Born: February 16, 1977 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
VASKO ATANASOVSKI (soprano, alto & baritone saxophone, flute, bansoori, recorders)
Saxophonist and flutist Vasko Atanasovski is one of the most creative and versatile Slovenian composers and musicians, well known for his cross-genre collaborations with world famous jazz, rock, classical, traditional musicians and his masterful approach to all styles of music. Up to this date he has released 10 highly acclaimed albums, received numerous awards as well as earned audience and critics’compliments for his performances and compositions home and abroad. He is a regular guest on the European festival and concert circuit and has also performed in India, China and New York. His original compositions have also found a way into the world of theatre, dance and puppet shows, repertoires of eminent soloists, orchestras, ensembles and choirs.
Selected music collaborations: Marc Ribot (USA), Michel Godard (F), Living Colour (USA), Hindi Zahra (F), Simone Zanchini (I), Glen Velez (USA), Greg Cohen (USA), Tamara Obrovac (Cro), Roberto Bartoli (I),Zoltan Lantos (H), Bratko Bibič, Xu Fengxia (China), Wilbert de Joode (HOL), Krunoslav Levačić (Cro), Ewald Oberleitner(A), Karmina Šilec & Carmina Slovenica, Festine Orchestra, Zlatko Kaučič, Žiga Golob (SLO), Dragan Dautovski (Mk),Damir Imamović (BIH)... And with choreographers and directors: Miha Golob, Vito Taufer, Brane Potocan, Jernej Lorenci, Mojca Horvat, Jasna Knez, Matevz Gregoric, Peter Bostjancic...
Selected concerts & festivals: Townhall (New York, NY), 'SallyCan't Dance Festival' (Beijing, China), European Week of Culture in India (New Delhi, Bombay...), Alpentoene (CH), Xong festival (A, I, CH), Cankarjev dom (SLO), Druga godba (SLO), Festival Maribor (SLO), Porgy&Bess Vienna, Jazz & Wine festival (I), Skopsko leto (MK), Rasa (HOL), Henry le Boeuf Hall - Balkantraffik (B), Euro Jazz Festival (Athens), RingRing (YU), Mediawave (H), NoJazz Fest (CRO), Linzfest (A), Crossroads (I), MIDEM (Cannes, F)...
Selected discography of Vasko Atanasovski: - “Vasko Atanasovski Trio – Come to me” Celinka 2012, Ljubljana - “Vasko Atanasovski Visions Ensemble – Bohemia” published by the author 2009, 2xCD - “Mljask - Live at the Old Power Station” Celinka 2008, Ljubljana - “Atanasovski Golob Levacic Trio – Attic dance” JBR 2007, Ljubljana, Slovenia - “Vasko Atanasovski Adrabesa Quartet – Altdorf LIVE” published by the author 2005 - “Vasko Atanasovski Adrabesa Ensemble - Tanatos Eros” Goga 2005, Novo mesto, Slovenia - “Vasko Atanasovski Adrabesa Ensemble - Eros Tanatos EP 2004” published by the author 2004 - “Vasko Atanasovski – Suite de passion / Suita pasijonska” Goga 2003, Novo mesto, Slovenia - “Vasko Atanasovski Quartet – Heat Flower / Vročinska roža” October 2002 Extraplatte Musikproduktions Vienna, Austria - “Vasko Atanasovski SOLO - Akupunktura” published by the author 2001
»It seems that the rich vocabulary Atanasovski has come to compile over the years of his eclectic activities filled with an array of many diverse musical ingredients. But his creativity is not driven by showing off this wealth, it is rather driven first and foremost by thenarrative strength of Music. Atanasovski is shaping his unique musical expression, marked by party goer-like intensity, passionate dramatization, and - considering numerous influences - unbelievable homogeneity.« Peter Cimpric, Radio Študent 2012
»Musicwise this trio brings to us broadening of what we already know as vasko's broadly set gudelines. In this contagious and party igniting music of the trio one feels - along with jazz, klezmer and Balkan-tinged motifs - a sea of other influences: from the blues to rock, reggae, boogie and country. These are, however, thoughtfully set into contexts (lyrics) of respective songs; musical genres along with their characteristics add depth to respective song's message. Vasko has managed to achieve a unity of music and words, a coexistence firm and strong even in moments of band's mad galloping.« Mario Batelic, album review, Radio Student, 2012
