About the band

ichotomy – a partition of a whole into two complementary parts: the good and the bad, the ugly and the beautiful, the light and the dark, the woman and the man – often used to evade the pointless convolution of a myriad of shades of life. It may be the simplicity of merely two options concealing the fact that there are many musics as joyfully pushing blood through veins and cheering the soul up as those composed in the rhythm of just two beats – the strong and the weak beat. This rhythmic form is essential to success of the music, which has always made people ecstatically transcend into a dancing trot: the polka, be it either ornamented with the gild of the Viennese court of the Strauss brothers, the clearly recognizable Slovenian melodics of the brothers Slavko and Vilko Avsenik, or Dixieland music, which is basically a march with an emphasized back beat and, just like the polka, a two-beat musical form.

The successful synthesis of the music of the Avsenik brothers and other excellent performers of this music genre daringly combined with the Dixieland playing style of the Oberdixie Band and its top Slovenian academic musicians is therefore not surprising, as both music genres have grown from the same roots and, though differing in time and space, they awaken the same joyful feelings of soul salvation, which great art can conjure up, such as the music of the Avseniks undoubtedly is. Moreover, it is “the phenomenon of universality and uniqueness combined with diverse and charming Slovenian melodics and enriched with elements of operetta and popular or European light music”, as noted by composer prof. Tomaž Habe in his description of the Avsenik brothers’ music. Similarly, Dixieland is the music which embodies the very beginning of great art called jazz, originating in the early 20th century (1910s and 1920s) in New Orleans, the port’s melting pot of diverse cultures of the new, old and African worlds, amidst the collision of the black slave suffering and longing with cosmopolitan Creole and white cultures and refinement. With World War I, Dixieland began its march to Chicago and, thanks to the candour of black music, excellent musical education of Creole people and the two-part rhythmic form which found its way into the European classical music, it spread not only across America, but also to Europe and around the world, as it does even nowadays through its concert and dance forms. The striking similarity of the Avsenik and Dixieland musics – originated in the narrow, steep valleys of the Gorenjska region (the backwaters of the Mississippi river delta swamps), filled with knowledge of classical musical arrangements of the polka and the unmistakable feeling for beautiful melodies, created with dedication and heart – geared up to reach beyond one’s own boundaries and to bring joy to many others around the world.

And yes, to cheer the listener up is, given all the similarities between the Avsenik and Dixieland musics, the joint, most valuable effect and fusion of both of them in the Oberdixie Band.

Rok Jurič

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MUSICIANS

DOMINIK KRANJČAN

OMINIK KRAJNČAN, born on June 18th 1967, graduated from The Conservatory in Ljubljana and continued his studies at Hochschule für Darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria and at Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA.
His professional career began in the trumpet section of Big Band RTV Slovenia as a player, also performing as a soloist. In 1993 he performed at Euroring in Ljubljana. He also performed with the European Broadcasting Union in Prague and in Norway. As a member of a trumpet quintet he won first prize in Vienne, France in 1994. As a member of the Greentown Jazz Band he regularly performed abroad, among others at several traditional jazz festivals in the USA. In the autumn of 2003 he was part of the Royal Caribbean International Orchestra performing on the cruise ship of the same company.
During his career, he performed with internationally renowned musicians such as Niels H. O. Pedersen, Martin Drew, Renato Chicco, Duško Gojkovič, Boško Petrovič and others.
As a composer and arranger Dominik presents himself in his own CD ‘Bab’n’gabn quartet’, recorded in 1999.
At present he is a member of the Oberdixie Band and of the Greentown Jazz Band.

TOMAŽ ZEVNIK

OMAŽ ZEVNIK was born on the 31st March, 1990 in Brežice, where he began his music career attending the local music school under the guidance of prof. Igor Požar.
He continued his education at the Conservatory in Ljubljana and successfully competed at a number of competitions at both national and international level.
In 2009 he enrolled with the Music Academy in Ljubljana in the class of prof. Slavko Goričar where he acquired his master’s degree in 2015.
His knowledge was broadened at a number of summer classes and seminars with renowned clarinetists such as Boris Karaev, Jozsef Balogh, Alojz Zupan and Andrej Zupan.
He regularly performed as a member of ‘Glasbena mladina ljubljanska’ and as a concert master with the academy’s wind orchestra.
While studying clarinet at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana he was also a member of Saša Avsenik’s ensemble performing nationally and throughout Europe.
At present, he is dedicated to jazz. He is a member of a number of ensembles and bands. As a soloist, he occasionally performs with various big bands and with the renowned pianist Jaka Pucihar.
He is a member of the Oberdixie Band.

