Legendary Slovenian singer-songwriter Vlado Kreslin has been filling the main concert hall at the Cankarjev dom arts center with his annual December concerts for a quarter of a century. This year’s three concerts have also been sold out.
Kreslin performed his first concert at the Gallusova dvorana hall on 5 December 1992 together with the Svea Wind Orchestra from Zagorje. This was the first time that performers of non-classical music were presented at Cankarjev dom and other bands and singers followed suit only a few years later. Every year Kreslin is accompanied by his band Mali bogovi and folk music ensemble Beltinška banda at his December concerts while other guests are different every year and have so far included big names such as Rade Šerbedžija, Kemal Monteno and Vlatko Stefanovski.
Kreslin was born in the north-eastern town of Beltinci in 1953. He started his career as a drummer in a band called Apollo and joined rock band Martin Krpan in 1983. When the group fell apart in 1991, Kreslin started his solo career and later founded Mali bogovi. He has also issued several CDs with Beltinška banda. His music is a type of blues mixed with Slovenian folk music, while his repertoire also includes songs in English, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and Italian, as well as folk songs in various dialects.
His hits such as Tista črna kitara (That Black Guitar) and Namesto koga roža cveti (Instead of Whom Does the Flower Bloom) have been embraced as Slovenian folk tradition. He has released more than 15 albums, several books of poems and written music for several Slovenian films. He is constantly performing worldwide and has opened twice for Bob Dylan and some other world-renown musicians. His most recent album Če bi midva se kdaj srečala (If You and Me Ever Met) was released last year.
The first one of this year’s annual concerts at Cankarjev dom will be held tonight, featuring Irish jazz-blues singer Mary Coughlan and Italian Gabriella Gabrielli. Coughlan will also perform with him at Friday’s concert, which will also feature Balkan Boys and Mali bogovi. The guests at the Saturday concert will be Croatian band Zapadni kolodvor and Beltinška banda.