Lelo Nika, who twice won the title “Accordion World Champion”, comes from the village of Nikolinci, eighty kilometers north of Belgrade. In 1970, the one year old Lelo moved with his parents to Denmark and settled in Helsingør. Today, Lelo lives in Malmö, in the south of Sweden.
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At the age of five Lelo got his first accordion from his father, who is also an accordionist and whose family is well known for its gypsy music traditions passed down through generations. Lelo was brought up with music as a natural everyday element; music was a way of life, a way of communication, irrespective of situation, place or hour.
His fatherwas Lelo’s first accordion teacher and brought his son to Yugoslavia, when he was ten years old. From the very first day he became active in an folklore orchestra led by Ionel Corneanu.
He was first violinist of the orchestra and he introduced him to the music in the best of ways, how to play as a soloist, the orchestral structure, and the history of the music.
Lelo stayed for three years, studying under the Serbian accordionist Branimir Dokic and going deeply into Slavic and Romanian culture.
He then went back to Denmark, to study under Mogens Ellegaard and got a classical education for five years.
After that he studied at the Danish Harmonica academy for Jeanette Dyremose and later at Malmö Academy of Music with Lars Holm.
Through the years Lelo Nika has performed and played with several jazz celebrities, among others he has toured with Joe Zawinul (Weather Report) and Randy Brecker.
In time his musical horizon grew versatile and broad.
Today he sees great importance to the mission of both preserving and developing the musical traditions that he derives from, aswell as composing new music.
Especially the music he is creating with new ensemble Lelo Nika Septet: TAJJ quartet and the trio he has had for many years together with George Mihalache and Thommy Andersson.
”The music I´m playing with them truly reflects where I´m at right now, musically and as a human being.”
A story of its own and a new musical path.
The Trio has worked with, as a group and separately, with international artists in various genre all over the world. To mention some; Joe Zawinul, Paul Bley, Yussef Lateef, Manolo Badrena, Kenny Werner, Randy Brecker, Shashank Subramanyam, Adam Nussbaum, Richard Bona, Victor Baily, Etien Mombappe, Jerry Bergonzi, Paco Seri, Bora Dugic, Nelu Bloiesteanu, Ilija Marinkovoc, Petar Ralcev, Gheorge Safir, Han Bennik, Genestra quartet, Koehne Quartet, Tajj quartet, Nordic chamber orchestra, Pierre Dørge´s New Jungle Orchestra, Palle Mikkelborg among others.
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Lelo Nika trio was formed in the late 90´s. The trio has been touring frequently around Europe since then, with great response because of the “here and now feeling” they can produce together.
A unique constellation with three personalities from three different cultures and backgrounds.
They have one goal in common: friendship, good music and to build bridges in music cultures.
The repertoire started out with music from Lelo Nika´s root music and music from the balkan countries. The trio has besides playing trio concerts also played new composed music in morden jazz, nordic folklore and classical music. The trio has been soloists at many venues with chamber orchestras, crossoverensembles and orchestras with their own original music.