MARJAN PETREJ

ARJAN PETREJ attended Music School in Velenje and continued his education at the Maribor Conservatory. He successfully finished his studies at the Music Academy in Ljubljana.
In 1996 he became a member of the Slovenian Armed Forces Band as a trombone soloist. He has performed with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and is currently performing with Big Band RTV Slovenia as a bass trombonist.
As a member of Big band RTV Slovenia, he performed with a number of renowned conductors and performers such as Diane Schuur, Kurt Elling, New York Voices, Yellow Jackets, Bob Mintzer, Ernie Watts, Joe Lovano, Paquito D’Rivera, Herb Pomeroy, Burt van Lier, Rob McConnell, Michael Abene and many others.
At present he is a member of the Oberdixie Band and the Greentown Jazz Band.

GAŠPER KRŽMANC

AŠPER KRŽMANC was born on December 13th 1982 in Ljubljana. In his early days, he played accordion but later changed to guitar. He was a student of several renowned Slovenian guitarists and attended numerous seminars both at home and abroad.
While at Law School he decided to dedicate his career to music. In 2009 he became a member of the Slovenian Armed Forces Band. Although he performs mostly with smaller groups, he has also performed with several Slovenian orchestras. He performs with the group Šlajn and his own trio and is a member of Nul Kelvin and Smaal Tokk. In addition to his work with these bands, as a composer he works as an arranger for big bands and wind orchestras. He often finds himself in the role of producer and sounding engineer too. For more than 10 years, he was a member of the accompanying group for the singer Nuša Derenda and is presently engaged with the musical Mama Mia.
Apart from guitar he also plays banjo, with which he performed with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra (George Gershwin Project).
He is a member of the Oberdixie Band.

GORAN KRMAC

ORAN KRMAC is a creative tuba player, composer and arranger focusing on contemporary music. In jazz, pop and similar genres, he interprets the role of bass with ease and is no stranger to improvisation. His work is based on the broad knowledge acquired during his studies in the Netherlands and his research of world music as well as electronic music.
At present, he performs with The Goran Krmac Quartet, Rudi Bučar & Istrabend, The Sounds of Slovenia Trio, The Tomi Purich Trio, Big Band Cerknica as conductor and others.
His music career also collides with the roots of jazz and dixieland music. He is a member of the Oberdixie Band.

JANI ŠALAMON

ANI ŠALAMON was born in 1962. He started his professional music career in 1981 as a percussionist in the Police Band. In this period, he graduated from secondary Music School in Ljubljana and the Academy of Music in Ljubljana in the percussions department.
From 1982 and 1996, he regularly cooperated as a guest percussionist with orchestras such us: the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra and the Opera and Ballet Orchestra in Ljubljana.
In 1996 joined the Slovenian Armed Forces as Deputy Commander of its orchestra. He took over the role of the Slovenian Armed Forces Big Band conductor, the role of ceremonial conductor (drum major) and some of the tasks of the concert orchestra conductor.
In 2002, he successfully finished his master’s studies at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences in Kranj, in the field of education personnel management.
In 2006 he further pursued his studies at the School of Music in the USA, the program Unit Leader Course at the Navy Marine Department, in the following fields: composition and arrangement for jazz bands, composition and arrangement of marches, ceremonial conducting, drum majoring and conducting jazz bands. Upon returning from the USA, he has been constantly improving his knowledge of jazz arranging under the guidance of Jaka Pucihar, Professor at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, and of arranging and instrumentation for wind bands under the guidance of Vladimir Mustajbašič.
In 2009, he completed a Professional course on musical arrangement at the Berklee College of Music.
After returning from the USA, he performed the tasks of conductor and later of artistic director of the Slovenian Armed Forces Orchestra for some time.
He retired in 2012 as Commander of the Band.
He is the author of the official Slovenian Armed Forces March We take Pride and also the composer of further marches; Up And Forward, Spearhead and Crossed Swords.
At present, he is performing with the Greentown Jazz Band and the Classic Evergreen Orchestra.
He is the founder and leader of Oberdixie Band.

Discography

1. Na Golici / Trompetenecho (V. & S. Avsenik/M. Petrej)
2. Bourbon Street Parade (P. Barbarin/J. Šalamon)
3. Lepo je biti muzikant (V. & S. Avsenik/M. Stare/J. Šalamon)
4. Summertime (G. Gershwin/D. Heyward/G. Kržmanc)
5. Na Robleku (V. & S. Avsenik/F. F. Souvan/J. Šalamon)
6. When the Saints Go Marching In (Traditional/D. Krajnčan)
7. Polka s pozavno (B. Prešern/M. Petrej)
8. What a Wonderful World (B. Thiele & G. D. Weiss/M. Ferlež & J. Šalamon)
9. Mack the Knife (K. Weill/B. Brecht/D. Krajnčan)
10. It’s a Long Way to Tipperary (J. Judge/D. Krajnčan)
11. Hello Dolly (J. Herman/D. Krajnčan)
12. Es ist so schön ein Musikant zu sein (V. & S. Avsenik/ M. Stare/H. Kohnen/J. Šalamon)
13. Hoch Auf Den Bergeshöh´n (V. & S. Avsenik/ F. F. Souvan/F. Rauch/J. Šalamon)

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