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Biography

Born in Bucharest on August 21, 1977, Vlad Popescu took profit of a proper family environment, his father and his mother being instrumentalists, and thus approaching the world of sounds at the early age of 6, as a piano student at the Bucharest Music School number 2 (1983–1984) and Music School number 5 (1984–1988). Still at the “Dinu Lipatti” high School (1988–1996) and the National Music Univers…ity (1996–2001) Vlad Popescu assiduously studied the percussion instruments. His interpretative experience took shape as far back as in 1992, when he started to co-operate (uninterruptedly until today) with the Radio Big Band. Noticed by the Romanian and foreign jazz musicians, he was requested by them since 1994 for recital in clubs and on festival stages, like the one in Bucharest ore other cultural centers. In 1996, he became the second percussionist for the “George Enescu” Philharmonics. A year later he was performing as a percussionist on stages of the Mamaia and Brasov (“The Golden Stag”) Pop Music Festivals. His first concerts abroad as a drummer and percussionist took place in 1997, in Italy, Spain and Germany. In the years to follow, Vlad Popescu’s activity went on polyvalently in the field of classic music – since 1998, he is a member of the “Game” Percussion Ensemble (the group got a prize for modern music) and a guest member for the National Radio Orchestra – as well as in the jazz and pop sections. At the 1999 edition of the Costinesti International Jazz Festival he was bestowed on the title of Laureate, and a year later he performed with his own band called the “Modern Jazz Group”, having as a guest member the saxophonist Cristian Soleanu. From the first year of the new millennium, he showed up on the festival podiums, like the ones in Brasov and Iasi, he performed for all editions (2000–2005) of the Bucharest International Jazz Festival, both as a sideman for notorious Romanian and foreign musicians (in 2002 with the Italian pianist Guido Manusardi, in 2003 with the French trumpeter Michel Marre and the „East Village” Group, in 2004 with Decebal Badila, the last co-operation being repeated in 2005, when the Brazilian guitar virtuoso Marcinho Eiras joined the group), and as a project leader, at the 2004 edition. At the same time, we have to mention his presence in Vienna, in 2003, as well as the fact that he was requested several times with live contributions by the American professor and conductor Tom Smith.
In February 2006 he was invited to join at congas the Radio Big Band conducted by Jere Laukkanen from Finland ft. Pauliina May (vocal) for an Afro-Cuban concert. In August 2006 he got the TVR Award for best band in the National Festival of Pop Music Mamaia 2006. In the end of 2006 he was invited to play in the anniversary concert of the great pianist Jancy Korossy. In January 2007 he put together again after 7 years the concert “In Memoriam Michel Petrucciani”. Also this year he was invited to play with Radio Big Band in a great concert conducted by Peter Herbolzheimer.
In 2007 he got two awards for: Best Jazz Album in 2006 (Joy of Life), and Best Group with Cristain Soleanu. In 2008 he got the prize for Best Jazz Group. Since 2003, Vlad Popescu is a professor with the Percussion Class of the National Music University in Bucharest.