Ratko Zjaca – Vid Jamnik Duo

The collaboration between two outstanding artist form a peerless combination of guitar and vibraphone. The result is stunning in terms of sound and arrangement experimented with rhythmic ideas, texture and space impressed by artists enthusiasm, passion, intensity and warmth. An inspiring, enjoyable, powerhouse original compositions and standards impressed by both artists enthusiasm, passion, intensity and warmth.

Vid Jamnik


Vid Jamnik was born in Slovenj Gradec (Slovenia) on the 17th of August 1993. He made his first official musical steps in music school in Ravne na Koroskem with his professor Davorin Jevsnikar in 2001. There he learned percussion with a great pleasure. In August 2005 he visited summer jazz school in Groznjan (Croatia), where he met his dear friend and mentor Bosko Petrovic. Since then vibraphone is his favourite instrument and jazz his favourite music. He mostly plays jazz but he likes classical music, too. In June 2007 he won 1st place on Euritmia international young musicians’ competition in Udine (Italy). He has already played with many big bands, groups and other renowned musicians including Jimmy Cobb, Bosko Petrovic Trio, Georgie Fame, Stefan Milenkovich, Simone Zanchini, David Gazarov, Gianni Basso, Howard Curtis, Dusko Goykovich, Rob Bargad, Arthur Lipner, … He also took private lessons and an online course with Gary Burton and participated on many workshops led by famous musicians such as David Friedman, Dave Samuels, Lewis Nash, Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic …

In 2007 he finished his primary music school education in Slovenia and in 2012 he graduated from the Jazz department of Musical Conservatory in Klagenfurt (Austria).

In 2011/2012 he made a five-month Erasmus student exchange on the Jazz Institut Berlin with professor David Friedman.

At the moment Vid is a student of Berklee College of Music in Boston (USA).

He is a member of many different groups: Vid Jamnik Quartet, Jazz Continuo, Vid Jamnik International Quartet, Mike Sponza & The European Blues Convention, Via Ad Infinitum, Alex Rendla Sextet, Benny Hrdina’s Big Organ 5, Stick Control, Vid Jamnik 4, ZKM Group and Austrian-Slovenian jazz project.

Ratko Zjaca

While respecting the harmonic contours and deeply ingrained melodies of those oft-covered tunes, and others presented here on Archtop Avenue, Zjaca puts his own personal stamp on them through reharmonization, subtle rhythmic shifts and improvisational flights Recording each track with a different archtop guitar, he interprets these beloved standards, and a few originals, with taste and invention. Always mindful of addressing the bass line while delivering rich chord voicings and spinning fluid melody lines, he strikes a delicate balancing act on these 12 tunes from Archtop Avenue. Archtop Avenue is a compelling addition to the canon of solo guitar and a crowning achievement in Zjaca’s career to date.

Bill Milkowski – Jazz critic, journalist, biographer

In this wonderful album, Ratko shares songs from the Great American Songbook and original compositions played with skill and feeling. The music is offered with a genuine reverence and a connection to the heart of the player. That is a rare and beautiful gift. Played without any hint of showing off, Ratko presents these beautiful melodies as food to be savored. This is beautiful music to use as a soundtrack for life. Sit back and relax and let the sounds take you away.

Rodney Jones – Guitarist/Composer/Educator – NYC, May 2023

This new CD by guitarist Ratko Zjaca’s New Organ Group featuring the great American drummer John Riley, Renato Chicco on Organ and Stefano Bedetti on Tenor Saxophone is full of creative, well conceived, and grooving original compositions by Ratko, and absolutely first rate playing from everyone! It’s a tightly knit group and his best record yet in my opinion, well produced as far as overall conception, and great sound too! Check it out! – Randy Brecker

The unexpected delight of hearing John Riley on this recording with an all-star assemblage of European musicians Ratko Zjaca Nocturnal Four only makes the listening experience sweeter. John sounds right at home, and the rest of the musicians sound like New Yorkers! I highly recommend this album. – Peter Erskine

I listened and really enjoyed this album. The collaboration of these four artists is brilliant and extremely well played. They are all musicians of the highest caliber. CD – Life on earth – Lenny White

Once again I am pleased to hear that Ratko is continuing to carve his niche, as an important contributor to contemporary music. Enjoyable and inspiring. – Reggie Workman

Ratko’s new CD is full of great compositions played by a top notch band. With his lyrical playing, this makes for a most enjoyable listening experience. – John Abercrombie

Ratko put together a great band and found beautiful original compositions for us to play on… it was a very free session, musically speaking everyone played their hearts out. – Randy Brecker

Ratko presents a dynamic collection of jazz and attains something very rare indeed – a balance between body and soul. – Vernon Reid

My brother Mike thrived on originality, everything about him was different. He would have loved this CD which oozes originality and interaction at the highest level. These great musicians know how to LISTEN… this is just a stupendous effort… I really enjoyed it too! – Randy Brecker

Ratko Zjaca is an award winning guitarist, composer and recording artist with many critically acclaimed recordings under his name has recorded and performed with some of the most influential musicians in jazz and modern improvised music. He is an innovative musician, who is widely recognized as a technically advanced guitarist. He is known for being a relentless individualist, which is evidenced in his improvisational style. Ratko has had a prolific and extensive session history as a recording guitarist having played on many released recordings. He is a highly versatile player covering many areas of music but is best known for his work in the modern jazz and improvisation idiom. Ratko has released a number of albums as leader and sideman.

