GOCE STEVKOVSKI SEPTET
As a commanding drummer and compelling composer, drummer Goce Stevkovski stands above the fray.
Stevkovski's skill as a band leader might not be as well-known as his tenure with high profile groups like the Bodan Arsovski Ezgija band, Arhangel, Leb i Sol, Project Zlust, DNO or various small-group jazz projects. However, since 2014 when he made his debut as a composer of his own music, he has become profiled as a unique and very skilled author as well as leader and creative force uniting many of the extremely talented jazz musicians with international success.
His debut album 7 Stories delivers a strong concept and excellent musicianship. 7 Stories is a rare accomplishment: a post-hard bop album with strong and memorably tuneful melodies, its
beautiful moments striking a perfect balance between flash and subtlety without trying too hard to impress with instrumental virtuosity. Over seven tracks that mix an almost Miles Davis second quintet-like density of sound with languid funk and playful horn harmonies, the band cooks.
The tunes are deceptively simple, but close listening finds the great effort that went into making them seem so effortless The compositions are arranged with absorbing big band-like textures and attention to detail, and on top of that Stevkovski plays to the strengths of the individual band members, allowing each of them space to showcase their personalities. Stevkovski is the author of all of the compositions, but his pieces certainly don't reveal a dominant personality.
One of his chief characteristics is the rhythmic understanding he has for any given surrounding or situation, always applying his skill to appropriate measures. As someone who has never had much taste for the farther reaches of jazz experimentation, he is far more intent on building restrained patterns and maintaining a level head. while in his second release- Homage to a Dreamer he adds band leading instincts to his already impressive list of talents and accomplishments.
He has worked with some of Macedonia’s finest jazz musicians including Sashko Nikolovski (trombone), Kiril Kuzmanov (sax), Kiril Tufekchievski (double bass), Damir Imeri (keyboards) and collaborates with profiled international players such as Matias Gayer on piano and Todor Bakrdziev on trumpet. The Goce Stefkovski Septet is now an established formation that brings to the stage a unique creative force and individuality, thus becoming one of the finest Jazz bands in Macedonia.
Following the success of his second album, Goce Stefkovski has broadened his career with performances in Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Albania, New York, at renowned Jazz festivals including the Skopje Jazz Festival, Bansko Jazz Fest, Today it’s all about jazz, Bascarcijske Noci in Sarajevo and many more. Given the huge success of Homage for a dreamer, the creators of Spotify’s State of Jazz made the album track “Monday” the top 10 songs on the playlist, alongside world-famous artists such as Toni Bennett and Xavier Davis.