Zdenko Ivanusic – biography – saxophone player and composer, a dynamic member of the Croatian music scene since 1990. My experience in classical music, jazz, fusion and funk allows me a unique approach in most musical settings, from a symphonic orchestra, chamber ensembles to a big band, a saxophone quartet or a small band.
As the leader of the Donna Lee Saxophone Quartet, Funk Elastic, Zdenko Ivanušić Quartet, I am focused on promoting my own compositions and original arrangements of jazz standards. In composing and playing, polyrhythmic and polytonality is frequently employed, as well as emotional intensity and improvisational clarity.
I was principal alto chair in the Croatian Army Symphonic Wind Orchestra for seventeen years (1992-2009). I’ve been playing as a part-time musician with the Zagreb Philharmonic, Croatian Radiotelevision Symphonic Orchestra, Croatian Radiotelevision Jazz Orchestra, Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb and Zagreb City Theatre “Komedija”. I was soloist and lead alto in HGM Jazz Orchestra Zagreb, under the leadership of Austrian band leader Sigi Feigl since it was founded in 2002 to 2006. I also collaborate with well-known Croatian musicians and popular ensembles such as Mr. Dynamite (I’m also music director/arranger for this band), General Woo – Tram 11, Brain Holidays, Soul Fingers, Songkillers, Soul Shadows, Freak Out Band, Neki Novi Klinci, Bučersi, Swing Again, Swingers Band, etc..). I shared the stage with many distinguished musicians such as Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Don Menza, Bobby Shew, John Riley, Earl Gardner, Peter Herbolzheimer, Kevin Mahogany, Charles Tolliver, to name a few. I also got the opportunity to play with the great Duke Ellington Orchestra in Zagreb as substitute alto sax.
I released four albums at Zivaldo Records, Four Odd – Donna Lee Saxophone Quartet, Mellow – Donna Lee Saxophone Quartet, Lost in HTML – Zdenko Ivanušić, Free Fall – Zdenko Ivanušić Quartet, and numerous singles.