Vid Jamnik – vibraphone
Ratko Zjaca – guitar
This collaboration between two masters of their instruments presents a unique combination of guitar and vibraphone that sounds intimate yet sonorously rich – delicate in this moment and wild in the next. The interaction and spontaneity of the voices are reflected in experimenting with rhythmic ideas, textures and dynamic range. Diverse interpretations of energetic original compositions and tunes from the standard jazz repertoire mirror the enthusiasm and musical connection of the artists, which only deepens with the many concerts.
Vid Jamnik was born in Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia in 1993. He made his first official musical steps in 2001 in music school in Ravne na Koroškem with professor Davorin Jevšnikar.
In 2005 he visited summer jazz school in Grožnjan, Croatia, where he met his dear friend and mentor Boško Petrović. Since then vibraphone has been his favourite instrument and jazz his favourite music. He has performed with many renowned ensembles and musicians, including Jimmy Cobb, Boško Petrović Trio, Georgie Fame, Jim Rotondi, Stefan Milenkovich, Simone Zanchini, David Gazarov, Gianni Basso, Dusko Goykovich, Arthur Lipner and the JMI Jazz World Orchestra under the direction of Luis Bonilla.
He studied privately with Gary Burton and participated in workshops led by famous musicians, such as 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, and in 2015 he made it to the finals of the EBU European Jazz Competition in Rotterdam, Holland, with his group Urgent Detergent.
In 2012 Vid graduated from the Musical Conservatory in Klagenfurt, Austria with an artist’s diploma in jazz studies, having studied with professors Rob Bargad and Günther Hofbauer. In 2011/2012 he participated in a five-month Erasmus student exchange at the Jazz Institut Berlin with professor David Friedman. Since 2013 Vid has been a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He received Berklee’s Most Active Mallet Performer Award in his first semester of studies and was selected for two consecutive years to record for Berklee’s Jazz Revelation Records’ compilation CD featuring best student bands and compositions. He also represented the label at the Umbria Jazz festival in Italy. In 2015 Vid Jamnik Quintet toured in France on behalf of the college.He is a leader or member of several different groups: Urgent Detergent, Vid Jamnik & the Mediterranean Connection, Vid Jamnik/Ratko Zjača Duo, Vid Jamnik Quartet, You’ve Got That Swing (with Eddie Luis & His Jazz Passengers), Jazz Continuo, Ajda Stina Turek Trio and Miszform Project.
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
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. John sounds right at home, and the rest of the musicians sound like New Yorkers! I highly recommend this album. – Peter Erskine
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
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’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
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
Ratko presents a dynamic collection of jazz and attains something very rare indeed – a balance between body and soul. – Vernon Reid
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 Zjaca is an award winning guitarist, composer and recording artist with many critically acclaimed recordings under his name has recorded and performed with some of the most influential musicians in jazz and modern improvised 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 has had a prolific and extensive session history as a recording guitarist having played on many released recordings. He is a highly versatile player covering many areas of music but is best known for his work in the modern jazz and improvisation idiom. Ratko has 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, Antonio Sanchez, Miroslav Vitous, Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Jeff Tain Watts, Alvin Queen, Adam Nussbaum, Shawn Monteiro, Denise Jannah, Simone Zanchini , Renato Chicco, Stefano Bedetti 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.
He recorded a new album with the ZZ Quartet 2013 Beyond the lines (Zjaca, Zanchini, Nussbaum, Gjakonovski).
New album in NYC “Dont try this anywhere” 2016 with Simone Zanchini, Stefano Bedetti, John Patitucci and Adam Nussbaum.
Ratko received the award for authorship and artistic creation in jazz music from the Croatian Composer Society 2019.
A new CD “Life on Earth” is coming out in January 2018 – Ratko with Antonio Sanchez, Stefano Bedetti and Renato Chicco.
A new CD “Light in the World” – Ratko Zjaca, John Riley, Stefano Bedetti and Renato Chicco – is coming out soon.
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.