Vantage Chamber Quintet

The repertoire of the Vantage Chamber Quintet is based on the scores of the masters of classical music, from the period of Vivaldi to that of Stravinsky.

Our interpretation and improvisation on a particular selection imply multiple simultaneous views of the subject from various vantage points, so that the sonic picture grows richer and more intricate over the course of the musical development. We tend to generate a variety of different strands of melodic and contrapuntal sounds and proportions. The main thrust of our individual and shared interpretative research lies in our abilities to continuously modify and create.

Compositions of Bach, Vivaldi, Mussorgsky, Ravel, Satie, Grieg and Debussy, among other composers which form our program, are arranged in a manner resembling the Cubist approach in painting. We use the term as a metaphor to address a way of blending together a variety of different atmospheres, moods and musical feels of both chamber and contemporary world music. We see it as an intriguing form of performance – a union between chamber and festival music, a fresh and fertile ground which allows for many facets of experimentation, innovation, enjoyment and surprise.

  • Goran Grbic- trumpet & flugelhorn (SR)
  • Ratko Zjaca-guitar (NL / CRO)
  • Vid Jamnik – vibraphone (SLO)
  • Martin Gjakonovski – acoustic bass (MK)
  • Joze Zadravec – drums (SLO)

Goran Grbic

After graduating Composition and Solo Trumpet, from Belgrade Faculty of Music in 1984, Goran Grbic continued his studies at The Conservatoire Regional Boulogne Billancourt in Paris, specializing in the interpretation of Baroque music.

As a student, he was awarded at various occasions. The outstanding award was at The National Competition of Performing Musicians, where he was granted to perform in Solo Concert with Zagreb Filharmony.

After completing his studies in classical music he went on to study Jazz. He graduated from Hohschule fur Jazz Musik, in Gratz and studied Solo Trumpet at Koninklijke Conservatoire in Den Haag.

As a jazz musician, he was a member of The Big Band Radio Orchestra in Belgrade and Sarajevo. As a young classical musician, he held a place of the First Trumpet at Belgrade Filharmony.

His first recording was in Graz with The Latin Jazz Orchestra – ‘Tangavan’.

From early 1991, he played as a soloist for The Music Production ‘Stardust’ in Amsterdam, and from 1993, he continued to be a part of The Duch Television Production Company – ‘Joop van den Ende’. In the late 90’s he performed in concerts with ‘Lautareaskain’ Group in Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. He worked as a Conductor with The Big Band ‘Jenus’, in Netherlands, Jeunesse Musicale in France and other jazz orchestras touring Hungary, Montenegro and Bosnia. He has performed with Peter Herbolzheimer, Ack Van Rooyen, also with Swedish Jazz musicians in Stocholm, Tbilisi and Belgrade in cooperation with East Art Organization from Stockholm.

He had his premiere performance of J.S. Bach’s Solo Suites in Stockholm, which he later recorded for The Radio and Television Music Production in Belgrade.

His latest performance as a soloist was with Zagreb Radio Television Jazz Orchestra, which performed his composition based on Stravinski’s Rite of Spring and Petrushka.

He performs classical music regularily in the productions of the Association of the Music Artists of Serbia.

He worked as trumpet docent at The Kurhaus in Den Haag, as a music teacher at The Music School ‘Stankovic‘ in Belgrade, and is currently teaching at The Music School ‘Josif Marinkovic’ in Vrsac.

Ratko Zjaca

“The unexpected delight of hearing John Riley on this recording with an all-star assemblage of European musicians Ratko Zjaca Nocturnal Four only makes the listening experience sweeter. I highly recommend this album” – Peter Erskine

“This new CD by guitarist Ratko Zjaca’s New Organ Group featuring the great American drummer John Riley, Renato Chicco on Organ and Stefano Bedetti on Tenor Saxophone is full of creative, well conceived, and grooving original compositions by Ratko, and absolutely first rate playing from everyone! It’s a tightly knit group and his best record yet in my opinion, well produced as far as overall conception, and great sound too! Check it out!” – Randy Brecker

“I listened and really enjoyed this album. The collaboration of these four artists is brilliant and extremely well played. They are all musicians of the highest caliber. CD – Life on Earth” – Lenny White

“Ratko’s new CD is full of great compositions played by a top notch band. With his lyrical playing, this makes for a most enjoyable listening experience.” – John Abercrombie

“My brother Mike thrived on originality, everything about him was different. He would have loved this CD which oozes originality and interaction at the highest level. These great musicians know how to LISTEN… this is just a stupendous effort… I really enjoyed it too!” – Randy Brecker