»The trio has forced the audience to react enthusiastically after each and every song - a rare sight in the Rock Caffe. One could assume that this is so because Atanasovski & Co. go straight to giving the audience recognizable fast rhythms of the Balkans and klezmer thus leaving no place for mistake. But to think that would be wrong because first of all these »musicians are masters of their art, and this is obvious at the first glance.« ...»When he sings, one is reminded of Johnny Stulic.« M. Radic, GLasistre, 2011
»With this high-octane mixture of unique and inventions collected from traditional wells thoughtfully kneaded, along with no-compromise trio interplay, and the lightning-fast maneuvering between rhythms, instruments, harmonies and vocal-instrumental dynamics the trio continuously danced on the tip of a knife. The audience was quickly infected by Vasko's pop star sexapeal and ecstatic playing (including the sweaty shirts of all three protagonists). The Devil himself would have sanded his soles by prancing, had he happened to be at the right place that night!« Katarina Juvancic, Nova Muska, 2011
»A dose of intense and multivitaminic music making under the fingers, hands, and from the lungs of equaly multitalented and intense musicians.« Ines Kocar, Rockonnet 2011
“Vasko Atanasovski is one of Slovenia’s most prolific musicians whose refined and frequently virtuoso saxophone playing has gained him a considerable international reputation from musicians and audiences alike. With his group Atanasovski is making more and more use of his voice to deliver self-penned lyrics, with the music itself, played by a fervent group of instrumentalists, moving nimbly between a variety of genres.” (Druga godba world music festival)
»In Track 15 we get another dose of Slovenian music with Vasko Atanasovski’s saxophone backed up by Simone Zanchini’s jazzy accordion two real virtuosos!«
from Alpentoene Highlights CD 2005 (CH)
»Vasko Atanasovski with creative approach preserves old traditions in fresh and playful compositions, with real enthusiasm and ecstasy that catches the public as the musicians on the stage, so full experience of this music finds it's real satisfaction not before meeting from eye to eye and ear to ear . Genuine home product, we could say, worth of sign ‘a cake in the family garden’. «
Radio Študent Ljubljana 2005
“Lately Vasko Atanasovski has undoubtedly been one of the most creative Slovene musicians...” “Jazz with a Slavic soul - a rare flower in our garden.”
Jazz Season 2003 Cankarjev dom
Atanasowski setzt mit seinen Leuten zum emotionalen Großangriff auf das Publikum an. Simone Zanchini phrasiert sich am Akkordeon gekonnt durch das scheinbar unerschöpflich Reservoir dieses Instruments. Der Bass von Roberto Bartoli wird zum notwendigen akustischen GPS durch die Metren dieses Gebräus. Sehr groß war also die Begeisterung der Zuhörer am vergangenen Donnerstag im wunderbaren und stilvollen Ambiente der PKS Villa. Starker Applaus für eine kongeniale Mischung und dringliches Fordern nach Zugaben.
Roland Holzwarth - Salzkammergut Rundschau, (A) 2006
“il gruppo è apparso complessivamente interessante, con una musica originale e ben strutturata, suonata con vera passione ed espressività. Vera forza della natura Simone Zanchini, persuasivo e diversissimo a seconda degli strumenti (flauto, sax tenore e contralto) Atanasovski, appropriato ed efficace Bartoli, a dispetto delle attese Adrabesa ha messo in scena il miglior concerto della prima metà della manifestazione.”
Neri Pollastri All About Jazz Italia 2007
So sind Aufnahmen entstanden, die die den Atem des Anderen spüren lassen. Vasko Atanasovski hat neben Musikern aus seiner Band Adrabesa Ensemble (u.a. der großartige Akkordeonist Simone Zachini) eine Mädchengesangsgruppe und einen Oud-Spieler eingeladen. Für besondere Akzente sorgt als Gastmusiker der ungarische Violinist Zoltan Lantos. Und Lantos, hierzulande bekannt durch seine Mitwirkung in Ramesh Shothams Madras Special, ist sicher einer der begnadetsten Improvisatoren auf seinem Instrument und ein fundierter Brückenschlager zwischen unterschiedlichen Kulturen. Ein Mann, der bestens in diesen Kontext passt.
