Thursday, March 16, 2006

JAZZBINA CLUBING - 10 Years on the¸Air and Stage

10 Years on the¸Air and Stage
HP Club, Hotel Pula, Pula
Vasil Hadžimanov, keyboards
Vlada Samardzic, bass
Bojan Ivković, percussion, scat
Srđan Dunkić-Johnny, drums
and ...



Vasil’s (born June 23rd, 1973, Belgrade) classical training began at the age of 5,

and included attendance at one of the oldest music high schools in South East Europe,

Stevan Mokranjac in Belgrade (prof. Ljubinka Hadzi-Jovancic). It was his interest in jazz, however, that won him full scholarship to attend the Interlochen Arts Camp for two summers in a row and afforded him the opportunity to study and perform with Milt Jackson, Curtis Fuller, and Bayron Stripling among others.

He moved to Boston in 1992 to study piano and arranging at Berklee College of Music on a scholarship. He graduated in 1995 and his piano teachers were Ray Santisi and Lazslo Gardony.

While at Berklee, he performed with Matt Garrison, Rick Peckham, Leroy Jenkins (in his rap opera “Funky Faust”), George Garzone, Ayib Dieng, and toured nationally with Paskal Bokar’s afro-pop band.

In September 1996 Vasil moved to New York, where he continued his work with some of the best young musicians like: David Gilmore, David Binney, Cris Cheek, Marko Djordjevic, Danny Sadownick, Adam Deutch, Antonio Sanchez, Reuben Rogers, Rodney Holmes, “Ultranate”… At the same time he worked as a music programmer at the “TOMANDANDY” studios (authors of the “Killing Zoe” soundtrack).

Vasil also performed with the following SCG artists: Jovan Maljokovic Balkan Salsa Band (Rothweill Jazz Fest., Montreaux Jazz Fest.), Dusko Gojkovic (European tour), Steve Gut (Segedin Jazz Fest.), Mimo Mitrovic, Bisera Veletanlic, Zafir and Senka Hadzimanov, Rambo Amadeus (ex Yu tour)…

After spending a year in the Big Apple he decided to move back to Yugoslavia and finish what he started with his own:


His ideas of mixing Balkan traditional, folk rhythms and melodies with the western, modern musical styles (jazz, funk, world music…) in his own music is completely authentic and a new approach to jazz music. For the last 5 years, Vasil and his musicians have continuously played his compositions on concerts and jazz festivals all over Serbia and Montenegro and other countries with big success (Belgrade summertime Jazz Fest - following Joe Zawinul, Novi Sad Jazz Fest., Nis, Smederevo,

Kragujevac, Podgorica, Budva,… Banjaluka, Sarajevo, Mostar, Zelenkovac Jazz Fest (Bosnia), Skopje Soul and Blues Fest., Kumanovo Jazz Fest.(Macedonia), Maribor Lent Fest., Cerkno Jazz Fest. (Slovenia), Opatija Jazz Fest., Promotion concert for the PGP publishing house in Stuttgart, Pula (Croatia), Berlin (benefit concert), Porgy and Bess jazz club in Vienna (Austria), Bratislava Jazz Days “Jazzove dni” (Slovakia)…

In the year of 2001, Vasil Hadzimanov Band released their first CD and tape under the title “11 reasons for…” published by PGP-RTS. Its first edition sold out in three months. Also for their first release, they won the award Beovision 2002 for the Best Debut Album of The Year 2002.

In the summer of 2002 Vasil Hadzimanov Band joined famous director Goran Paskaljevic and his film crew, in making of a documentary about Belgrade, for the ARTE television. Vasil composed the music and the band fronted by their percussionist Bojan Ivkovic, acted and performed music in the movie. Vasil’s music can also be found on “011 Belgrade”, a movie by a young Austrian director Michael Pfeifenberger and a new movie by Rasha Andric "When I Grow Up I Wanna Be A Kangaroo".

In the year of 2003 they released their second CD “Kafanki”, again published by PGP-RTS, which they currently promote across Europe. For this one, they won the award Suncane skale 2003 for the Best Instrumental Album of The Year 2003.

19th of November 2003 VH Band performed on the “Enter Music Festival“ in Belgrade sharing the stage with the great Joe Zawinul and his Zawinul Syndicate. After hearing the band perform live, Zawinul himself invited Vasil and his mates to perform in his new club in Vienna, called "Joe's Birdland", in the spring of 2005. In the summer of 2005, the band will represent the sounds of the Balkan on Expo 2005 Aichi, Japan.

In June 2004 VH Band were invited by the violin virtuoso Nigel Kennedy to perform with him on his big Belgrade concert. This was quite an experience for both parties involved, as well as for the audience...

Confident that the quality and originality will turn many heads and create new opportunities for them, this young band is eager to expand its audience and a place in your programme.

