singing amateurs and enthusiasts with no prior training. It is 4 hours in duration and includes practical hands-on breathing and singing exercises that train your diaphragm, lungs, and vocal cords. The ''Liberate your Voice'' workshop will help you open up, speak and sing freely, release yourself from fear and inner criticism. At the end of the process, you will be empowered and confident as you learn to take control of your voice and master your life.

Ines Trickovic enjoys a very rare kind of success. With no formal training, she managed, not only to find her unique voice but to become a professional jazz singer and tour some of the most interesting corners of the planet. From the upscale venues of Hong Kong to Carnegie Hall in New York City, she has been wowing audiences for more than two decades. Her rich international career has seen her taking center stage in over 3000 concerts. Aside from this, she is a respected voice coach and voice therapist.

Take this opportunity to learn directly from her as shares some of her skills and insights.

For this workshop, Ines will be joined by Julia Quena Kavi, the award-winning professional opera singer, and vocalist. It was at the invitation of this famous holistic vocal coach, retreat facilitator, and spiritual coach that Ines decided to bring this workshop to California in the first place.

The workshop will take place on Thursday, March 31, from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm, at Power Yoga East, 522 Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica. The price of the tickets for the workshop is $90 and you can purchase them HERE.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Balkan Beats: 3 Music Treats to Enjoy This Month

February 3, 2022 - It appears we have a music-themed month on our hands with Zagreb Music Fair and a few delicious live shows lined up in the coming weeks. We bring you a selection of three performances in Zagreb and Pula that are all rooted in traditional music of the Balkans, some partially, some in full. Enjoy!


Zoran Majstorović & JazzIstra Quartet - Musical Migrations / Zagreb, February 4

First up, Zoran Majstorović and the JazzIstra Quartet performing in Zagreb this Friday. They’ll be playing the six pieces which make up the album Musical Migrations, composed by Majstorović and recorded in 2020.

The album was written for a jazz orchestra featuring a multi-instrumentalist, in this case Majstorović himself. Musical Migrations are influenced by American jazz and traditional music from various parts of the world, combining musical elements originating from multiple cultures in six original compositions. Every piece is a story of its own, with three of them inspired by traditional music of the Balkans and Istria in particular. Here's a rundown as presented in the event description:

The opening track Baal Un is an interpretation of balun (a form of traditional Istrian dance) in an abstract drum’n’bass performance. La Tierra Y El Cielo is inspired by Latin music and flamenco, with a mandolin adding a touch of Mediterranean sound. Wangari combines the music of West Africa with American swing and is dedicated to Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Duck’s Remarks draws inspiration from island music, featuring Jamaican reggae, Hawaiian ukulele, and a dose of free jazz.

In the video above, listen to Oro Machno, named after the Istrian village Koromačno and combining the Balkan oro in 9/8 with melodic elements of the Istrian scale. And finally, Not Giving Up on Our Species, a composition in which delta blues and the New Orleans sound meet Istria and the Balkans.

Zoran Majstorović - guitar, oud, saz, kamal
Branko Sterpin - trumpet, flugelhorn
Bojan Skočilić - double bass, bass guitar
Borko Rupena - drums


Kulturni centar Mesnička (Mesnicka Cultural Centre), Zagreb
February 4, 9pm start

The album will be available for purchase at the venue.
Admission is free, with voluntary donations welcome.


Alice In WonderBand / Zagreb, February 13

On the second weekend in February, Močvara club in Zagreb will host Alice In WonderBand, a duo from Serbia known for their captivating blend of folk music and performance arts. They bring Balkan folklore to life in a unique way, performing traditional music through a combination of singing and body percussion.

Ana Vrbaški and Marko Dinjaški are artists and performers who have been life and stage partners for 25 years. The Alice in WonderBand project was conceived at Fruška Gora in 1998, and has since made its way all over the region. They perform traditional songs from Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Turkey and Hungary.

Their shows are a mesmerising fusion of music, theatre, dance and acrobatics performed using a special skill of body percussion. Watch the video below to see them skip, clap, tap and twirl, all the while belting out some serious tunes:

Močvara, Zagreb
Sunday, February 13, 8pm start
Tickets can be purchased here and at the venue before the show.


