- Jasmin Trio Franolić & Jovanović & Ćulap 4:49
In the summer of 2015 I met Drazen Franolić and Kamenko Ćulap. They’ve been performing as a duo for over ten years and last year I attended one of their concerts in Croatia. Coincidentally they were staying at the same hotel where I was giving summer courses for the Harmonica School Berlin. Shortly after meeting them, we had our first jam session together. Afterwards, we decided that we should work together and in early 2016 our first album was recorded in Zagreb, Croatia.
Blues Rudy is not only a great singer and guitarist, he also plays bass drum and a hi-hat at the same time. He creates half the band with his enormous sound and Rudy’s music is engaging and intoxicating!
In 2008 I was invited to perform with Rudy at the Büdnerei in Lehsten. We literally met each other on stage. During the first break we smiled at each other and immediately thought, “Yeah, this works”. That gig was followed by four years of intensive touring throughout Germany.
Through our work together I’ve come to appreciate the freedom of a small ensemble.
Branko Galoic is a virtuoso guitarist. His songs have charm, humour and heart. As fate would have it, he moved right into my neighbourhood in 2012. We got to know each other over the course of a few evenings playing chess at a mutual friend’s place. We recorded our first album together at my apartment.
With Branko I had the opportunity to play Balkan music on the harmonica for the first time. We played some great concerts in Berlin clubs and together we have toured Holland, Austria and France.
My long friendship with Ryan Donohue has led to many different projects in many countries. Ryan grew up in New Orleans and his unmistakable singing and guitar style go directly to the heart. Right from the beginning we were musically attracted by each other’s openness and fascination with the different musical styles of the world. In 2006 we founded the band “Little Sam Lud” and had fun mixing the blues with as many styles as we could imagine.
Peter is a master of fingerpicking country blues and he has dedicated himself to traditional blues music. I met him in 1997 during my first visit to the World Harmonica Festival in Trossingen. I had just turned 17 and had been playing harmonica for 4 years, greatly influenced by greats like Marc Ford, Sugar Blues and Steve Baker.
Through Peter I not only discovered harmonica legends giants like Deford Bailey, Jazz Gillum and Sonny Terry, I also got to know the wonderful country blues style and repertoire.We work together regularly and give workshops for blues guitar and harmonica.
Every musician is familiar with the collection of ideas and musical fragments that gather over the years. They probably also familiar with the desire to edit and develop them, but more often than not this gets put aside and that’s the end of it.
I will be opening up the catacombs of my hard drives to you. There are certainly a few gems hidden on there and maybe even a hit or just an audio adventure.
Everything is unmixed raw material, old and recent… Enjoy!
I met Lars Vegas, Klaas Kentucky and Murrat Chicago on stage at the Dresdner Blues Festival in 2001. They won the jury prize at the Dresdner Blues Awards, while Peter Crow C. and I won the audience prize. It turned out that they also lived in Berlin and shortly after the festival Murrat left the band, so I joined them. Within a few weeks I learned how to play the double bass and I had the opportunity to learn the ropes with them on regular tours and festival concerts. During my six years with the band we recorded three albums together.
I had wanted to learn how to play accordion for some time and while I was searching for a good teacher I met Gerhard Schiewe. After a few lessons I realized that I should probably concentrate on my main instrument. While the accordion clearly wasn’t for me, Gerhard offered me a chance to be a harmonica soloist in the Ensemble Piaccodia. I accepted the offer without any hesitation. Ensemble Piaccordia performs compositions and arrangements by Gerhard Schiewe in a chamber music setting in a charming and delightful way. I immediately felt at home.