Slovenia's Jure Pukl tours Central Europe this summer

Jure Pukl, photo: Marjan Laznik,

In recent years Slovenia's music scene has become more diverse and international. In fact it's flourishing. Whether it's ethno, rock'n roll, quality pop or jazz - Slovenian musicians are finding success at home and abroad. Ksenija Samardzija Matul spoke to Jazz musician Jure Pukl about his experience and the Slovenian jazz scene:

One of the musicians from Slovenia who represents the new generation of high quality musicians is the young saxophone player and jazz musician Jure Pukl who started to play the clarinet at the age of 10 and switched to saxophone when he was 15. He studied classical saxophone at the University for Music and Fine Arts in Vienna and he continued to study at the Queen's Conservatory in Den Haag. He then received a scholarship for the Berklee College of Music in Boston in the United States, where he stayed for a year. Last week he was our guest and I talked to him about his work. The story of how he fell in love with jazz music is very interesting because it was actually an accident. As he explained:

"I got my first records when I was 18, 19 when my father went to Germany on a business trip and I told him to bring me some Maceo Parker CD's which is Funk music basically and he did a mistake and he brought me some Charlie Parker back and the first contact was like - wow, what is that? - but I got hooked up and I am totally into that now."

This is how Jure Pukl discovered jazz and decided that this is what he would love to do. Jazz music, however, is not music for the masses and it is mostly played in basements and Jazz clubs of which there is also an increasing number in Slovenia. When I asked how jazz music is valued in Slovenia, he said:

"More and more people are hooked up and are listening to jazz and the audience is getting bigger, the scene in Slovenia is getting bigger, students who studied abroad are coming back, so I think if it is going to go on like that I don't have any fears for future jazz."

Jure Pukl has a very busy summer touring in Slovenia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia and he is working on different projects at the moment, Jure Pukl:

"I am working on actually three projects right now: one is acoustic jazz, which I want to record maybe this summer or autumn, the other one is a kind of electronic, drum and bass, soul, ambient jazz project, which I am working on. And then the third project is actually going to happen on the 7th July in Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana, it is a big thing with the Slovenian Army Orchestra and my quartet and it is a Jazz suite written by Igor Lunder."