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New & fresh Balkan jazz sound Serbian Jazz Bre! Project

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New & fresh Balkan jazz sound Serbian Jazz Bre! Project

...Fusion of JAZZ, Balkan music, visual art, V Jing and photography...
Serbian Jazz Bre Project was created in mid 2012, with the idea of merging music and visual art, and promoting Balkan jazz in new and fresh way. The music part of the project brought together prominent jazz musicians, forming an artistic expression which uses both the language of modern jazz and musical heritage of Balkan. Integral part of performance is a video show, in which the author and the initiator of the project, photographer Ivan Grlic has the role of VJ.

After a series of successful performances at many festivals and clubs, the band released it’s first CD ‘’Serbian Jazz  Bre! Project’’ in June 2013. Made mostly of original compositions, as well as compositions of celebrated Serbian jazz artists  and Balkan folk songs, arranged as a specific musical expression, but also with the impacts of East and West, classical music and wealthy Balkan folklore. In December 2013, Serbian Jazz Bre! presented a new project: ‘’A Tribute To Lala’’, a homage to legendary drummer and Balkan jazz pioneer from 1970’s Lala Kovačev.

After only a year of it’s existence, Serbian Jazz Bre Project quickly drew the attention of the public and became an important part of jazz scene in Serbia and around, and had performances on many international festivals ( ‘’Jazzibar’’ Kraljevo, ‘’Novi Sad Jazz Festival’’, DanubeFest’’, Gitarijada Zaječar, ‘’Blues ‘n’ Jazz Rallye’’ Luxembourg, ‘’Jazzycolors’’ Paris, Trebinje Bosnia and Hercegovina, Raška, Herceg Novi Montenegro, 'Jazz A Liege' Belgium Liszt Ferenc Zeneakademia Budapest, Hungary, Jazzelsa Hvar Croatia, Belgrade jazz fest Beograd, Indjija jazz fest …)

The musical repertoire is mostly made of original compositions by Aleksandar Jovanovic. The repertoire also incorporates some modern arrangements of traditional songs from Balkan, as a sort of homage to the one of the pionires of the balkan jazz tradition – Branislav Lala Kovačev.

Through composition and improvisation, the characteristical melodic and rhythmic motives from balkan and serbian heritage, are transformed into the language and form of the modern jazz, which serves as a foundation for further exploration of this universal musical language. The members of the group project their emotions and impressions of the particular creative moment to the audience through live performance and mutual interaction on stage.

Members of the musical part of the project: Aleksandar Jovanović Šljuka – keyboards, Marko Fabry – bass guitar, Aleksandar Cvetković – drums, and various soloists (Maks Kočetov-saxophone, Uroš Šećerov – percussions), provide a fertile ground for VJ Ivan Grlic’s visual expression and exploration who, in the spirit of jazz tradition, follows the music and communicates his impressions on the screen through the visual improvisation.

From the very beginning, there was the idea that the band should be open for cooperation with renowned guest musicians, not only from the world of jazz. The result was a collaboration with: Boki Milošević, Stjepko Gut, Miša Blam, Aleksandar Sedlar, Marčelo, DJ Raid, Bunford Gabor, Nenad Jelić, Papa Nik, Rastko Obradović, Aleksandar Antić, Nevena Jelić, Sofija Knežević, Nada Pavlović, Katarina Kačunković, vokalnom grupom Paganke, Lazaro Del Toro Vega, Filip Krumes, Reut Regev, Dr. Eugene Chadbourne, Miloš Punišić, Igor Malešević, Ljuba Dimitrijević,....

In December 2014, the band is back in the studio, recording a new album “Serendipity”, exploring a new sound and stylistic approach, with some new band members: Max Kochetov on alto and soprano saxophones and Rastko Obradović on tenor saxophone.

