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Marko Churnchetz

Marko Churnchetz is one of Slovenia's most heralded contemporary musicians and renowned exports, based in New York City. On the international scene he is known as a formidable young multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and producer who easily works across genres and in particular jazz, classical and popular music.

Churnchetz was born May 15, 1986 in Maribor, Slovenia and by the age of age six his musical path began by studying classical music on accordion and then piano at the age of ten. A prodigious talent, by his teens he was a multiple award-winner in both national and international competitions, and he earned a classical piano degree at the Conservatory of Music and Ballet Maribor, Slovenia in 2005 as well as jazz piano degree at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria in 2009 where he graduated with honors.

He has released four albums as a leader: Signature and Moral Interchange (both released in 2010 on B.A.S.E.). His third high critically acclaimed album Devotion, featuring Mark Shim (saxophone), Chris Tordini (doublebass) and Justin Brown (drums), released on Whirlwind Recordings, the prolific London-based imprint was selected among 20 best jazz releases of 2014 by the famous jazz publication “All About Jazz”.

Churnchetz's forth album RUTHENIA (Fresh Sound, New Talent, 2017), featuring an outstanding jazz quartet with Mike Moreno on guitar, Chris Jennings on doublebass,Rudy Royston on drums and 11-piece chamber orchestra is a clear example of how many contemporary musicians are no longer concerned with genre boundaries. This album is a hommage to the greatest Russian Composers of the 20th Century: Dmitry Shostakovich, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Sergei Prokofiev, Alexandr Scriabin and Igor Stravinsky.

Churnchetz has performed or recorded with the many following notable musicians: Seamus Blake, Rez Abbasi, Bob Mintzer, Joe Locke, Alex Sipiagin, John Ellis, Don Menza, Michael Phillip Mossman, Ron McClure, Luis Bonilla, Gary Chaffee, Mark Shim, Justin Brown, Marco Minnemann, Marcus Gilmore, Suresh Talwalkar, Chris Tordini, Chris Jennings, Damion Reid, Kenny Grohowski, Gwen Hughes, Stefan Milenkovich, Sharat Shrivastava, Gyan Syngh, Karlheinz Miklin and many others.

He has played on major festivals and clubs around the world, like: Brosella Jazz Festival, Havana Jazz Festival, Blue Note Jazz Club NYC, Jazz Standard NYC, Unterfahrt Jazz Club Munich, Porgy and Bess Vienna, Vienna Konzerthaus, Jazz Festival Sarajevo, Jazz Festival Belgrade, Jazz Festival Ljubljana, Tangente Jazz Club Liechenstein, Salsa Festival Barcelona, Ohrid Music Festival, Nishville Jazz Festival, Rovinj Salsa Festival, Dubrovnik Music Festival, Stockholm A-Capella Festival, Sava Centar Belgrade, Gramercy Theater NYC, Gregorys Jazz Club Rome, Sunside Sunset Paris, and many others.


Album Review

Duo Atanasovski: Liberte Toujours

Read "Liberte Toujours" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Liberte Toujours by Duo Atanasovski is a musical odyssey that skillfully blends jazz, Balkan folk, and classical influences, displaying the extraordinary talents of these Slovenian artists. In this album, Ariel Vei Atanasovski, wielding both guitar and cello, partners with Vasko Atanasovski, a virtuoso of the saxophone and flute. They are joined by the formidable talents of Marko Churnchetz on piano, Jošt Drašler on double bass, and Marjan Stanić on drums and percussion, creating a powerhouse ensemble. This musical ...

Album Review

Marko Churnchetz: RUTHENIA - Retrospective of Russian Composers of the 20th Century

Read "RUTHENIA - Retrospective of Russian Composers of the 20th Century" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Slovenian-born pianist/composer Marko Churnchetz presents an ambitious suite for fifteen musicians: essentially his jazz quartet accompanied by a small orchestra of winds and strings. He pays tribute to the great Russian composers of the 20th Century: Shostakovich, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Rachmaninoff (the title “Ruthenia" is a Latin name for the Russian border provinces and their inhabitants, a metaphor for connecting with the great Russian musical tradition). Even if a listener did not know about the focus, the ...

Extended Analysis

Marko Churnchetz: Devotion

Read "Marko Churnchetz: Devotion" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Recorded in Brooklyn in April 2012 this excellent modern Quartet session led by Slovenian born pianist and composer Marko Churnchetz (native spelling is Črnčec) only recently saw the light of day in July 2014 courtesy of London's enlightened Whirlwind label. The delay is all the more inexplicable given the prominent contributions of hot saxophonist Mark Shim, who played on those wonderful recent Steve Lehman records Mise en Abime and Travail, Transformation & Flow. While this is Churnchetz's Whirlwind ...

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"An international debut recording that sees an impressively fiery new pianist off to a flying start."

4 Stars, Jazzwise Magazine

"One of 2014's finest jazz releases… Marko Črnčec's brilliant 'DEVOTION'!"

AP Reviews

"A strong piece of work impressive not only for the quality of the writing but also for the wholehearted absorption and development of its ethos by the whole band."

The Jazz Breakfast

"Devotion" is a stunning début. Churnchetz sounds like a musician -and composer- who is just bursting with ideas."

4 Stars, The Jazz Mann

"This is quite an exhilarating ride for fans of the kind of stuff that's going on in New York's contemporary sharp-angled, rhythm-orientated, lef-field jazz clubs."

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Liberte Toujours

MoonJune Records


Place To Live

Fresh Sound Records



Fresh Sound Records



Whirlwind Recordings


Marko Churnchetz:...

Whirlwind Recordings




https://soundcloud.com/marko-crncec/marko-churnchetz-trio-7-giant-steps https://soundcloud.com/marko-crncec/schizo-solo-piano-in-lignano https://soundcloud.com/marko-crncec/blues https://soundcloud.com/marko-crncec/marko-churnchetz-trio-p


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