Novi Sad, long-established as a city of music as well as this year’s European Capital of Culture, this summer again welcomes the greats of musical arts. After a huge undertaking in the form of the Beethoven Marathon, which gathered a huge Novi Sad audience at the Petrovaradin Fortress, we are changing the genre and indulging ourselves in the District of Peace and three of the best regional pianists – Vasil Hadžimanov, Bojan Zulfikarpašić, and Matija Dedić. At the Piano Trinity concert in the Creative District on Despota Stefana Boulevard on 16 July at 10.20 p.m., we will listen to the piano virtuosos in performances – improvisations that confirm the status of the best performers on the regional stage.
The Piano Trinity: Vasil Hadžimanov – Bojan Zulfikarpašić – Matija Dedić concert will be held as part of the ‘Fortress of Peace’, the current programme arch of the European Capital of Culture which aims to proclaim the culture of dialogue and tolerance in the current socio-political moment which urgently calls for it. This is precisely why these three top artists are playing together at a concert, as a sign of intercultural dialogue, unity, understanding and reconciliation, for which music is the best way and a language we all understand.
This artist is considered one of the best jazz musicians in the region, characterised by frequent experimentation with ethnic sounds. A scholarship holder and graduate of the famous Berklee, Hadžimanov held numerous performances in the United States of America, where in New York he collaborated with the unsurpassed David Gilmore, and also tried his hand at the role of music programmer. Upon his return to Serbia in 1996, he founded the Vasil Hadžimanov Band, when his experimenting with traditional Balkan melodies took off. That’s when Hadžimanov’s collaboration with a number of famous musicians also began, and he was a member of Darkwood Dub. As an accomplished composer, Vasil has composed soundtracks for famous movies and TV shows such as When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Kangaroo, Basketball Players, and Open Door. As he comes from a musical family (father Zafir, mother Senka, and aunt Bisera Veletanlić), it is not surprising that he graduated from his studies at Berklee in three years instead of four, and in 2019 he was officially declared the best jazz pianist in the world (on the electric piano).
Another ‘child of music’, son of the famous Arsen Dedić and Gabi Novak, Matija Dedić became equally successful and popular in the jazz world. Dedicated to music and piano since the age of five, he graduated from the Jazz Academy in Graz. He travelled the world with his music, heard by audiences in Germany, Turkey, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Morocco, the United States of America, etc. In a competition of 400 musicians, he was chosen as one of the finalists of the Jazz Festival in France. He released an album in 2021 called Ladies, dedicated to singer-songwriters, and all the women who marked his private and business journey – Gabi Novak, Sara Renar, Marijana Zlopaša, Vesna Pisarović, and others with whom he collaborated on this album. As a guest of the European Capital of Culture, Matija performed in front of the Novi Sad audience as part of Doček, and this time we will listen to him together with his famous colleagues in the District of Peace.
French-Serbian jazz pianist Bojan Zulfikarpašić became famous on the Belgrade jazz scene, where he was active since his teenage days, and in 1989 he was proclaimed the best young jazz musician in Yugoslavia. Bojan Z, as he is known to the wider audience, is the recipient of several very important domestic and foreign awards, including the French Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a knight in the field of arts and literature, which is awarded for significant contributions to the arts, as well as the award for the best European jazz musician, the European Jazz Prize from 2005. In recent years, the musician has been producing and collaborating with musicians such as Michel Portal and Amira Medunjanin.
However, these three musicians leave us breathless with their performances more than with impressive biographies, which is why they are always welcome guests in Novi Sad. This time, the concept of their joint concert, the Piano Trinity, is different from everything we have had the opportunity to hear so far, namely – peace, tolerance, reconciliation, and intercultural dialogue, which they themselves stand for. Accordingly, this superb musical atmosphere for the general public will have free admission, so we are in for a memorable evening
Author: Leona Pap