Ivan Grlic - producer, Video artist, V.J. photographer

Founder and producer of Serbian Jazz BRE! 2010. He started this project with series of photo portraits of famous Serbian jazz musicians, 2011. he published monograph book with this photos and then he started music part of SJB! Art producer, Freelance professional photographer and  video artist born in Belgrade, Serbia 1977.
Education: Faculty of applied art and design, department of applied graphic 1999-2002. Graphic high school, Belgrade Professional photographer since 1998. He is member of board World Music Association of Serbia. He is a member of several artistic associations: ULUPUDS section for photography, Photo association of Serbia since 2001, Association of professional photographers since 2001, Founder of studio and art workroom “Grlic” 2000. Founder and chairman of association “Srpska duša- Serbian Soul, bre.” He is the author of many photo-art series, projects and  two monograph books, such as 'Flash For Fantasy' and 'Serbian BRE!'...Since 2000 he had a huge number of solo exhibitions in galleries all around Europe, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, France, Belgium, Hungary, Austria...His experience as a professional photographer so far covers work in almost all domains of applied art and art photography: advertising, still life, fashion, dedicated art, portraits, theater, erotic, landscape...He was official photographer of many theater, music and film festivals (such as BITEF and FEST)...He had a cooperation with many marketing agencies and companies, as well as cooperation on visual identity, album covers and promo photographs for many significant musicians, bands and singers.

Aleksandar Jovanovic Sljuka - piano, composer

Pianist, keyboardist, composer, born 1978 in Zajecar. Although without formal musical education, as a self-taught musician, he succeeded to acquire knowledge and reputation, and to find his place on the Serbian music scene, both as a sideman and bandleader. He started his professional music carrier in 1998 and since then he has worked as solo pianist, and also with many prominent musicians and bands in Serbia and Montenegro. Since 2004 he performs with Coolares band, one of the most significant ensembles in Serbia. In 2009 he founded the Woodcock Group, band that performs his original compositions, and in 2011 he released his first album ’Water Stories’, published by Sunset Jazz Recordings from New York.He has performed at jazz festivals all over the Serbia, working with many notable musicians from Serbia and abroad, and also has had dozens of performances, appearances and interviews on radio and TV as well as a large number of articles, reviews and interviews in print media and on the internet.

Marko Fabry - bass, music producer

Marko Fabry was born in 1985 in Bratislava, Slovakia, where graduated from Stankovic Music high school (jazz department) in 2004. Since then he collaborates with various Serbian and foreign jazz, pop, rock & rap artists... He was a member of Belgrade Youth Big Band for 3 years, and has studied harmony, counterpoint and arranging. He graduated music production & sound design at the Academy of Arts in Belgrade. Currently, he is working as music producer, film  composer, and freelance bassist.

Aleksandar Cvetkovic - drums, composer

Aleksandar Cvetkovic was born at 1979 in Kraljevo, Serbia. In his hometown he finished two years of elementary music school for clarinet and music high school for the theory. From 1998 he has studied and graduated at Faculty of Music Art in Belgrade (Serbia) at theory department. After that from 2002 he has studied at University for Music and Dramatic Art in Graz (Austria) at jazz department for jazz drums. He graduated in 2007 and made his master degree in 2009 in class of Prof. T. Howard Curtis III. He has played at jazz festivals and in jazz clubs in Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria with some of famous jazz musicians: Dusko Gojkovic, Stjepko Gut, Mimo Mitrovic, Milos Krstic, Misa Blam, Johan Horlen, Jure Pukl, Vasil Hadzimanov... He also was at jazz workshops led by Billy Hart (USA), Ron McClure (USA), John Abercrombie,(USA), Jerry Bergonzi (USA), David Liebman (USA), Jim McNeely (USA), Adam Nussbaum (USA), Jimmy Cobb (USA), Eric van Lier (N), Peter Herbolzheimer (D), Zigi Fiegel (A), Stjepko Gut (SRB)... He has played at jam sessions with famous jazz musicians: Billy Hart, Brad Leali, David Kikoski, Brad Mehldau...