Herbert Federsel Jazz Dimensions, (D) 2007
“…for two hours Adrabesa quartet has put a spell on audience that has filled up the hall to the last corner…”
Maja Pertič - Primorske novice 2005
Das Zusammenspiel der Rhythmusgruppe war eine Herausforderung an die Hörer. Schneller und schöner geht es wohl nicht mehr. Die einzige Ballade, die an diesem Abend zu hören war, von Vasko Atanasovski an der Querflöte getragen, zeigte auch die durchaus vorhandene melancholische Seite der Musiker. Hervorragend.
akro - Kulturwoche.at, (A) 2006
“Atanasovski demonstrated that he is not only a musician with a strong authorial seal, but also an excellent ensemble leader and a brass-player with a recognisable sound.”
Mario Batelič - DNEVNIK Slovenian daily newspaper
“Vasko Atanasovski doesn't leave anything to chance. His attitude towards composing isn't hermetically artificial style that only resuscitates the shades of jazz history anew. In his exposition, he is an extremely flexible and inventive musician; thus each project of his is based on an intimate axis of individual reliving of a certain genre or tradition. On the one hand, there is reflection of a space impregnated with improvisational content, on the other, communication, attached to the fluid currents of heritage.
Delicate (re)interpretation evokes the feelings of the past; yet it presents them in the light of today, with simultaneous improvisation on a carefully set theme. Thus we share, irrespective of the size of the ensemble, the full- blooded music in which we discover ethno-roots of various latitudes and their phrasing in contemporary abstract spheres. Atanasovski has shown a genuine vitality, particularly in his later work. Over a three-year period he released three CDsHeat Flower, Suite de Passion and the recent Tanatos Erosthat are, without exception, placed on a domestic jazz pedestal. The last of these (Tanatos Eros) was also in the limelight of the author’s evening. ”
“Vasko Atanasovski is patiently but persistently becoming one of the most innovative musicians in our region.”
Gregor Bauman Delo 2005 Main Slovenian daily newspaper
“Bright is the sound of Vasko’s saxophone and sunny is the music that he creates. Melodies that are rooted in Balkan tradition are close to him. If we’re a bit daring (and not quite correct to young creative) we could drive these conclusions to mark “Gato Barbieri of Balkans”. As it seems - at least in immortality that is expressed in impulsive blowing and in Vasko’s second name - our saxophonist will follow the Argentinean “Cat”.
Festival Sajeta 2004
“With new album of musician, composer and leader of many musical groups Vasko Atanasovski we have got a double confirmation of in a time before spoken words: that the situation in home jazz scene in vital and it’s growing and that right Atanasovski with his bands has become one of the main activist of this happenings.” “…convincing and in all views top-level of production…” Zoran Pistotnik, 2003
“Vasko Atanasovski and his quartet come to wide range of home and international public as one of the most magnificent sprouts of jazz happening...”
(Zoran Pistotnik Muska 2002
“ … Vasko Atanasovski, flutist and saxophonist and yet composer, music pedagogue and organiser from Maribor, is not counting thirty yet, but has already evolved his talent up to a great ripeness and famous style. In quartet with pianist Dejan Berden, contrabassist Ewald Oberleitner and great percussionist Nino Mureskic, he played a series of his own compositions with “impressionistic” titles as well we could say that also the approach is reminding on musical impressionism. It’s about calm, melodic and smooth going jazz, continuing European “cool” tradition from the 70’s and 80’s, characterizing it with folk elements above all use of syncopated rhythms (reminding mostly on Macedonian music otherwise there should be Vasko’s ancestors from), which give a calm main stream much more liveliness and power and all together discretely interlaced with extreme improvisation and “free” experiment. Their performance was enthusiastic and audience could not leave them of the stage …”
Darinko Kores - Jacks - Večer 2001
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