Luka Veselinović : bass guitar, vocals
Zvjezdan Ružić : piano, synth
Janko Novoselić: drums
Vojkan Jocić : tenor saxophone
Lenart Krečič : tenor saxophone
Ensamble Veselino Jazz Project will play original music of the author Luka Veselinović from the album Romantic Egg is Going Home.
Luka Veselinović was born 1977. in Croatia, city of Rijeka. He now resides in Zagreb, which is the Croatian capital. Luka is surrounded with music from his early age. His father is a musician and a guitarist in a commercial pop band “Opatijski Suveniri”. His grandmother was a classical piano teacher, who strongly influenced Luka as a child. He learned piano for 3 years.
Luka was not initially intending to choose the musician life, as he began his studies of art history and painting on Faculty of Humanities and Social sciences in Rijeka . As he approached twenty one years of age and while yet still at college, Luka was motivated to further explore his passion for music. A Punk-rock band from Opatija by name “Ventili” had no bass player, so he picked up a bass and start to play new instrument. Soon after that he realized music is in his blood and started to show more interest for improvisational music and jazz. He decided to dig deeper into that direction, so he took private lessons with Croatian jazz bass Henry Radanovic and centered his focus toward music alone. He would then embrace the bass with no reserve and later upright bass too.
He moved to Zagreb to get more chances to play . He started a band “Labyrinth”, with Dalibor and Marko Matosevic, and in 2008 they recorded a jazz CD with original jazz compositions under the label of Dallas Records , with guest musicians Sasa Nestorovic, Matija Dedic and Kristian Terzic. With this band he performed on several Jazz festivals in Croatia. Soon began to perform professionally with many Croatian jazz musicians like, Kruno Levacic, Darko Jurkovic, Denis Razumovic, Borna Sercar, Oleg Kireyev Marko Lazaric, Branko Sterpin, Zvjezdan Ruzic, Joe and Lela Kaplowitz, Maja Savic, Vojkan Jocic, Simon Marlow,Nino Nimac, Adriano Bernobic….and others. In 2005 He joined a band with famed Croatian singer, Massimo Savic, where he collaborated with many others too for a seven years stint, like: Vasuda, Sharma, Nina Badric, Jacques Houdek, Ivo Gamulin Gianni, Ivana Kindl, Divas, Marko Tolja…. And played a part in recording with multiple pop, rock, instrumental and jazz projects, as a sideman with following artists: Marko Ramljak Band, Kristian Terzic Band, Labirynth Jazz Project, Detour, Massimo Savic, Connect, Meritas, Franko Krajcar, Bruno Krajcar, Jadranka Stojakovic, “Pips Chips & Videoclips” and others.
As a self thought musician, in order to learn more about music, he attended many jazz seminars in Croatia: Groznjan, Pucisca ( Bosko Petrovic), in Slovenia: Novo Mesto ( Reggie Workman), In Italy : “Berklee In Umbria” – Peruggia and Masterclass In Siena, where he had a chance to learn from and play with: Anders Jormin, Eric Harland, Jason Lindner, Furio di Castri, Omer Avital, Avishai Cohen.
He participated at jazz and music festivals as a part of different music projects : “Jazz Time” in Rijeka, “OFF Jazz and Blues Festival” in Sibenik, “Jazz Festival Bale”, “Samobor Jazz Festival”, “Kunstbunker Festival” in Duga Resa, “Pancevo Jazz Festival”, “EXIT music Festival” in Novi Sad, “Lent music Festival” Maribor, “Valamar Jazz Festival” in Porec, “Rovinj Jazz Festival”, “Avantgarde jazz Festival” Rovinj. This year of 2013 Luka Veselinovic played the popular SXSW music festival in Austin Texas with the Kristian Terzic Band.
In 2010 he attended a “Five Week Summer Berklee Music Program” in Boston where he had a chance to play in a combo directed by famous Japanese Trumpet Player, Tiger Okoshi and he was chosen for an all star jazz band line-up. He received scholarship for Berklee College Of Music after auditioning and Completed five semesters where Luka had had a chance to work and play with and some of the top Berklee teachers like Terry Lynne Carrington, Darren Barrett, Tiger Okoshi, Dave Buda, Dave Santoro, Bruce Gertz, Barry Smith, Dave Santoro, John Lockwood and others. During this study in Boston in 2012 he recorded his first (debut) album “Magnetic Whale” with some of the finest young musicians on Berklee College as a leader with his original compositions, while completely mixing and mastering and creating his own cover design personally.
Influenced by different styles of music, but mostly jazz, fusion and contemporary music, … Luka has embarked on a music project, called “Veselino Jazz project” where he joins with different jazz musicians and playing, creating and performing original music.
Currently Luka performs on different music projects and as a freelance session musician in Croatia.
Zvjezdan Ružić, pianist, arranger and composer was born on 21 June 1988 in Rijeka, Croatia. He graduated in jazz piano at the Kärntner Landeskonservatoriumu (Austria) in the class of Prof. Rob Bargad (SAD). During highschool, Ružić attended jazz seminars hosted by the pianist Emil Spany and private lessons from a well known pianist – David Gazarov. From 2009 he became a permanent member of the band Jazziana Croatica. The band has so far recorded four studio albums of which three were awarded with Porin, the most respectable Croatian discography award. In 2015 Zvjezdan released his debut album “The Knightingale Cabaret“ – a project where respected jazz musicians from Croatia and Slovenia were gathered; Lenart Krečič, Vojkan Jocić, Tomaž Gajšt, Luka Veselinović, Adriano Bernobić & Alba Nacinovich. The album consists of six original compositions by Zvjezdan which combine elements of American jazz that he studied and traditional Croatian melos along with the cultural heritage of the region where he grew up.
He performed with the Rivers group from Rijeka on a jazz festival in Great Britain. With Jazziana Croatica he performed in several countries and those worth mentioning are the concert at Schoenberg Hall (UCLA, California) and performances in München, Budapest, Paris, Milan and other European countries.
Over the course of his career, Zvjezdan worked with many artists from the Croatian jazz and pop scene and has been a permanent member of the Goran Končar & Charlie Jurković quintet, Veselino Jazz project, Finger Snap trio, Charlie Jurković & Zvjezdan Ružić duo and other projects.
Furthermore, he composed theatre music for the following shows; “La fatiche di Pseudolus”, “I botoni de la Montura” and “La finta ammalata” produced by the Italian Drama Department of the I. pl. Zajc Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka. Along with Goran Končar & Charlie Jurković quintet he participated in the “Meeting Point” album recording, “Nekoliko riječi” album by the guitar player Spartaco Črnjarić, “A Little Book Of Notes” & “Nehaj” by Jazziana Croatica, “Magnetic Whale” by the bass player and double bass player Luka Veselinović, “Jazziana Croatica Big Band”, “Night Speaking” by Vedran Ružić trio, “The Fat Manager” by The Hood Fellas, “Song For My Cat” by Finger Snap trio, “For Believers Only” by the saxophonist Denis Razumović, “Jazz Room” by the double bass player Tihomir Hojsak, “Event” album by Borna Šercar trio feat. Sabrina nomitated for the Porin award, “Wagner Goes to Hollywood” by Jazziana Croatica and his first album called “The Knightingale Cabaret” released in 2015 under the Aquarius Records label.
Zvjezdan received several Status awards, the prestige Croatian award given by the Croatian Musicians Union; 2010 winner of Status in the category of “Young jazz talents” 2011, 2012 and 2013 winner of Status for the best instrumentalist of the year in the category „Jazz piano“. In 2016 Zvjezdan became a member of the Croatian Society of Independent Artists.