KRISTIJAN MLAČAK, saxophone
Kristijan Mlačak started his professional career in 2001, enrolling in the Music Academy in Rotterdam (Saxophone, Jazz Department). During the five-year studies and stay in Holland, he had an opportunity to play with a number of international jazz names (Tommy Smith,Toon Roos, Ilja Reinghoud, Bert Jorris, Toots Thielemans, Hans van Oosterhout, Ed Verhoeff…), which included various engagements ranging from jazz cub gigs to studio project and concerts at the prestigious North Sea Jazz Festival.
Upon graduation and soon after he finally came back from Holland, he became a regular member of the RTS Big Band (since October 2006). This allowed him to work with some of the leading jazz musicians, such as: Dusko Goykovich, Steve Gut, Benny Golson, Ronnie Cuber, Steve Turre, Jessie Davis, Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Samuel Blaser, Simon Rigter, Dieter Limbourgh, Lee Konitz, and many others…
As an active part of the domestic music scene, he has collaborated with almost all major jazz musicians from this area. Kristijan is a sideman in a number of bands. Various appearances in clubs, concerts and festivals as well as his studio recording activities have contributed to his gaining experience in genres as diverse as jazz, pop, Latin…to experimental and crossover music.
ALEKSANDAR BAHUN, piano
Aleksandar Bahun (composer, arranger, pianist) was born in Novi Sad into an old Novi Sad musical family. He completed his primary and secondary music education at Music School “Isidor Bajić,” going on to study Composition at the Academy of Arts.
At the beginning of 1990, he founded his first jazz band AB Sextet, performing with it in clubs and at cultural events in Novi Sad for several years.
In 1996 Adam Klemm and Aleksandar Bahun founded the Stomp Quartet, performing at the Jazz Time Fest in Novi Sad in November 1997 as the youngest ensemble playing their original music and as the festival hosts.
In 1998 he founded the Aleksandar Bahun Trio, including Ištvan Mađarić, Robert Pongo, and Aleksandar as the pianist and author, with whom he appeared at a couple of national jazz festivals and honing the ECM, which distinguishes them from the mainstream of the 1990s as it is an open form jazz that allows all kinds of experiments.
The same year he became a member of the RTV NS Big Band and the Vojvodina Youth Big Band for a while.
In the early 2004, Aleksandar joined the Belgrade-based Latin jazz band Fiesta Latina, performing in our country and abroad. Later that year, Adam Klem, Igor Molnar and Aleksandar founded Mobada, the band that plays only original music, which appeared at the Umbria Jazz Balkanic Windows Festival and the Novi Sad Jazz Festival…
In 2006, Vladimir Samardžić and Aleksandar founded the authorial band Pannonia Project, whose first presentation was at the film festival Motovun 2006 (Croatia), followed by the Umbria Jazz Balkanic Windows Festival in August 2006, and the Novi Sad Jazz Festival in November that same year, where they were reinforced by Marko Đorđević as the lead trumpet.
He has collaborated with the Belgrade almost big band orchestra Jazz Connection composed of the leading national jazz soloists, performing at the official opening of the Serbian Film Festival with Dusko Goykovich, Dado Topić…In the mid-2007, he went to Dortmund as one of the representatives of the cultural delegation of Novi Sad within cultural cooperation between the two cities Novi Sad-Dortmund, where he worked with German saxophonist Uwe Plath. The same year, he performed at the Valjevo and Petrovac Jazz Festivals (latter in Montenegro) with Pannonia Project.
In November 2007, he was invited by maestro Bubiša Simić to perform as a guest of the RTS Big Band in the Kolarac National University as part of the concert-homage to our brilliant pianist, arranger, composer – Bora Roković, where he gave a notable performance. During the summer of 2008, he did the music and arrangements for the play KNKN PNKN with the newly-founded troupe “Jorik”, directed by Žanko Tomić, which premiered at BELEF 08, winning the title of the best artistic achievement of that year by the Professional Council of the Festival.
In November 2010 he performed with Pannonia Project at the Belgrade Jazz Festival, promoting The Bridge, as well as in Novi Sad’s Studio M within the Novi Sad Jazz Festival, also promoting this album, where he was presented as a composer and arranger.
