Photo by Mariusz Mikotajczyk
Zoran Starcevic, from Belgrade, Serbia, is a prominent guitarist, composer, arranger, and producer who has written and recorded about 600 songs. He and his sons Nikola and Zeljko — both award-winning guitarists with their own solo careers — travel the world as Trio Balkan Strings, playing original music rooted in Balkan traditions. They describe their music as a fusion of “Serbian, Gypsy, Macedonian, Romanian, Moldavian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Mediterranean, and Greek,” with jazz and classical influences and asymmetrical rhythms.
“This Belgrade-based family act operates under an ambitious code of simplicity: [They] seem to have made it their project to condense the entire Balkan musical tradition into a repertoire that can be played by six hands on three guitars. All classically trained and all exuding an audible affection for rock, blues, pop, and jazz — particularly the hot jazz of Reinhardt and Grappelli — the Starcevic boys take a microcosmic approach to their original compositions as well. Each track… is airtight, with a lush and dazzling orchestral quality that belies its instrumentation.… Countless ideas get developed like patterns in a silk weave, followed to a satisfying resolution, and then left behind for the next odd rhythm or jaunty whirl.”
—Monica Kendrick, Chicago Reader