“Ratko presents a dynamic collection of jazz and attains something very rare indeed – a balance between body and soul.” – Vernon Reid

“Once again I am pleased to hear that Ratko is continuing to carve his niche, as an important contributor to contemporary music. Enjoyable and inspiring.” – Reggie Workman

“Ratko put together a great band and found beautiful original compositions for us to play on… it was a very free session, musically speaking everyone played their hearts out.” – Randy Brecker

“They succeeded in grand fashion on these two unforgettable October nights in 2019 at the Milestone Jazz Club and the Bologna Jazz Festival. From structured forms to sublime ballads to free flowing conversations on the bandstand, the ZZ Quartet speaks in a myriad of tongues on Midnight in Europe.” – Bill Milkowski

“Passionate… lyrical… one of a kind with virtuoso performance, this is music that should be heard by all music lovers.” – Dave Liebman

“This recording reminds me how much fun a musical gathering can be. It’s good to recall that music, particularly improvised music, is rooted in dancing – the urge to shake that thing is universal, transcends all borders. We need music these days more than ever, and here’s just what the doctor ordered” – Steve Swallow

Ratko Zjaca is an award winning guitarist, composer and recording artist with many critically acclaimed recordings under his name.

He has recorded and performed with some of the most influential musicians in jazz and modern improvisation music.

He is an innovative musician, who is widely recognized as a technically advanced guitarist. He is known for being a relentless individualist, which is evidenced in his improvisational style. Ratko is a highly versatile player covering many areas of music but is best known for his work in the modern jazz and improvisation idiom and released a number of albums as leader and sideman.

Ratko is considered a very gifted stylist, assumes many roles in his macrocosm of music: contemporary guitarist, composer, performer etc. Born in Croatia, Ratko in his early days was attracted by the sound of the guitar, both subversive sounds like those produced by Jimi Hendrix and from the classics like Bach and van Beethoven. He studied and graduated from Zagreb University. In his drive for the necessary knowledge and the enormous need for studies he sought his refuge in The Netherlands at the Rotterdam Conservatory, famous for its studies of modern music. There he could get teachings by well-known masters. He also followed masterclasses and personal courses with Joe Pass, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, Mick Goodrick, Mike Stern, Bob Brookmayer, John Abercrombie and others.

Unlike some of his colleagues Ratko is not focusing only on saxophone phraseologies, but is continuously expanding the guitar’s vocabulary within today’s world of music. Whilst improving his performance to create his typical own sound and style, Ratko as a gifted teacher with a loaded teaching schedule, is capable of transposing most advanced phrases and concepts into structures, suitable for every musician. He gives master classes all around the world for guitar and fretless guitar, in countries like Slovenia, the Netherlands, France, Croatia and the United States.

After completing his study at the Rotterdam Conservatory, he also studied at New York University School of Music. He started to work with own group and with American trumpet veteran Benny Bailey. Ratko participated at many international festivals and has been booked for the major club dates at the European and American scene. Ratko has constantly made major efforts to enrich his experience with appearances and recordings. He was also performing and recording with Benny Bailey, Randy Brecker, Gary Peacock, Reggie Workman, John Pattituci, Al Foster, Steve Gadd, Miroslav Vitous, Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Jeff Tain Watts, Alvin Queen, Adam Nussbaum, Shawnn Monteiro etc.

In April 2000 Ratko recorded “A Day in Manhattan” in New York with the jazz stars Reggie Workman and Al Foster.

Ratko is currently composing music and working on a new world music project on which he plays baritone, sitar, fretless, soprano, electric and acoustic guitars – this will be the second part of his previous record Shades of Spirit, Fretless Guitar Project.

Ratko released a quartet recording, Crossing The Border, in New York City with John Patitucci, Al Foster and Stan Mitrovic, with all original compisitions of all members of the quartet.

Ratko released a record, Continental Talk, with John Patitucci, Steve Gadd, Randy Brecker and Stan Mitrovic.

Ratko just released a new record on In+Out Records, The Way We Talk, with Simone Zanchini, Adam Nussbaum and Martin Gjakonovski.

Ratko’s new recording Now and Then is out with Simone Zanchini, Miroslav Vitous, John Patitucci, Reggie Workman, Steve Gadd, Randy Brecker and others on In + Out Records.

He recorded a new album with the ZZ Quartet 2013 Beyond the lines (Zjaca, Zanchini, Nussbaum, Gjakonovski).

