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VASIL HADZIMANOV BAND featuring DAVID BINNEY MJR075
Alive  
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In keeping with the label's time-honored tradition of shining a spotlight on newly-discovered artists whose immense musical talents challenge convention and defy categorization, MoonJune Records is pleased to offer the musical stylings of Serbian keyboardist, pianist and composer, Vasil Hadzimanov. Although hardly a household name outside Europe, Vasil has performed with a number of elite, renowned musicians (David Gilmore; Antonio Sanchez; Matt Garrison; David Binney; Nigel Kennedy; and more). Vasil is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, in Boston.

"Alive" documents Vasil and his band in peak creative form, in front of enthusiastic, most appreciative audiences. The music is fresh and truly alive!: unpredictable and unpretentious, at times, hypnotic, at times pushing the envelope and flattening boundaries. This is bold, adventurous music which pays homage to a variety of styles and influences –- jazz, ethno-fusion, progressive rock, avant garde, and many other genres -- while remaining free, spry and elusive in its own right.

This, their international record debut with MJR, is actually the band's sixth album. Since first forming more than 15 years ago, the Vasil Hadzimanov Band has performed hundreds of shows and been well received in numerous jazz festivals covering Europe, Eastern Europe and Japan. The mesmerizing performances captured here -- recorded across Europe, in 2014 -- features the well-known American saxophonist, David Binney.
"Alive" serves notice of yet another powerhouse musical treasure that MoonJune's Leonardo Pavkovic has uncovered and is proud to present -- proving, yet again, that music which is truly "progressive" is not bound by convention or tradition, but is art which seeks out its own form and travels uncharted paths.
 
 
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PERSONNEL
VASIL HADZIMANOV: piano, keyboards
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DAVID BINNEY: alto sax
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BRANKO TRIJIC: guitar
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MIROSLAV TOVIRAC: bass guitar
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BOJAN IVKOVIC: percussion, vocals
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PEDJA MILUTINOVIC: drums
PRODUCTION
Recorded live at various locations in Serbia, in october, 2014.
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Audio engineer: Alen Hadzi-Stefanov
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Producer: Alen Hadzi-Stefanov; co-producer: Vasil Hadzimanov
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Mastered by Mark Wingfield.
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International release executive production by Leonardo Pavkovic, for MoonJune Records.
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ARTIST PROFILE

Vasil’s concept of mixing Balkan traditional, folk rhythms and melodies with modern musical styles (most originating from the west, including: jazz; funk; avant garde; electronica; rock; trance; and more) has been the impetus for creating his own unique "musical hybrid," of sorts. This sophisticated sonic stew is completely original, authentic and embraces a bold new approach to musical expression within the context of the fusion and jazz genres.

It was this vision that inspired him to form The Vasil Hadzimanov Band, back in 1995 -- when they made their first recordings and began performing live.

In 2001, the group released their first official album release, "11 reasons for…," published by the major Eastern European regional label, PGP-RTS. The album's first print run sold out in only three months, and saw the band be honored with Beovision award, in 2002, for the "Best Debut Album of the Year."

In the summer of 2002, they joined celebrated director Goran Paskaljevic and his film crew, in the making of a documentary film about Belgrade, for ARTE Television. Vasil composed the music and the band, fronted by their percussionist Bojan Ivkovic, acted and performed music in the movie.

2003 saw the release of their second CD, "Kafanki," again published by PGP-RTS. For this one, they won the “Suncane Skale” 2003 award, for "Best Instrumental Album of The Year (2003)."

On the 19th of November, that same year, the VH Band performed on the “Enter Music Festival,“ in Belgrade, sharing the stage with The Zawinul Syndicate -- featuring the late, great keyboardist and composer, Joe Zawinul. (After hearing the band perform live, Zawinul himself would later invite Vasil and the band to perform in his new club in Vienna, called "Joe's Birdland," in the spring of 2005.)

In June 2004, the VH Band were invited by the violin virtuoso, Nigel Kennedy, to perform with him, in support of his huge Belgrade concert. The results were mesmerizing, for the audience and particpants, alike!

In the summer of 2005, the band represented the sounds of Balkan music, at Expo 2005, in Aichi, Japan. The concert was a huge success, attended by over 3000 people -- breaking all previous attendance records for the venue.

Numerous appearances all over the world followed, and continue; and the band would release three more albums -- all critically- acclaimed in the region -- prior to coming on board with MoonJune Records and releasing their international debut, "Alive."

All five of their previous albums have been officially declared as "Artwork of Cultural Significance," in their native Serbia.

To date, the Vasil Hadzimanov Band has performed in over fifty international music festivals in fifteen different countries. The group has played either in support of or in collaboration with, numerous accomplished artists throughout their career.

THE VASIL HADZIMANOV BAND Website (Click To Visit)

Image: MoonJune Records recording artists, The Vasil Hadzimanov Band.
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