Ratko Zjaca is considered a very gifted stylist, assumes many roles in his macrocosm of music: contemporary guitarist, composer, performer and educator. His unique musical vision absorbs and reflects all kinds of music while retaining an enviable individualism and high quality craftsmanship that can span from quiet intimacy to searing intensity. Diverse musical backgrounds, which include jazz, world music, and free improvisation. He has been working on original compositions as well as crafting beautiful and haunting improvisations. He invented a unique style that is fearless, ambitious and volatile. He studied and graduated from Zagreb University. In his drive for the necessary knowledge and the enormous need for studies he sought his refuge in The Netherlands at the Rotterdam Conservatory. There he could get teachings by well-known masters. He also followed masterclasses and personal courses with Joe Pass, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, Bob Brookmayer, John Abercrombie, Mick Goodrick, Hariprasad Chaurasia and others.

Unlike some of his colleagues Ratko is not focusing only on saxophone phraseologies, but is continuously expanding the guitar’s vocabulary within today’s world of music. Whilst improving his performance to create his typical own sound and style, Ratko as a gifted teacher with a loaded teaching schedule, is capable of transposing most advanced phrases and concepts into structures, suitable for every musician. He gives master classes all around the world for guitar and fretless guitar, in countries like Slovenia, the Netherlands, France, Croatia and the United States.

After completing his study at the Rotterdam Conservatory where he studied jazz guitar, composition and Indian classical music, he also studied at New York University School of Music. He started to work with own group and with American trumpet veteran Benny Bailey group. Ratko participated at many international festivals and has been booked for the major club dates at the European and American scene. Ratko has constantly made major efforts to enrich his experience with appearances and recordings. He was also performing and recording with Benny Bailey, Gary Peacock, Reggie Workman, John Patitucci, Al Foster, Jimmy Cobb, Steve Gadd, Antonio Sanchez, John Riley, Alvin Queen, Ron Carter, Randy Brecker, Miroslav Vitous, James Cammack, Jeff Tain Watts, Adam Nussbaum, Kirk Lightsey, Shawnn Monteiro, Denise Jannah, Renato Chicco, Stefano Bedetti etc.

In April 2000 Ratko recorded “A Day in Manhattan” in New York with members of John Coltrane and Miles Davis rhythm section, Reggie Workman and Al Foster.

Ratko started a new quartet with the legendary bass player and composer Miroslav Vitous. He released a quartet recording, Crossing The Border, in New York City with John Patitucci, Al Foster and Stan Mitrovic, with all original compisitions of all members of the quartet. He released a record, Continental Talk, with John Patitucci, Steve Gadd, Randy Brecker and Stan Mitrovic. Ratko’s latest release is a record with Simone Zanchini, Adam Nussbaum and Martin Gjakonovski called The Way We Talk.

“Now and Then” is Ratko’s latest CD with his favourite musicians: Miroslav Vitous, John Patitucci, Reggie Workman, Al Foster, Randy Brecker and others.

A new CD of the ZZ Quartet, “Beyond The Lines”, on In+Out Records was released in May 2013.

A new CD “Don’t Try This Anywhere” is out now – Ratko with Simone Zanchini, Adam Nussbaum, John Patitucci and Stefano Bedetti.

The CD “Don’t Try This Anywhere” has won the Orpheus Award for 2016 – the best Italian production 2015 for jazz music.

Ratko received the award for authorship and artistic creation in jazz music from the Croatian Composer Society 2019.

Ratko received the European discography award for the artistic creation in jazz music from Nisville Jazz Festival Organization 2021.

A new CD “Life on Earth” is coming out in January 2018 – Ratko with Antonio Sanchez, Stefano Bedetti and Renato Chicco.

A new CD “Light in the World” – Ratko, with John Riley, Stefano Bedetti and Renato Chicco is out now.

A new CD “The places you will go” – Ratko with John Patitucci, Miroslav Vitous, Reggie Workman, John Riley, Antonio Sanchez, Adam Nussbaum, Steve Gadd, Al Foster, Simone Zanchini, Stefano Bedetti and others is out now.

Ratko performs on handcrafted guitars made by Chris Mirabella.

Ratko endorses Godin Guitars and uses CP-1A pickups for acoustic guitar from Carlos Juan.

Ratko Zjaca is nominated for best guitarist and musician in South American El Intruso New Creative Music Critics Poll Award for 2010 by an international vote of journalists.