For the last couple of years Aleksandar has been active performing in our country and abroad with the most eminent domestic jazz musicians (Dušan Novakov, Dušan Ivanišević, Vladimir Kostadinović, Slobodan Bata Božanić, Branko Marković, Milan Pavković, Ljubiša Paunić, Alexandar Jaćimović, Vladimir Krnetić, Max Kochetov, Marko Đorđević (NY), Uwe Plath, Jelena Kuljić, Pannonia Project, NS Big Band……)
At the beginning of 2015 he composed music for the play “The Day When We Met”, which is on the regular repertoire of the Serbian National Theatre, and works on a number of projects with Serbian and foreign artists from various fields of culture and media – radio, film, theatre, and is a regular member of the Serbian National Theatre’s Opera.
FEDOR RUŠKUC, double bass
Born in Novi Sad in 1980, Fedor Ruškuc had his first encounter with music at the age of 6. After elementary music school where he played the violin, he changed the instrument, completing his secondary music education at “Isidor Bajić” music high school in the Double Bass Department with Prof. Goran Kerleta. After music high school, he went to on to study at university, first in Graz (Austria) with Prof. Wayne Darling and then in Cologne, Germany (2002) with Prof. Dieter Manderscheid, where he graduated with a Master Diploma in 2005.
The winner of numerous awards, both with various ensembles and solo, he cherishes most the one he won as the best double bass player in the “Jimmy Woody Award 2008” competition.
He has performed all over Europe and in Russia, and can be heard on more than ten releases with different bands. With the group “East Affair” he took part in the 2010 “Global Local” film production for the WDR television.
Among others, he has collaborated with Keith Copeland, Dennis Rowland, Christian Jacob,
Antonia Bennett, Eliot Mason, and Uwe Plath, to name a few. Fedor is a permanent member of the Ferenc und Magnus Mehl Quartet, the Magnus Mehl Quintet, and the East West European Orchestra TWINS 2010. In spring 2010 he returned to Novi Sad, where he still lives and works.
He has presented his authorial work performed by the band Fedorchestra to the audience at the Cultural Centre of Novi Sad. He has recorded about twenty CDs in our country and abroad.
DUŠAN IVANIŠEVIĆ, drums
Born on 31.03.1969 in Pančevo, Dušan Ivanišević completed his elementary education in his hometown, going on to study at the High Music School “Stanković” in Belgrade with Prof. Miroslav Karlović. This was also the beginning of his professional career as he started performing with the local jazz and rock bands, as well as with the Youth Philharmonics, touring Yugoslavia, Belgium and Switzerland. As the best student of his school, he attended jazz workshops with first-class jazz artists organised by the Yugoslav Music Youth taking place in Grožnjan, Istria. During this period he performed with well-known domestic and international jazz musicians: Steve Gut, Eduard Sadjil, Bora Roković, Alex Deutsch, Renato Chicco, among others.
He entered the Music Academy in Graz in 1989, where he continued his professional career. During his studies he attended a number of seminars and master classes with renowned jazz artists: Dave Weckl, Jojo Meyer, Vinnie Colaiuta, Peter Erskine… At the same time Dušan performed on the stages all over Europe both as a bandleader and as a sideman. In 1992, he was awarded the 3rd prize in the European Student Drummers Competition organised by the magazine “Sticks”. While studying, Dušan started working on education of young musicians in Serbia. He got his Master Degree from “Hochschule fur darstellende Kunst” in Graz in 1997.
In 2000 Dušan started working at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade and became the Artistic Director of the Pančevo Jazz Festival, which has grown into Pančevo’s major and Serbian prestigious cultural event. The festival has hosted about 300 leading jazz musicians from all over the world. Having gained public and professional recognition, he has been engaged as a musician, organiser, producer and a consultant for a number of concerts and festivals in our country and abroad: Vienna -“Cross over the Border”, Paris –“Jazz Colors”, Trieste- “The Days of Serbian Music”, the Belgrade Jazz Festival, Novi Sad Jazz Festival, Herceg Novi Festival, etc… A winner of the Town of Pačevo Award for international presentation of the culture of Pančevo, he has organised art events in Serbia in collaboration with the embassies of Austria, America, France, Denmark, Indonesia and England…
Since 2003, Dušan has been a professor at the Jazz Department of the Music School “Stanković” in Belgrade. He is also engaged as a guest professor in the music high school in Podgorica. Active as a concert, club and studio musician, he has about 40 recorded CD, video and TV editions. He is married and has a son, Uroš.