There is no house without the foundation. There is no music without… BASS.

Both as an instrument and a harmonic line, double bass is ever so often in the background of a listeners perception. Yet, more and more double bass players distinguish themselves not only by an extraordinary technique, but also by originality in making of new music. BASS PASSION is a musical event which links the presentation of new tendencies in quality art and popular music with the education of music students and young professionals.

BASS PASSION presents the artists who step out of the box of usual forms, who are brave enough to start their own musical narative and bold enough to always go one step further.

Bass Passion 2015 is dedicated to one of the most significant jazz artists from this region, the double bass player MIHAILO MISA BLAM.


Photo: Ivan Grlić
Photo: Ivan Grlić


18.00 Panel “Mihailo Misa Blam”
Speakers:Vojislav Bubisa Simic, conductor, arranger, composer
Vojislav Pantic, jazz critic and publicist
Djordje Stijepovic, double bass player
20.00 Concert – Đorđe Stijepović
feat. vasil Hadzimanov / piano, keybord
Aleksandar Sedlar / guitar
Peđa Milutinovic / drumms
20.00 Concert Adam Ben Ezra solo


Đorđe Stijepović

“Slap Bassist to the Gods!” – Mark Rubin (Rockabilly Deluxe Magazine)
“One of the world’s premier upright slap bass players and ambassadors.” – Jimmy Leslie, Bass Player Magazine

This is how the US media describes the playing of Djordje Stijepovic. His musical journey and career cannot be confined to any particular genre. From his rock’n’roll beginnings in his hometown Belgrade, through world music bands, classical and jazz education, as well as collaborations with musicians like Lemmy and Tommy Emmanuel, to the status of the best slap style double bass player, none of his musical paths have followed any known pattern.

Djordje Stijepovic graduated in classical double bass performance at the Belgrade Music Conservatory (class of professor Slobodan Geric) and jazz double bass and arrangements at the Stankovic Music School (professor Michael Blam and Zvonimir Skerl). He also emphasizes Vojin Draskoci as one of his mentors. In Serbia, he is mostly known as the leader of rock’n’roll bands Atomic Sunset and Havana Whisper, as well as a bass player for the world music bands Balkan Music Club, Marsya and Shira Utfila. Some remember him from his guest appearance at Tommy Emmanuel’s concert in Belgrade’s Dom Sindikata, with whom he later continued to perform in California.

Soon after he immigrated to the USA in 2004, first in San Francisco, then Los Angeles, he started playing with some of his musical heroes like Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead) and Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats), as well as many other rockabilly and blues pioneers: Wanda Jackson, Scotty Moore band, DJ Fontana (both from Elvis Presley’s group), Billy Boy Arnold, Jody Williams, Joe Clay, Sonny Burgess and others. In 2007 he joined the world music band Fishtank Ensemble, known for mixing traditional Balkan Roma music with New Orleans jazz and flamenco. They toured all over the world, including Montenegro and Macedonia in 2013. He regularly performs with some of the world’s best tribal fusion bellydancers, such as Rachel Brice and Mira Betz. Stijepovic is also in demand as a studio musician. He was a guest bassist on the albums of Beats Antique (electronica), Rupa and the April Fishes (French Chanson), Kiosk (Persian), Kal and others. In the last couple of years he has been mostly performing with the TV star Drake Bell (of Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh fame). The last year’s highlight was their concert in front of 50.000 people at the Foro Sol stadium in Mexico City.

In 2010, in order to promote the slap bass technique, Stijepovic started the Art of Slap Bass project, consisting of a website and a video channel. He is also finishing up a book on this topic and a series of instructional videos.

His first released solo effort is on the album Serbia Sounds Global: All Stars, and his performance at the Bass Passion festival will be his first solo concert in Serbia. He will be performing his own original compositions with some of the best musicians from the Balkans: Vasil Hadzimanov, Aleksandar Sedlar and Predrag Milutinovic.


Adam Ben Ezra

“I can’t wait to see what else he comes up with”
(Allie Townsend – TIME Magazine)

“His new approach to music will change how bassists of tomorrow will play”
(Bill Gow, Reading Eagle)

“Any time a new Adam Ben Ezra video hits, I’m all ears. And Adam never disappoints”
(Corey Brown – No Treble)

There are musicians, and then there’s double bass phenomenon and YouTube sensation Adam Ben Ezra; a man seemingly on a mission to bring his instrument from its status as a background note to the dominant front-presence it deserves. Along the way Adam has been pushing his craft in new, exciting directions and carving out a unique spot for himself in today’s international musical landscape.
The term “multi-instrumentalist” is often overused but in this case it couldn’t be more fitting; Adam began playing the violin at age five and picked up the guitar at age nine. In recent years he has added the Clarinet, Oud, Flute and Cajon to his arsenal, largely teaching himself each time. However, it was an introduction to the double bass at age 16 that truly changed his life, when he instantly fell in love with the instrument’s rich sound.

Drawing inspiration from heroes as diverse as Bach, Sting and Chick Corea, Adam made a clear decision to make his compositions current – no matter the tool used. He has consciously added new colors to his palette, incorporating elements of Jazz, Latin and Mediterranean music into his playing.

Whether he is playing original material or his wonderfully crafted cover arrangements, ABE is a creative force of nature who can transform a room full of strangers into lifelong fans in a moment. Regardless if he’s performing Solo or as part of his Trio with guitar and percussion, no two shows are alike as the talented 30-something expertly moves from one instrument to the next, sometimes within the same song, without ever missing a beat. Using a smart combination of effects and pedals, Adam regularly loops his notes in order to deliver an authentic wall of sound, worthy of a small orchestra.

His efforts have not gone unnoticed and he is regularly invited to perform all around the world, notably supporting the likes of Richard Bona, Mike Stern and Victor Wooten. With a rise in requests for international appearances and a need to push his instrument further, Adam commissioned a special one-of-a-kind 5 strings bass with an unusual removable neck setup that allows him to travel even at late notice.

Adam is part of a new breed of musicians using YouTube to promote his music and interact with fans. His unique visuals, evident sense of humor and impressive editing touch makes for the perfect visual companion, and to-date his videos have clocked millions of views and tens of thousands of subscribers. Having recently started work on his debut album, due later this year, it is the special connection Adam has built with this community that drives the project.

Adam Ben Ezra’s unique talent, superb musicianship and great personality makes him the ideal candidate to take an instrument that has been around for centuries and push it into the 21st century.


Adam Ben Ezra

14. September, 11:00 AM, UK Parobrod

Join us for an exclusive masterclass with the musical virtuoso Adam Ben Ezra!
Although most famously recognized for his unique Double Bass playing, Adam is also a composer and a multi-talented instrumentalist. During his international tour he has made time to share and teach some of his crazy techniques in a one off masterclass.

The class will include:

  • Adam’s very own drum and bass technique
  • An inside look into how he composes his solo pieces
  • Playing with pedal effects
  • Tips for the best practice
  • And much much more!

Here is your chance to learn from one of the best in an open dialogue class – with the chance to ask Adam all you ever wanted to know!
Come meet and learn from the musician that leaves everybody asking “how does he do that?!”

Đorđe Stijepović

14. September, 13:00h PM, UK Parobrod

“Slap Bass & Beyond”

  • traditional slap techniques
  • Djordje’s advanced approach to slap bass
  • bass setup for slap bass playing of different music styles
  • a closer look at “The Omnipotent” – Djordje’s Signature Pickup
  • Q&A with Djordje

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Miloš Milovanović
Project coordinator
+381 63 8857 857