A Guitarist's Journey Through A World of Music With Some of The World's Best Talent

"After a three-year collaboration with Emir Kusturica and TNSO, in 2002, Nenad received a scholarship from the British magazine "Total Guitar Magazine" and went to study at the Guitar Institute in London, where a year later, he received the student of the year award and enrolled in three-year studies. as a scholarship holder of Thames Valley University."

Nenad made his first contact with the guitar at the age of 11. At the age of 14, he began to play publicly in his native Jagodina (Serbia), with bands such as: Ethiopia, Pure, Black Lilihip, Kaiser. He began his professional career in 1998 with the band Zabranjeno Pusenje and in addition to concerts and television appearances, he became active as a studio musician in Belgrade.

From then until today, he is constantly engaged and active on the domestic and foreign music scene.

After the first world tour with Emir Kusturica and TNSO (No Smoking), in 2002 he entered the prestigious London Music Academy (TVU-Thames Valley University) where he received a scholarship and an award for student of the year, in the department of jazz and popular music. After 4 years spent in London , Nenad moved to Los Angeles, where he spent 6 months and met world jazz names such as Scott Henderson, Gary Novak, Mikan Zlatkovic, Miroslav Tadic, Jimmy Earl, Peter Sprague…. this time he moved to Paris, where he very quickly started playing and collaborating with world names in the field of jazz and world music.

From the beginning of his career, he was very versatile in terms of genre and style, and the genres of music in which he stood out the most were: jazz, rock, funk, pop, Brazilian music (samba, bossa nova), music from West Africa and the Maghreb, as well as traditional music from the Balkans.  

SO……..

In 1999, he recorded the album Slobodan Trkulje – Prizivanje kise. After that he joins the band Zabranjeno Pusenje on the tour ‘Ja nisam odavle’

After the first recording with the band Zabranjeno Pusenje on the album of the film “Crna macka”, it is worth mentioning the collaboration with the New Zealand producer, Mike Nielsen (Jamiroquai, U2, Dead can Dance), with whom Nenad maintains contact and often collaborates in the studio on various projects.

He joins the band of Shaz Rocket, a talented singer and actor who at that moment leads a jam session, every Tuesday at Pop Bar, in a well-known neighborhood. Even as a high school student, he started playing in his first band, Pure, and then with the band Ethiopia, in clubs all over Serbia.

In 1998, he moved to Belgrade, where he started playing in the club “Plato” and “SKC” with the band of Milos Petrovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, Nenada-Nese Petrovic, Branko Markovic…

After recording the music for Emir Kusturiica soundtrack” Black Cat,White Cat”, Nenad embarks on his first European tour with the same band, which changes its name to “Emir Kusturica and TNSO”. The tour begins in Greece, on the island of Corfu, and after a big concert in Athens, continues through Italy, Spain and Portugal.

In 2000, Emir Kusturica’s band recorded the album “Unza Unza time”.

for the French publishing house Universal, which soon opens new destinations and tours, first in all major cities in Europe as well as in North and South America. Nenad works in parallel as a studio musician ,and record plenty of albums for the Serbian folk and pop stars.

After a three-year collaboration with Emir Kusturica and TNSO, in 2002, Nenad received a scholarship from the British magazine “Total Guitar Magazine” and went to study at the Guitar Institute in London, where a year later, he received the student of the year award and enrolled in three-year studies. as a scholarship holder of Thames Valley University. At the university concerts, he was noticed by the famous British producer Yak Bondi (Lisa Stansfield, Spice Girls…), with whom he soon recorded an EP, English star “Emma Bunton” – Crickets sings for Anna Maria ‘, and the famous boys band S Club 7. After that, he started collaborating with the eminent names of the London Drum’n Bass scene, such as Rocky Singh (Asian Dub Foundation), Flexie, Miss Trouble and with the drummer of Steve Vai’s guitar hero, Pete Zeldman .

He performs several times as a Guitar Institute guitarist at the Birmingham Musical Equipment Fair, as well as at the London Guitar Expo, in the hall of the Wembley Arena with his trio, which at that moment includes two professors from the Nenad Academy (Alan Mian on bass guitar and Justin Scott on drums. Also in  Soho in London.

With the singer Juliet Russell, he plays the promotion of the book “Musician” by Keith Shadwick, dedicated to Jimi Hendrix in his house in Brooke Street in London, where the composer George Frideric Handel lived hundreds of years earlier.

After London, Nenad goes to Los Angeles for 6 months, where he meets some of his role models, such as Miroslav Tadic, Gary Novak, Scott Henderson, Jimmy Earl, Scott Kinsey and with Mikan Zlatkovic, he gets to know the scene in San Diego and starts playing on a weekly basis. In 2005, Nenad returned to Belgrade for a short time, where he began collaborating with Zeljko Joksimovic, for whom he also recorded the album IV, and played a tour in Serbia and Europe until the middle of 2006.

In the same year, at the invitation of Slobodan Trkulja, he went to the seven-day rehearsals of the band Balkanopolis and Metropole Orchestra in Hilversum (Holland), where shortly afterwards he played a masterful concert in the Belgrade Sava Center, which was also released as a DVD in Serbia.

At the end of 2006, Nenad starts composing his first album, “Kec” and records it in the studio “Berar” in Novi Sad, with the help of his friends, Marko Djordjevic on drums, Vasil Hadzimanov, Slobodan Trkulja, Aleksandar Banjac, Istvan Madjaric andI Vladimir Samardzic, but he did not finish it in Serbia, because at the beginning of 2007 he moved to Paris.

He continues recording his album in Paris with Bojan Zulfikarpasic, Mokhtar Samba, Hadrien Feraud and Omar El Barkaoui in the studio of Philippe Brun, producer of Youssou N’Dour.

In 2008, he started playing in the prestigious cabaret “Trois Mailletz” in the Latin quarter, in Paris, as a member of the band of the same name.

Shortly after that, he became active in jam sessions in clubs such as (Le Baiser Sale, Sunset, Sunside, Duc des Lombards, Caveau des Oubliettes) in Paris, where he met the jazz scene.

His quite recognizable expression on the guitar led him to his first serious contract in 2010. At that time, the trumpet player Ibrahim Maalouf, originally from Lebanon, invited Nenad to the band, which he joined and spent the next 2 years on tour around the world promoting the album. Diachronism”. He found himself at the same festivals and stages many times, side by side with his role models, such as Pat Metheny, George Benson, John Scofield, Marcus Miller and many others.

The same band plays the biggest jazz award ceremony (Victoires de Jazz) in Juan les Pins, a city in the south of France, where Ibrahim Maalouf receives the award for the best jazz musician in 2011.

It should be noted that there is almost no major jazz festival in Europe where Nenad did not perform in just 2 years of collaboration with Ibrahim (North Sea Jazz, Marciac, Juan Les Pins, Jazz a Montreux, Jazz a Vienne, Cully Jazz Fest, Paris Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival)……