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This was Criss Cross Europe 2019!

Now that the new year has started, we briefly look back to last year. Here is a lovely video from Criss Cross Europe 2019: a tune called Cyan, written by Dutch guitarist Yuri Rhodenborgh, who was one of the band members in 2019. The group was led by Serbian pianist Bojan Z, with a residency in Reims (France) and a tour through France, Luxembourg, Estonia, Belgium and the Netherlands in February 2019.  All band members composed some tunes especially for this band because of its very particular instrumentation. 

In the summer of 2019 they played concerts at Luxembourg Jazz Rallye and Jazz Middelheim and since this band is continuing to work together, it was names “Ara Sextet”, as an anagram of “extra seat” because they had lots of fun due to issues at airports. 

Bel – Anneleen Boehme (double bass)

NL – Yuri Rhodenborgh (guitar)

Lux – Pol Belardi (vibraphone, synth)

FR – Mathieu Penot (drums)

Est – Kirke Karja (piano)

FR/Srb – Bojan Z (rhodes, synth)


Criss Cross Europe 2019 with Bojan Z!

The adventure starts again!

For the 6th year, the CCE project is embarking on a new adventure a little crazy: to meet young musicians from all over Europe.

This 2019 edition will bring together 5 young musicians from Belgium, the Netherlands, Estonia, Luxembourg and France. They will meet for the first time during the creative residency which will take place during 5 days in Reims (France).

They will have the chance to benefit from the artistic advice of a major musician: Franco-Serbian pianist Bojan Z. You can then find them in concert in each of the countries participating in the project.


Virtuosity, classical knowledge, wit and entertainer’s instincts

– The Guardian

Based in Paris, originally from Serbia, Bojan Z’s (Zulfikarpasic) personal sense of style has been known to escape classification. With a background in classical music, rock, Brazilian music, blues, jazz and Balkan Folklore, Z harmoniously blends and twists his colourful musical baggage, innovating yet never losing his taste for melody and song form.

Starting with classical piano at the age of 5, moving toward the Belgrade rock scene as a youngster, Z obtained a scholarship at the age of 18 to study jazz with Clare Fischer in the US. Just a few years later he was awarded ‘Best Young Jazz Musician of Yugoslavia’. At the age of 20 he settled in Paris, establishing himself as an inevitable element of the French jazz scene. More than two decades later, Bojan Z has an impressive record to his name. A much sought-after sideman, he has collaborated with outstanding names like Henri Texier, Michel Portal and Julien Lourau. He has eight albums under his own name covering a wide range of styles and formations including his multi-ethnical project Koreni, which resulted in his status as the pioneer who brought Balkan influences into jazz.

Z has released two very successful solo albums. The first was Solobsession in 2007 (Label Bleu) with which he won Album of the Year for Xenophonia, Victoires du Jazz. His second acclaimed solo album Soul Shelter, (Emarcy/Universal) resulted in his title as Artist of the Year, Victoires du Jazz in 2012. On this album he plays both his beloved Fazioli piano and the customized fuzzy Fender Rhodes, also known as ‘xenophone’, which became one of his trademarks.

This was Criss Cross Europe 2018

After the premiere in De Bijloke in Ghent on the 22th of February the CrissCrossEurope band started the European tour. The project CrissCrossEurope introduces top musicians from the young jazz scenes to each other and to the audience, this year led by none other than percussionist Marliyn Mazur. The musicians from various countries rehearse for a week in absolute artistic freedom and with this ad hoc band they tour along the best jazz venues in Europe. With this short compilation we look back at a great CrissCrossEurope tour!

Bel – Sarah Klenes (stem)
NL – Koen Smits (trompet)
Lux – Niels Engel (drums)
DK – Søren Gemmer (piano, synth)
FR – Léon Phal (sax)
Est – Peedu Kass (bass)

Ready for the tour!

The Criss Cross Europe Band is ready to tour!


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