Vasil Hadzimanov band featuring:

Vladimir Samardzic –el. bass guitar (born in 1970 in Novi Sad, Serbia) As a self-thought guitar player he picks bass guitar at the age of 19 and starts practising and playing in many clubs in Belgrade and Novi Sad with domestic jazz musicians. He meets Vasil Hadzimanov in 1993 and the same year became a member of the Novi Sad Big Band Orchestra. 1995-1997 Vladimir records and performs with the legendary rock band SMAK and studies with the bands leader and one of the most famous guitarists in ˝old˝ Yugoslavia, Radomir Mihajlovic – Tochak. At Berklee College of Music, which he enrolled with the scholraship in 1997, he wins the reward for an Outstanding Achievemnet from Berklee Bass Department, BMG Jazz Award and he gets the scholarship from Studenica Foundation (for talented students from Serbia studing in America). During his studies in the States, he intensively works with Bryan Oliver funk band and latino ensemble named Papa Loves Mambo. He colaborates with great singer Gabrielle Goodman, world known vibist Dave Samules (Spyro Gyra, Caribbean Jazz Project), percusionist Jammey Haddad (Dave Liebeman, Paul Simon), rumenian pan-flute player Damian Dragichi and new york drummer Marko Djordjevic (SVETI). With his own sextet Vladimir performs originals at many clubs in Boston. He graduates with ˝Summa Cum Laude˝ in 1999 under supervision of his mentors Oscar Stagnaro(Paquito D'Rivera, Dave Valentin) and Anthony Vitti. After gradution from Berklee Vladimir comes back to Yugoslavia (2000) and continues playing with Vasil Hadzimanov as a full time member of Vasil's band. He also colaborates with singers Bisera Veletanlic and Hana Vuchicevic (Speed Limit, Just), latino band Mambo Stars, multiinstrumentalist Slobodan Trkulja (Balkanopolis) and Groove Masters band which follows the most popular pop singer in this region Vlado Georgiev. Among taking part on many jazz festivals all over ex–Yugoslavia with Vasil Hadzimanov Band, Vladimir played at the festivals in Austria, Slovakia, Germany and Holland (tour of five World Music festivals 2004 and North See Jazz Festival 2002 with the Balkanopolis ethno project). Since his return from United States he has been active as a private instructor, and music workshops lecturer for bass guitar and harmony. As bass guitarist he was involved in realisation of many domestic music edtions and several independent american editions. Vladimir Samardzic lives with his family in Novi Sad where he works on his first lesson book for modern bass guitar.

Srdjan Dunkic - Johnny - drums (born April 6th, 1976 Belgrade, YU)

After finishing one of the best private drum schools in Belgrade, at the age of 12, he already became an active professional drummer with many Yugoslav bands, playing original and cover material.

From 1997 until 1999 one of the most popular TV channels in the country, broadcasts a music show where Johnny, with his own “Mega Band”, had a chance to perform with the biggest stars in Yugoslav pop/rock music (Bata Kovac, “K2”, “Zana”, Kiki and the “Pilots”…)

Performs with Cosey Powell on his European tour. Collaborates with Djordje David, Dragoljub Djuricic( Germany, Austria…) and “Fuzzbox” band.

On behalf of a great experience he gained in working with the best, he is most wanted as a studio musician.

Bojan Ivkovic - percussion, scat vocal (born October 15th, 1975, Vrsac, YU)

1990 - 1994 performs with local bands. In 1994 he moves to Belgrade and becomes a drummer of one of the best blues groups in Yugoslavia “Hush” with their front man Ana Popovic. After numerous concerts with “Hush” (Summertime Jazz Fest., West Rhythm Fest., Pachs Blues Fest., Senta Blues Fest...), he takes interest in playing percussion as well.

1996 -2001 Bojan records and performs with: Pavle Aksentijevic (Bemus fest., Zurich, Bern, St. Gallen, Canada), Sanja Ilic and Balkanika (Maribor Lent Fest, Mexico, Austria…), experimental band “Vroom” (Trn Fest. Slovenia…), neoswing band “Havana Whisper” (Belgrade Jazz Fest., Zelenkovac Jazz fest….) and Vasil Hadzimanov Band.


Vasil Hadzimanov Band, other than in a form of a quartet, can also perform with their special guests, some of the best musicians in the Balkan area:

Brankica Vasic - vocal (one of the greatest ethno Balkan voices of our time, performed with Goran Bregovic, Sanja Ilic…)

Teodosii Spasov - kaval (greatest Bulgarian kaval player, recorded and performed with Trilok Gurtu among others)

Antonio Kitanovski - guitar (Berklee graduate, his approach to music is completely new and original, performed with Charlie Mariano, Greg Hopkins…)

Orhan Maslo - percussion (a superb Bosnian percussionist, performed with Mostar Sevdah Reuninon among others)

And others that were guests on our two realeses ("11 reasons for…" and "Kafanki")