The Year of Neighborhood Dialogue Austria – Slovenia 2019/2020
Wolfgang Seligo Jazz Trio:
Wolfgang Seligo, piano
Peter Strutzenberger, double bass
Heimo Wiederhofer, percussion
Nina Strnad, vocals
Jaka Kopač, saxophone
The Year of Neighborhood Dialogue Austria – Slovenia 2019/2020 will be dedicated to cultural and artistic links between the two countries. The Ljubljana opening event brings together Austrian and Slovenian musicians. We are promised an evening of original jazz compositions (by Wolfgang Seligo) as well as of »eternal« standards from the song repertoire. The renowned Wolfgang Seligo Jazz Trio from Austria will be joined by two acclaimed Slovenian artists, the singer Nina Strnad and the saxophonist Jaka Kopač.
Pianist and composer Wolfgang Seligo is very much at home in many divergent musical styles. His original music is influenced by jazz, rock, and modern classical music and driven by a funky and powerful sound from the piano. He brought his work onto the international stage in various formations but also solo. He gave concerts in the Forbidden City of Peking, on the Red Square of Moscow, but also in Morocco, Senegal, Chicago and Washington. Other performances include festivals and concert series in Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States. After jazz studies in Vienna, Wolfgang Seligo gathered his first experiences as a composer, producer and musician in the early 1990s. In addition to his participation in various ensembles in the Viennese scene, he cofounded together with Dhafer Yousseff and Gerhard Reiter the ethnic jazz project »Ziryab« (Extraplatte) which toured in Austria and Germany. He also pursued other activities, including individual activities as a composer and a co-producer for some regional music projects (Ariola BMG, EMI) and working as an advertising and media composer for radio, TV and cinema. But since around 2000, Wolfgang Seligo has been dedicating himself to concert piano music in combination with jazz, rock and improvised music and elements of classical music and toured with his music throughout Europe and Asia as well as Africa and the United States. The liaison of improvised music with classical and contemporary classical music plays a predominant position in the compositions of Wolfgang Seligo. Since 2007 Seligo has been playing piano solo concerts and concerts with classical instrumentation (e.g. cello) and improvisation playing a significant role. This was followed by some music releases and the solo piano work »Alternative Jazz Piano«, for jazz pianists and classically trained pianists.
Nina Strnad started her music education under the mentorship of Nada Žgur at the Music and Ballet School in Ljubljana. She later moved to New York and continued her education at the prestigious New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. In addition, she completed her studies of music pedagogy at the Conservatory of Music in Klagenfurt. She is a constant guest of festivals and concert cycles, as well as events that bring to life the golden years of Slovenian singing. She frequently collaborates with The Slovenian Radio and Television Big Band, and performs abroad. The clearness and sensuality of her interpretations are admired by both professional as well as general public. She was selected to represent Slovenia in the European Jazz Orchestra (2010) and at the BT Olympic Festival in London (2012). At the Fourth National Meeting of Big Bands and Dance Orchestras, she was recognized as Best Soloist (2009). She was also awarded the Best Soloist in the Young Talent category at the Austrian International Jazz Festival Marianne Mendt (2014), and was ranked among the fifteen Best Competitors at the 2014 Sarah Vaughan Competition.
Jaka Kopač is one of the finest Slovenian jazz saxophonists. He completed his master’s degree (jazz saxophone) at the renowned Sibelius Academy in Helsinki in 2009. He has participated in various projects such as the European Movement Jazz Orchestra, European Jazz Orchestra, New School Jazz Orchestra and Umo Big band, and has performed with prominent musicians such as Jonathan Blake, Jimmy Owens, Danny Grissett and many others.