Max Kochetov - alto and soprano saxophone

Max Kochetov was born in Kiev, Ukraine on January  9, 1979. His first music experience  was at the age of six,when he started to learn accordion and clarinete in music school. At the age of nine he started to learn and play saxophone in children brass and jazz orchestras. From 1992. to 1997. he was a student of saxophone in Kiev State Music College “ R.M.Gliera”. In 1997. he went to Erfrut ( Germany ),where he’s taking lessons in jazz summer school from one of the most recognized European saxophone player Zbignew Namislowski ( Poland ). Ensemble lessons he attended in the class of John Taylor ( G.Britain ). Parallel, he was playing jazz in many clubs in Germany and France. He collaborated with many musicions like: Dusko Gojkovic (trumpet), Jon Faddis (trumpet), Vladimir Molotkov (guitar), Igor Zakus (bass), Dean Brown (guitar).

Uros Secerov - percussion

Uros Secerov has been at the top of Yugoslav jazz scene for thirty years. At the beginning of his jazz career, he had the privilege to work with the most important jazz creators of today in Serbia, such as Stjepko Gut, Petar Ugrin, Laci Fidri, Rudolf Tomsic, Miša Krstic, Lala Kovacev, Ratko Divjak, Jože Privsek, Bubisa Simic, Stevan Radosavljevic and others. During his career he played with all the big band orchestras in the territory of Yugoslavia, with special collaboration as a guest soloist with Big Band RTV Ljubljana, Novi Sad and Belgrade. He played with Vojislav Brkovic in his Quintet, and later as a guest in the eighties cult band Medaya with Wolfgang Reisinger and Beat Fuhrer. With Ratko Divjak, Lado Jakša and Dani Gančev he played in the group "Sončna pot" which for the first time in our region presented the fusion of ethno sound with jazz elements. After that he played in the orchestra of Lale Kovacev, Balkan Impressions,  YU jazz rock election, Jovan Maljokovic sextet, YU jazz summit, Voya Bee - Jimmy Hendrix Pure, Tony Scot Orchestra,Quintet YUPIKA ...Besides concert activity he recorded as a studio musician dozens of albums for various artists, he has played at all relevant European jazz festivals and recorded TV shows and concerts for local and foreign radio and TV stations. Since the formation of the Novi Sad Jazz Festival he has been a member of the Arts Council, and in 2003. and 2004. He was the art director of the Festival.

...And here is what critics said about us:

Serbian Jazz, Bre! was one of the 30th Belgrade Jazz Festival's biggest hits. They impressed last year but are now in transition, replacing their former violinist with saxophones and exciting new material intended for an eagerly awaited new album. Their leader, Ivan Grlic, is also a talented photographer so they illuminate their performance with back-screen his graphics and videos. They are certainly an emerging young band to watch out for…

Bob Weir

Jazz Journal magazine


Among the formations heard this year, the most valuable was undoubtedly the "Serbian Jazz Bre!", a project set up by the photographer and multimedia artist Ivan Grlic with a gritty quintet that fused jazz, ethnic music of the Balkans and video art…

Ugo Sbisà - Dalla Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno


A great Serbian band with style and a unique sound - mixing music and images expertly! The very likeable and talented Serbian Jazz, Bre! who featured a VJ artist (Ivan Grlic) mixing images on the big screen behind the band to great effect…

Tim Dickeson - Jazzwise magazine

The band Serbian Jazz Bre gave an engaging audio-visual concert using films and photographs by Belgrade cameraman Ivan Grlic

Peter Bacon-

Serbian Jazz Bre is like a music seismograph picking up changing jazz trends. It is no wonder then that their concert enjoyed great interest from both the audience and the critics during the 30th edition of the Belgrade Jazz Festival. The concert was accompanied by intriguing video projections which perfectly combined sound and images. A thunder of applause at the end of SJB’s performance was nothing short of justified…

Marcin Pulawski - Laboratorium Muzycznych Fuzji 

An intriguing blend of jazz and moving images… Serbian Jazz, Bre is a multimedia project that combines visuals with dynamic music, much inspired by Weather Report kind of cross over between jazz, rock and melodies inspired equally from Serbian folk music and jazz...

Nenad Georgievski

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