Tamara Obrovac Quartet / Pula, February 23

Singer, songwriter, composer and flutist, Tamara Obrovac is a powerhouse best known for her Istria-inspired flavour of ethnic jazz. The immensely talented artist is performing in Pula on February 23 with one of her long-standing ensembles, a quartet whose line-up hasn’t changed since 1997!

They’ll be playing new compositions written by Obrovac for an album coming out later this year.

Have a taste of their sublime sound with a 2018 performance:

Tamara Obrovac - vocals
Matija Dedić - piano
Žiga Golub - double bass
Krunoslav Levačić - drums


INK Pula (Istrian National Theatre Pula)
Wednesday, February 23, 8pm
Tickets can be purchased here

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Croatian Musician Thana Alexa Pavelic Nominated for Grammy

November 28, 2020 – With her second solo album, ONA, Croatian American musician Thana Alexa Pavelic explores her Croatian heritage. It's just been nominated for a Grammy! Here's an introduction to a singular talent and the sound of her Croatian roots

The songs of Croatian American jazz musician and singer Thana Alexa Pavelic have never sounded more like her life experience. On her second album, 'ONA', we finally hear her Croatian roots colliding with the cool, considered and contemporary world of the New York jazz scene. Legendary for its jazz for over 70 years, the city of New York is full of ambitious musicians chasing the vibe and reputation of its heritage. It can be tough to stand out, to sound original. With 'ONA', Thana Alexa Pavelic has done just that, and earned a Grammy nomination for her efforts.

The epic title track of the Grammy-nominated 'ONA', on which the exploration of Croatian music and feminine experience - as well as Croatian language - can be heard

Published in 2015, Thana Alexa Pavelic's debut album 'Ode To Heroes' was similarly well accomplished. But, it seemed to more reflect her American experience rather than embracing the whole. Born in New York to a father from Zagreb and a mother of Dubrovnik heritage, Thana Alexa Pavelic spent every summer in Croatia and so was hardly uprooted when the family moved back to Croatia when Thana was 13. She returned to America to complete her university studies – music and psychology.

In comparison to 'Ode To Heroes', new album 'ONA' sees Thana Alexa Pavelic replacing her femininity with feminism – the album is inspired by the experiences of Croatian women, most of all her mother and her grandmother. Not just evident in the language of the album title, for the first time in her solo output, on 'ONA' you can hear Croatian language, traditional Croatian music and the Croatian female experience in the songs of Thana Alexa Pavelic.

Thana Alexa Pavelic's jazz rendition of the Tears For Fears classic - the song has been a popular part of her live set for quite some time

It is doubtless these Croatian influences that separate Thana Alexa Pavelic from the rest of 2020's jazz hopefuls. They are partially responsible - alongside the superb execution and production of the songs - for the Grammy nomination. It is the first-ever Grammy nomination received by a Croatian musician.

And, rather than simply take from the Croatian experience, 'ONA' also gives back. Thana Alexa Pavelic has dedicated a donation from each sale of the album to Zagreb-based human rights organisation Solidarna and their #spasime campaign (which supports victims of violence). Whether Thana Alexa Pavelic wins the Grammy for Best Vocal Jazz album or not, with 'ONA', she has placed a Croatian voice on the world's music stage in more ways than one. If she is successful, then the award will surely make its way to Croatia at some point, held in the hands of a Transatlantic artist now exploring in music her Croatian heritage. Good luck at the Grammys Thana Alexa!


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The Christian McBride's Big Band in Pula

Jazz comes to Istria.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Pula Jazz Season and Backstage Live

Pula is the place to be this year as the live music just doesn't stop.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Jazzy Beth Leaves Zagreb Rocking with a Bluesy Hart

Beth Hart played at Zagreb's Boogaloo Club on Friday, November 10, 2017. 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Music Under the Stars: JazzIstra Orchestra Plays Franci Blaskovic in Pula

Craving some good tunes? We've got you covered - just head to Pula!

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Korkyra Jazz Festival Delights Visitors to Korčula

The island of Korcula comes alive with jazz.