Ratko new album in NYC is out january 2016 with Simone Zanchini, Stefano Bedetti , John Patitucci and Adam Nussbaum.

“Life on Earth with” Ratko with Antonio Sanchez, Renato Chicco and Stefano Bedetti.

“Light in the World” Ratko with John Riley, Renato Chicco and Stefano Bedetti.

“The places you will go” Ratko with John Riley, Antonio Sanchez, Simone Zanchini, Miroslav Vitous, John Patitucci, Reggie Workman, Steve Gadd, Randy Brecker and others.

“Midnight in Europe” Ratko Zjaca, Simone Zanchini, Adam Nussbaum and Martin Gjakonovski coming out 2021.

Ratko endorses Mirabella Guitars.

Ratko Zjaca is nominated for best jazz guitarist in South American El Intruso New Creative Music Critics Poll Award for 2010.

The CD “Don’t try this anywhere” has won the Orpheus Award for 2016 – the best Italian production for jazz music.

Ratko Zjaca received the Award for achievement, the authorship and artistic creation in jazz music from the Croatian Composer Society – 2019.

Vid Jamnik

Vid Jamnik was born in Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia in 1993. He made his first official musical steps in 2001 in the music school in Ravne na Koroškem with professor Davorin Jevšnikar.

In 2005, he attended a summer jazz school in Grožnjan, Croatia, where he met the legendary Yugoslav vibraphonist Boško Petrović, who became an important mentor figure and ushered the young musician into the world of jazz. Vid has performed with many renowned musicians and ensembles, including Jimmy Cobb, Georgie Fame, Jim Rotondi, Stefan Milenkovich, Gianni Basso, Dusko Goykovich, Arthur Lipner, the JMI Jazz World Orchestra under the direction of Luis Bonilla, and was a member of the Euroradio Jazz Orchestra 2017.

He studied privately with Gary Burton and participated in workshops led by the likes of Dave Samuels, Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Lewis Nash and Nebojša Jovan Živković. In 2007, he won first place in Euritmia International Young Musicians’ Competition in Udine, Italy. His group Urgent Detergent made it to the finals of the EBU European Jazz Competition in Rotterdam, Holland, in 2015, and in 2019, took second place in the 7 Virtual Jazz Competition.

In 2012, Vid graduated from the Carinthian State Conservatory in Klagenfurt, Austria with an Artistic Diploma in Jazz Studies. In 2011/2012, he participated in a five-month Erasmus student exchange at the Jazz Institut Berlin with professor David Friedman, and in 2014 released his debut album Last Minute! on Alessa Records. In 2018, Vid graduated Summa Cum Laude as a dual-major student of Performance and Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, having studied with Terence Blanchard, George Garzone, Ed Saindon, Kenny Werner, Ralph Peterson and many others.

He received Berklee’s Most Active Mallet Performer Award in his first semester of studies and was selected twice to record for Berklee’s Jazz Revelation Records’ compilation CD featuring best student bands and compositions; he represented the label at the Umbria Jazz festival in Italy and, in 2015, toured in France on behalf of the college. Vid’s recordings also made it to two Jazz Slovenia compilations (2015, 2019), presenting the best of Slovene jazz.

In the past couple years, he toured Taiwan three times with the Mizform Project, presenting a unique fusion of traditional Taiwanese music and jazz. Currently, he is heading a pioneering ongoing project, Viva Jazz Forma, fusing sounds of outdoor metal sculptures with jazz, techno and electronic music, thus bridging the visual and musical worlds.

He is a leader or member of several different groups: Urgent Detergent, Viva Jazz Forma, Vid Jamnik/Ratko Zjača Duo, You’ve Got That Swing (with Eddie Luis & His Jazz Passengers), Jazz Continuo, Mizform Project and Ajda Stina Turek Trio.

Vid Jamnik is a Balter Mallets Artist.

Martin Gjakonovski

Born in Skopje, Macedonia in a family of jazz musicians. His father was the founder and conducter of the macedonian Jazz Radio Big Band and his mother a jazz vocalist. Martin started playing classical double-bass at the age of 14, but soon his passion for jazz awoke and resulted with the founding of his first band, Trio Spato.

The opening door to the international jazz scene was a jazz workshop with the Coltrane bassplayer Reggie Workman in Groznjan, Croatia (1990).

In 1991 he moved to Cologne, Germany studying jazz bass at the Music Academy of Cologne.

