Alexandru Man was born on 23 august 1969, and was raised in Targu Mures. He started to learn to play the guitar in 1983. In the ‘80s he played rock, being the founding member of Polifon, a rock band from Targu Mures.
Beginning with the '90s, when the gates to information opened wide, having easy access to jazz learning materials, he started leaning towards jazz music. In the second half of the ‘90s, besides his trio with Zsolt Nagy and Zoltan Hollandos, he collaborated with jazz musicians such as Maria Raducanu, Sorin Romanescu, Eddie Neumann, Cristi Soleanu, Catalin Razvan, Ciprian and Tudor Parghel, Marius Popp, the Jazz Unit band, etc.
At the end of the '90s he played in the orchestra of the National Theater of Targu Mures with Zsolt Nagy and Lajos Bibo.
After the year 2000 he played in Scandinavia. Until 2007 his musical activity was rather sporadic, at the rare times, when he did appear on stage, he collaborated with renowned artists.
In 2010 he graduated from the Richard Oschanitzky Jazz Faculty of the Tibiscus University from Timisoara. During his years of study he had the chance to play with American musicians such as Eldad Tarmu and Henry Franklin and was asked to participate in new projects such as the newly reformed Bega Blues Band, in which he still takes part at the present.
His frequent collaborations with the saxophonist Lucian Nagy or his projects with contrabass player Pedro Negrescu were the first signs of a new era. Intensifying his musical activity he worked together with Luiza Zan and the Mc Neese State University big band lead by saxophone player Rick Condit.
In 2010 he also came together on stage with Istvan Gyarfas. The collaboration with Istvan proved to be a fruitful one. Developing their project the two formed a guitar quartet with Sorin Romanescu and Gabor Juhasz. Recently he took part in an international project with artists from four states: The Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Romania.
He frequently collaborates with the guitarist Sorin Romanescu in the Standards On Double Six project, initiated in 2010. Luiza Zan also takes part in this project.
At the moment he is an MA student at the jazz section of the Faculty of Composition Musicology and Music Pedagogy of the National University of Music in Bucharest.
Dan Mandrila (n. 1938, Chisinau — d. 31 decembrie 1992) a fost un saxofonist, conducator de formatie si compozitor roman de jazz si muzica usoara. Este considerat unul dintre cei mai buni saxofonisti romani din toate timpurile.
Gabriel „Gabi” Mezei (n. 1921, Abrud) este un chitarist si clarinetist de jazz.
Nascut intr-o familie de muzicieni, face studii particulare. In anii '50 este membru al orchestrei „Electrecord” condusa de Teodor Cosma si al orchestrelor de la restaurantele „Zissu” si „Mon Jardin”.
Este considerat „cel mai bun acompaniator roman de stil clasic avand un ritm riguros, precis ce degajeaza un puternic swing” (Mihai Berindei, Dictionar de jazz, Ed. Stiintifica si enciclopedica, Bucuresti, 1976, p. 181)
Catalin Milea is one of the most creative and active Romanian saxophonists and jazz exponents of his generation that has developed a unique voice as a composer and as a performer. Awarded the prestigious Huygens Beurs (Dutch Government Scholarship) for 2008-10 and supported by the Makarov Foundation, the saxophonist has recorded one album – ”Re-Bop Unit featuring Dick Oatts“ having as guest one of the most acclaimed musicians and educators from New York, Dick Oatts. Winner of numerous competitions Catalin Milea performed and had recordings and concerts with various artists/ensembles as a leader or as a guest.
With his latest project called CONFLUENCE - having Lucian Ban on piano, Carlo de Rosa on bass and Tommy Crane on drums, he toured the Netherlands and performed at the Brussels Jazz Marathon 2011. In the fall of 2011 he started a project dedicated to the Romanian post-revolution generation P.L.U.G. (Pursuing Legacy Underground Group) that had its debut at Porgy & Bess, Vienna, being a groundbreaking concept that addresses socio-political issues of the contemporary Romanian society.
Born and raised in Bucharest, Romania into a family of music lovers, around the age of 18 he was working in order to pay for his music lessons and to buy his first saxophone. During this period Catalin Milea had a decisive encounter that directed him to his vocation: the music of John Coltrane. He soon became very demanded on the local scene, but chose to further his studies abroad. He graduated the Bucharest Music University (2006) before receiving a bachelor degree from Prins Claus Conservatoire (2010) and a master degree from The Hague Royal Conservatory (2012). During this period he won the “Artistry of Dick Oatts and Young Musicians” jazz competition, participated at the “Dutch Jazz Day”, “The Hague Jazz Festival” and toured Romania in a marathon called ”JAZZ IMMIGRATION“ with the group “Re-Bop Unit” co-leaded with the guitarist George Dumitriu. Catalin Milea was a member of the “European Youth Jazz Orchestra” led by Peter Herbolzheimer.
Elena Mindru (b.1988, Cluj) studied classical violin and piano as a child, until she met jazz at the age of 15. By that time I also got very interested into mathematics, but after four years of intensive study she realized that nothing compares with the satisfaction you get from music. Hence, she took up the musical journey and applied to Berklee College of Music, Boston, but the scholarship received was not enough so Elena continued to study classical composition at the “Gheorghe Dima” Academy of Music under the guidance of wonderful teachers such as Adrian Pop, Peter Szegho, Cornel Groza or Cornel Taranu.
In 2008 and 2009 Elena participated in vocal workshops with the voice expert Mary King at the Royal Academy of Music, London, UK and in 2010 she attended a jazz course taught by Darius Brubeck for one semester, in the same time playing with famous musicians such as Sorin Romanescu, Lucian Nagy, Andrei Tudor, Patrice Rushen, Will Kennedy, Darius Brubeck, Alfredo Paixao, Hans Vrooman, Borislav Petrov and many others.
At the moment, she resides in Helsinki, continuing the NOMAZZ journey at Sibelius Academy.
Elena participated to several jazz festivals and competitions around Europe, but the most important experience that I had was in July 2012, in Switzerland, where I was awarded the 2nd Prize and the Public Prize by a jury presided by the great Quincy Jones, at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
In 2012 Elena started her own record label (EM Records), where she produced her jazz album, Romanian Christmas Stories, recorded in October 2011 with her jazz quintet.