Kristijan Krajnčan (Kranj, Slovenia, 1986) was born in a family of musicians and begun playing classical cello at five and jazz drums at the age of ten. When he finished Music High School on both instruments he moved to The Netherlands, where he graduated jazz drums at the Prince Claus Conservatory (Groningen, 2009) and obtained Masters in Composing for Film at the Amsterdam Conservatory (Amsterdam, 2013).

His ability to play various music styles in groups that range from trio to big band gave him the opportunity to work with several internationally acclaimed artists, such as The Ploctones, Ambrose Akinmusire, Jimmy Greene, Franz von Chossy Trio, Marzio Scholten IDENTIKIT, Kaja Draksler “Acropolis Quintet”, DUMItRIO, AnneGuus Teerhuis Trio, Sri Hanuraga Trio, Acquaphonica, Tarek Yamani Trio, Alex Simu Quartet, Big Band RTV Slovenia, Big Band Stageband, Dominic J. Marshall Trio, Rood Adeo, Romana & Lojze Krajnčan.

He has received several international awards in all fields of his work. Most notable include: Semi-finalist of Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition for Drums (Washington, 2012), Participant in “Dave Douglas Workshop: Creative Composition and Improvisation” at Carnegie Hall (New York, 2010), Finalist of the Dutch Jazz Competition (Netherlands, 2008), 1st Prize jury award “Jazzon” for best Slovenian jazz composition (Slovenia, 2006), Best Director Award - Festival of Slovenian Independent Film (Slovenia, 2006), 1st Prize of National Competition for classical musicians of Slovenia (as a cellist, 1997 and 2003).

His debut album as a leader “Kristijan Krajnčan Ensemble: Siberian Bear” was released in June 2012 on Edict Records, featuring Ambrose Akinmusire and Jimmy Greene.

Besides being a musician he is also active as a film director. He has directed several short films and music videos of classical, jazz, chanson and rock genres. His latest short film was shown in the competition program of Festival of Slovenian Film (September, 2015).

Currently he is working on an interdisciplinary project “Hidden Myth”, a collaboration of several international artists, where he will attempt to connect music, dance, poetry, visuals, film, and the world of mythology into united story.

AWARDS and Participations

Semi-finalist of Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition for Drums (Washington, 2012)

Finalist of Keep an Eye Jazz Award (Netherlands, 2012)

Participant in “Dave Douglas Worskshop: Creative Composition and Improvisation” at Carnegie Hall (New York, 2010)

Finalist of the Dutch Jazz Competition (Netherlands, 2008)

Nominated for Harten Aas Trophee (Netherlands, 2007)

1. Prize jury award “Jazzon” for best Slovenian jazz composition (Slovenia, 2006)

Best Director Award - Festival of Slovenian Independent Film (Slovenia, 2006)

Chairman of Slovenia, invited to Bergen (Norway, 2000)

2. Prize in Tortone (Italy)

3. Prize in Zagreb (Croatia)

1. Prize of National competition for young musicians of Slovenia (1997 and 2003)

1. Prize in Goriza (Italy, 1997)

1. Prize in Stressa (Italy, 1996 and 1997)


Kristijan Krajnčan has performed in:

Slovenia, The Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, Belgium, Croatia, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Macedonia, Romania, Germany, Spain, France, Belarus, Turkey, Washington, New York, Lebanon, South Africa, Indonesia, Japan, China.

Recent notable performances:

2013 - Salihara Theater (Indonesia), Flagey Winter Jazz Festival (Belgium), Palace of Culture Minsk (Belarus), DRM: Democratic Republic od Music (Lebanon), Concertgebouw De Vereeniging Nijmegen (The Netherlands), VPRO ToneJazz Festival (The Netherlands), Jazz Club Hannover (Germany), JazzCastle Festival Wolfsburg (Germany), ArCub Live Open Air Festival (Romania), “Jazz Is Back! – B.P.” (Croatia), Oct-Loft Jazz Festival (China)

2012 – Thelonious Monk Competition (USA), Java Jazz Festival (Indonesia), Vossa Jazz Festival (Norway), Jazzkaar Festival (Estonia), Edict Records Concert Series (Lebanon), Ljubljana Jazz Festival (Slovenia)

2011 – Grahamstown Standard Bank Jazz Festival (South Africa), Tokyo Jazz Festival (Japan), Bohemian Jazz Festival (Czech), 12 Points! Festival (Ireland), Skopje Jazz Festival (Macedonia), Boben in Lajna Jazz Festival (Slovenia), GreenHours 22 Jazz Club (Romania), Borusan Music House (Turkey)

2010 – Carnegie Hall (New York, USA), Bimhuis (The Netherlands), Jazz Festival Cerkno (Slovenia), Festival Lent (Slovenia), Cankarjev Dom (Slovenia), Amersfoort Jazz Festival (The Netherlands)

Others about Kristijan Krajncan


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