Monday, 21 August 2017

Ethno-Jazz: Vlatko Stefanovski   
The two modern forms of Balkan folk music - pop folk and ethno-jazz - differ as a hand-rolled cigarette and an expensive cigar.

So, naturally, the two styles' followers are usually ideological enemies.

While pop-folk fans know nothing about jazz which they regard as intellectual and pretentious, their opponents find them vulgar and crude.

Taking this struggle seriously, however, seems to be possible only for people from the Balkans. For the rest, the two camps' passionate rage is a constant source of entertainment.

Still, if you want to hear a more refined version of local folklore, one of the names to look out for is that of the Macedonian guitar-player Vlatko Stefanovski. Between 1978 and 1991 he played in the group Leb i Sol (Bread and Salt) , becoming prominent on the Yugoslav music scene. His first solo album, however, didn't come out until 1994, when his style changed significantly and he moved on to a more intellectual level. Together with the Croatian Miroslav Tadić, the Bulgarian Teodosi Spasov and a few other well-known musicians, Vlatko Stefanovski is among the founders of modern Balkan ethno-jazz.

He enjoys an immense popularity in the region and also often plays around Europe and the US in various formations with other musicians from the Balkans.

Video of Vlatko Stefanovski and Miroslav Tadić playing acoustic guitars:

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