Primary Instrument: Guitar
Zvonimir Tot (z-VON-e-mere TOTE) is a Chicago-based jazz guitarist, composer, and arranger with a style deeply rooted in the jazz tradition but flavored by his European origin. He holds too many university degrees. Tot has performed in the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Serbia, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Croatia. He has performed and/or recorded with many world-renowned musicians, including:
-Saxophonists Scott Hamilton, Billy Harper and Peter King
-Violinist Johnny Frigo
-Drummers Ernie Adams and Paul Wertico
-Bassists Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, John Clayton and Hein Van de Geyn
-Trumpeter Orbert Davis
-Pianist Larry Novak and Larry Vuckovich
-Guitarists Philip Catherine, Henry Johnson and Paulinho Garcia
-Organist Joey DeFrancesco
-Vocalists Jackie Allen, Carmen Lundy and Deborah Carter
-Chicago Jazz Philharmonic
Zvonimir Tot is the Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at University of Illinois at Chicago and currently teaches jazz guitar, harmony, ear training and ensembles. He is the founder and owner of Groove Art Records, as well as full member of ASCAP, GRAMMY, Jazz Education Network (JEN), and American Composers Forum. Tot has recorded four CDs as a leader: Eloquent Silence (Chicago Sessions, 2009), Unspoken Desire (Groove Art Records, 2007), Blue Quest (Groove Art Records, 2007), and Travels and Dreams (Groove Art Records, 2004), as well as several CDs as a sideman for various labels. Since 2005, Zvonimir Tot’s biography has been included in WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA , published by Marquis Publishing. He is an endorsing artist for Godin Guitars and Acoustic Image amplifiers.
Acoustic Image Amplifiers
GRAMMY-The Recording Academy (Full voting member)
International Association for Jazz Education
American Composers Forum
Pi Kappa Lambda
(...) Zvonimir Tot (is) an exceptional jazz guitarist. The fluidity of his technique, the bent-note expressiveness of his pitch and the sleekly melodic quality of his improvisations have earned him wide admiration. Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
When he improvises, Zvonimir evidences many things, from the intensity of a conservatory virtuoso to the serene patience of a Zen guru, and always, the love of lore that characterizes griots and troubadours the world over. Neil Tesser, Jazz critic; author, Playboy Guide to Jazz
Zvonimir Tot is the hot new voice in the world of jazz guitar virtuosos. Judy Roberts, Chicago Jazz Magazine
Tot keeps one-upping himself with every disc he puts out, and Eloquent Silence is a fantastic example of just how brilliant a guitarist, writer and arranger he is. (from the review of Eloquent Silence) ...Blue Quest is always grooving, from first note to last. (...) All in all, this is a spectacular disc... Paul Abella, Chicago Jazz Magazine
...Tot throws out some greasy guitar licks that are simply fantastic. Dan Bilawsky, Jazz Improv Magazine
His “Lady Agatha,” (…) has a deliberate delicacy, a ballad that unfolds at a measured pace, with Tot's playing glowing with a beautifully ethereal quality. Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz
(Z.T.) ...is an extrovert soloist who plays from the heart. He improvises with a typical Balkan singing quality, an intense feeling for the blues, rich imagination, and unbelievably fast fingers. Jeroen de Valk, Dutch jazz critic, Het Parool, Amsterdam
...Travels and Dreams is a remarkable disc and Zvonimir Tot is someone deserving far greater recognition. Rich Friedman, All About Jazz
Zvonimir Tot's rapid fire guitar sets the pace in this fine ensemble. His ballad style also highlights this recording with soulful elegance. (...) 4 stars. John Gilbert, ejazznews.com
His virtuoso guitar technique (...) has much to offer to the adventurous and serious jazz lover. Prof. Richard Wang, Jazz educator and publicist, Former President, Jazz Institute of Chicago
His sound is inspired by all, from Kenny Burrell to Pat Metheny but yet distinctly his own. Marshall Vente, Jazz Institute of Chicago
Tot is an inspirational player of the guitar; (...) his largamente style feels like one big stretch. Ferdinand Maylin, JazzNow
Such beautiful music from some scary looking guys. Comment by a YouTube user
Groove Art Records
Tracks: 1. Just a Closer Walk With Thee; 2. Dear Maestro (for Morricone); 3. Blue Quest; 4. Groove Me Wah; 5 Lady Agatha; 6. Prince of Belgium (for Philip Catherine); 7. Gray Matter; 8. Wiretap This!; 9. Fugue for Mr. N.P.; 10. Above and Within (Ron's Song).
Personnel: Zvonimir Tot - guitar, guitar synthesizer; Larry Gray - bass; Charles Heath - drums.
As a Leader
Travels and Dreams
Groove Art Records
Tracks: 1. Jungle Walk; 2. Magician's Kingdom; 3. Pamela's Song; 4. Voda Zvira; 5. Maki (Guts and Glory); 6. The Poet (for Hein); 7. Song for my Mother; 8. The Rainbow Bridge (Fifi's tune); 9. King's Ransom; 10. A Sketch for Libby; 11. Who Shot the Guitarist?; 12. Arsen
Personnel: Zvonimir Tot - guitar, guitar synthesizer; Art Davis - trumpet; Nick Tountas - bass; Rusty Jones - drums.
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Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
I teach a limited number of private students at locations in Chicago, western suburbs and via Skype. I have over 20 years of teaching experience at all levels. If you want to major in jazz guitar, you may be able to study with me at University of Illinois-Chicago Please contact me for details. Current position: Assistant Director of Jazz Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago Education: Doctor of Musical Arts (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) Master of Music (Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois) Bachelor of Arts (Amsterdam Conservatory, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) Bachelor of Arts (Franz Liszt Academy of Musical Arts, Budapest, Hungary)
Improvisation (all instruments), jazz guitar, jazz combo.
Godin Multiac Jazz
Seagull Artist Studio Cutaway
Acoustic Image Coda R
Acoustic Image Focus 2R