IT STARTED WITH A PIANO
and a lot of passion.
Zvjezdan Ružić, pianist, arranger and composer was born on 21 June 1988 in Rijeka, Croatia. He graduated in jazz piano at the Kärntner Landeskonservatoriumu (Austria) in the class of Prof. Rob Bargad (SAD). During highschool, Ružić attended jazz seminars hosted by the pianist Emil Spany and private lessons from a well known pianist – David Gazarov. From 2009 he became a permanent member of the band Jazziana Croatica. The band has so far recorded four studio albums of which three were awarded with Porin, the most respectable Croatian discography award. In 2015 Zvjezdan released his debut album “The Knightingale Cabaret“ – a project where respected jazz musicians from Croatia and Slovenia were gathered; Lenart Krečič, Vojkan Jocić, Tomaž Gajšt, Luka Veselinović, Adriano Bernobić & Alba Nacinovich. The album consists of six original compositions by Zvjezdan which combine elements of American jazz that he studied and traditional Croatian melos along with the cultural heritage of the region where he grew up.
He performed with the Rivers group from Rijeka on a jazz festival in Great Britain. With Jazziana Croatica he performed in several countries and those worth mentioning are the concert at Schoenberg Hall (UCLA, California) and performances in München, Budapest, Paris, Milan and other European countries.
Over the course of his career, Zvjezdan worked with many artists from the Croatian jazz and pop scene and has been a permanent member of the Goran Končar & Charlie Jurković quintet, Veselino Jazz project, Finger Snap trio, Charlie Jurković & Zvjezdan Ružić duo and other projects.
Furthermore, he composed theatre music for the following shows; “La fatiche di Pseudolus”, “I botoni de la Montura” and “La finta ammalata” produced by the Italian Drama Department of the I. pl. Zajc Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka. Along with Goran Končar & Charlie Jurković quintet he participated in the “Meeting Point” album recording, “Nekoliko riječi” album by the guitar player Spartaco Črnjarić, “A Little Book Of Notes” & “Nehaj” by Jazziana Croatica, “Magnetic Whale” by the bass player and double bass player Luka Veselinović, “Jazziana Croatica Big Band”, “Night Speaking” by Vedran Ružić trio, “The Fat Manager” by The Hood Fellas, “Song For My Cat” by Finger Snap trio, “For Believers Only” by the saxophonist Denis Razumović, “Jazz Room” by the double bass player Tihomir Hojsak, “Event” album by Borna Šercar trio feat. Sabrina nomitated for the Porin award, “Wagner Goes to Hollywood” by Jazziana Croatica and his first album called “The Knightingale Cabaret” released in 2015 under the Aquarius Records label.
Zvjezdan received several Status awards, the prestige Croatian award given by the Croatian Musicians Union;
2010 winner of Status in the category of “Young jazz talents”
2011, 2012 and 2013 winner of Status for the best instrumentalist of the year in the category „Jazz piano“
In 2016 Zvjezdan became a member of the Croatian Society of Independent Artists.