Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Catalin Milea is one of the most creative and active Romanian saxophonists and jazz exponents of his generation that has developed a unique voice as a composer and as a performer. Awarded the prestigious Huygens Beurs (Dutch Government Scholarship) for 2008-10 and supported by the Makarov Foundation, the saxophonist has recorded one album – ”Re-Bop Unit featuring Dick Oatts“ having as guest one of the most acclaimed musicians and educators from New York, Dick Oatts. Winner of numerous competitions Catalin Milea performed and had recordings and concerts with various artists/ensembles as a leader or as a guest.
With his latest project called CONFLUENCE - having Lucian Ban on piano, Carlo de Rosa on bass and Tommy Crane on drums, he toured the Netherlands and performed at the Brussels Jazz Marathon 2011. In the fall of 2011 he started a project dedicated to the Romanian post-revolution generation P.L.U.G. (Pursuing Legacy Underground Group) that had its debut at Porgy & Bess, Vienna, being a groundbreaking concept that addresses socio-political issues of the contemporary Romanian society.
Born and raised in Bucharest, Romania into a family of music lovers, around the age of 18 he was working in order to pay for his music lessons and to buy his first saxophone. During this period Catalin Milea had a decisive encounter that directed him to his vocation: the music of John Coltrane. He soon became very demanded on the local scene, but chose to further his studies abroad. He graduated the Bucharest Music University (2006) before receiving a bachelor degree from Prins Claus Conservatoire (2010) and a master degree from The Hague Royal Conservatory (2012). During this period he won the “Artistry of Dick Oatts and Young Musicians” jazz competition, participated at the “Dutch Jazz Day”, “The Hague Jazz Festival” and toured Romania in a marathon called ”JAZZ IMMIGRATION“ with the group “Re-Bop Unit” co-leaded with the guitarist George Dumitriu. Catalin Milea was a member of the “European Youth Jazz Orchestra” led by Peter Herbolzheimer.
In 2010 he toured with his new trio project “Synaesthetik”, having Owen Hart Jr. on drums and Sean Fasciani on doublebass, the project was selected for the semi-finals of the Dutch Jazz Competition 2010. Catalin Milea also performed as a guest with the chamber string orchestra Camerata Ardesko in a series of concerts in the Netherlands (Concertgebow Amsterdam and Grachten Festival Amsterdam). The list of the musicians he performed with includes Carlo de Rosa, Eric Revis, Tommy Crane, Nasheet Waits, Anthony Pinciotti, Dick Oatts, Curtis Clark, Sam Newsome, John Engels, Eugen Gondi, Mircea Tiberian, Cristian Soleanu, Anca Parghel, Johnny Raducanu, Sebastian Burneci, George Dumitriu, Luiza Zan, Garbis Dedeian, Dinu Simon and many others.