Maja Alvanović – piano
Ervin Malina – double bass
Lav Kovač – drums
The place of honour as the Festival’s opening act belongs to the Novi Sad ensemble Majamisty TriO, led by pianist and composer Maja Alvanović. So far, they have performed at the Festival only once, ten years ago, promoting their debut album Mistyland (SKC Novi Sad, 2011). The impression they left opened one big door after another – reviews in the Jazz Times magazine and on the All About Jazz website, album distribution in Japan, first international gigs. Boldly stepping outside the mainstream of Serbian jazz, they reached higher grounds.
The trio’s music is characterized by a lyrical atmosphere and an emotional charge resembling Scandinavian poetics, blending classical sensibility and contemporary European jazz. During the ten years of their existence, they released the albums Love (Cosmic Sounds/Mascom, 2014) and Organic (Mistyland, 2020), performed at numerous local and international jazz festivals, from Kyiv to Sofia, to Vienna and London. In the absence of live performances during the pandemic, the concert promotion of their latest work was replaced by the release of impressive video works, covering most of the compositions from the album. Plus, their performance from the Piano City Festival (led by Maja leads in Novi Sad with her colleague Kosta Jevtić) has recently been available on the Stingray DJAZZ network. They are recording their fourth album shortly before the Festival and will present it at the Belgrade Jazz Festival.
Ulrich Drechsler – bass clarinet, saxophones
Clarinettist, saxophonist and composer Ulrich Drechsler, a German living in Vienna, gained international recognition in the early 2000s with the acoustic club trio Café Drechsler, achieving excellent results in various musical grounds and environments. His work with the Cello Quartet was widely successful, as was the duo collaborating with pianists Steffano Battaglia and Tord Gustavsen. He recorded about fifteen albums as a leader or co-leader and wrote music soundtracks for several Michael Pfeifenberger films. He won the Amadeus Award for Best Austrian Jazz/Blues Album in 2005 (Café Drechsler – Radio Snacks). At last year’s edition of the Festival, he presented the Azure faction of monumental multimedia work Liminal Zone for the first time outside Austria.
Aneta George – vocals
Aneta George, a Macedonian living in Paris, has been involved in music since childhood – at the age of 15, influenced by Stevie Wonder and the Boys II Men, she formed the vocal trio Peeme Soul, and gained wide popularity in her homeland. She graduated in jazz piano at the Music Academy in Štip, honing her career as a pianist and singer, composer and songwriter, and in education. Today she teaches singing at the American School of Music in Paris. Aneta released 3 albums: UniversaLove (2012), Playground (2018) and The Skopje Sessions (2019) for London-based Moods & Modes label. She performed in various European countries, South Africa and India, and her music has been used in several films.