He also learned from other great bassplayers such as Arild Andersen, John Clayton, Mike Richmond and Eddie Gomez.

In the coming years he became one of the busiest and most versatile bassists in Germany playing with such musicians as: Dusko Goykovich, Paul Shigihara, Ferenc Snetberger, David Friedman, Lee Konitz, Atilla Zoller, Don Friedman, Pete Yellin, Matt Wilson, Tony Lakatos, Ingrid Jensen, Andy Middleton, Kenny Wheeler, Kenny Werner, Charlie Mariano, Greg Hopkins, Don Menza etc.

In the last 10 years he worked and is still playing with Michael Sagmeister Trio, Dusko Goykovich Quintet, Nicolas Simion Group, Antonio Faraò Trio (feat. Bob Berg, Sonny Fortune, Rick Margitza, Gene Jackson), Lynne Arriale Trio (feat. Benny Golson, Steve Davis), Paul Kuhn Trio (feat. Toots Thielemans, Ack Van Rooyen, Jiggs Whigham), Bojan Z Expatriots, Paul Shigihara Group (feat. Mokhtar Samba), Frankfurt Jazz Trio and many others.

He has recorded more than 150 jazz and world music CD’s.

Joze Zadravec

He studied jazz at the Carinthian State Conservatory in Klagenfurt, Austria, with Professors Erich Bachträgl and Klemens Marktl.

Collaboration with musicians and ensembles:

Simone Zanchini, Ratko Zjaca, Ton Risco, Martin Gjakonovski, Stefano Bedetti, Robert Bargard, Michael Erian, Karen Asatrian, Daniel Nösig, Gilad Barakan, Agostino Di Giorgio, Tonč Feinig, Reinhard Summerer, Primož Grašič, Vid Jamnik, Vasko Atanasovski, Maja Keuc, Aleksandra Ilijevski, Elda Viler, Olivija, Karin Zemljič, Ana Bezjak, Peter Lovšin, Tomo Jurak, Jure Ivanušič, Lidija Kodrič, Jaka Kopač, Milan Stanisavljevid, Boris Majcen, Grega Zver, Stane Hebar, Robert Ožinger, Luka Herman Gaiser, Samo Ivačič, Domen Gnezda, Anže Vrabec, Erik Čebokli …

Participation in workshops led by world-renowned musicians and tutors including:

Gregory Hutchinson, Willie Jones III, Billy Hart, Jimmy Cobb, Gary Bartz, Bob Mintzer, Armen Donelian, Don Menza …

Performances at numerous international festivals:

Nišville Jazz Festival (SRB), Osijek Summer of Culture (HR), The International Ethno Jazz Festival Karlovac (HR), Last Minute Jazz Festival Bale/Vale (HR), street festival Špancirfest Varaždin (HR), Swing Festival Zagreb (HR), Swing Festival Graz (AT), Sing mit uns/Sing with us (CH), Jazz unterm Baum/Jazz Under a Tree (AT), Swing Fest Bern (CH), Jazz in Lapidarium Poreč (HR) …

Regular appearances at festivals in Slovenia:

Jazz Ravne, Avsenik Festival Begunje, Mozzajik Festival Velenje, Festival Lent Maribor, Jazz at CID Ptuj, Festival Arsana Ptuj, Festival Kanal Bohinj, Swing Festival BLED, Festival Godibodi Ljubljana, re:Pannonia Festival Križevci, PannoniAccordion Festival Murska Sobota, Soboško Poletje Murska Sobota, Trnfest Ljubljana, Slovenski Šanson Ljubljana …

Other performances at cultural events, national celebrations, and television and radio recordings:

Abroad: former cultural venue RAJ Klagenfurt (AT), Jazz Club Kammerlichtspiele Klagenfurt (AT), Le Pirate Rosenheim (DE), Wist (AT);

In Slovenia: The Križanke Summer Theatre, Cankarjev dom Cultural and Congress Centre, The Cankarjev dom Club, The Castle Ljubljanski Grad, The Slovene National Theatre Maribor, Gajo Ljubljana Jazz Club, Jazz Club Postojna (“Jazz hram”), Salon of Applied Arts Maribor, Wetrinsky Club Maribor, the cultural venue Prulček Ljubljana …

Teaching at renowned institutions:

Jože has been teaching drums at the music school B.A.S.E (Ptuj, Slovenia) since 2015.

In 2017, he started teaching drums and rhythm and reading at the jazz department of the Maribor Conservatory of Music and Ballet (Slovenia).