Gasper Bertoncelj is an internationally acclaimed drummer. His musical education started in Slovenia, by playing trumpet. In his early teens he switched to drums. Already at age thirteen Gasper was playing drums with local jazz ensembles. His reputation was slowly building up and his playing soon became in high demand on the Slovene music scene.
The passion for music lead him to Linz, Austria where he studied music at Bruckner University. Doug Hammond, his mentor, revealed to Gasper deeper layers of jazz and music in general. Upon graduation with honors he convinced Gasper to move to New York. Two years later Gasper received a Master of Arts degree from The City College of New York where his main mentors were Victor Lewis , Billy Drummond, Andy Watson and John Patitucci. Gasper started performing in New York the first year he came there and by the time he graduated he was able to proudly support himself by playing drums professionally around the city.
Eight years later he moved to Tel Aviv, where jazz has strong American alliance. There he continues to expand his musical circles. Gasper's strength is definitely his versatility and creativity in music. While Jazz gives him the musical freedom of expression which demands the highest level of musicality and control of the instrument, other genres like Blues, Country & Western, Rock'n'Roll, Latin and Gypsy Swing, Funk, R'n'B, among others, give him a chance to connect with people on different levels.
Drummer Gasper Bertoncelj is from Slovenia, but his musical allegiances skew more toward hardbop than Eastern Europe – New York magazine All About Jazz wrote about him. Gasper has been playing in many projects in USA and Europe. while leading his groups that feature his compositions and arrangements.
He produced his own CDs: CAUTION! Hard Hat Area! (2008 Arabesque Records, NY), The Swingers of Jazz (2008 Goga Muzika, SLO), The Swingers of Jazz: Gasper's Back in Town (2012 Arabesque Records, NY), and Dreamin' With G (2020 Klopotec, SLO) which receive warm welcome around the globe. Beside being a leader and accompanying musician Gasper also co-leads a project called Drum & Flute Osmosis with flute master Avichai Ornoy. Along performing, Gasper gives private lessons and leads master classes based on his manual The Brush Book: How to play drums with Brushes, in which he demonstrates his unique techniques and approach to playing with brushes.
Gasper is an excellent drummer with a great sense of time and musicality in his playing ...
Your band was the best concert of the year...I'm very proud of you! It goes with being the very best student who did and does his own home work. Keep it going!
In my opinion, Gasper is one of the few drummers on this side of the Atlantic that can swing as hard as the drummers I was used to playing with in NYC! From note one, he is swingin', groovin', can open things up, whatever the music needs, he is right on top of it! He also brings a wonderful freshness and creativity to tunes and arrangements I've played for years...A true artist!
Gasper is an accomplished drummer and a true artist who plays and LIVES the music. As in his own life, he pursues his art honestly, bravely and most important of all, with a genuine spirit of adventure! Congratulations Gasper!