Big Band RTV Slovenija deluje neprekinjeno že od leta 1945 in je ena najstarejših tovrstnih zasedb na svetu. Za začetke njegovega delovanja je v največji meri zaslužen dirigent in komponist Bojan Adamič (1912 – 1995). Plesni orkester Radia Ljubljana (PORL), kot se je orkester takrat imenoval, je Adamič, ki si je s svojim svetovljanstvom in umetniško širino prislužil vzdevek “mojster”, uspešno vodil vse do začetka 60.-ih let.
Leta 1961 je za dirigentsko palico prijel mladi, izjemno talentirani Jože Privšek (1937 – 1998), ki je Plesni orkester Radia Ljubljana popeljal v najvišji kvalitetni razred. V tem času se je PORL tudi preimenoval v Big Band RTV Ljubljana, po osamosvojitvi Slovenije pa v Big Band RTV Slovenija.
Po Privškovi upokojitvi leta 1992 je vodstvo orkestra prevzel Lojze Krajnčan, poleg njega pa še Petar Ugrin, Milko Lazar, Emil Spruk, Hugo Šekoranja in drugi. V goste smo vabili tudi vodilne svetovno znane jazzovske dirigente in soliste: Maria Schneider, David Murray, George Lewis, Michael Abene, Bob Mintzer, Clark Terry, Stjepko Gut, Johnny Griffin, Toots Thielemans, N.H.Ø. Pedersen, Diane Schuur, Duško Gojković, Boško Petrović, John Riley, Peter Erskine, Paquito D’Rivera, Mike Stern, Joe Lovano, Ernie Watts in mnogi drugi.
The Slovenian Radio and Television Big Band (Big Band RTV Slovenija) has existed continuously since 1945 and prides itself with being among the oldest orchestras of its kind worldwide. Its beginnings and first successes can largely be attributed to Bojan Adamič (1912 – 1995), a conductor and composer who already lead his own orchestra during World War II. Immediately after the war, in May 1945, he started reassembling the band, which soon made its first public appearance at the reopening of the Postojna Cave in June 1945. As early as fall 1945 the orchestra was officially taken under the auspices of Radio Ljubljana. Adamič, remained conductor of the Radio Ljubljana Dance Orchestra (PORL) until the early 60s. The most prominent soloists of that period were Ati Soss, Dušan Veble, Mojmir Sepe, Zoran Komac, Albert Podgornik, Franci Puhar, and the producers Dušan Hren and Jože Kampič.
In 1961 the baton was taken over by young Jože Privšek (1937-1998), an extremely talented piano and vibraphone player, whose greatest skills later proved to be composing, arranging and orchestra leadership. Under Privšek, the Radio Ljubljana Dance Orchestra evolved into a top quality band which not only dominated the scene within ex-Yugoslavia, but received high recognition abroad. In 1978 the band was awarded the prize of the German “Deutsche Phono Akademie” for the best record, competing – and winning – against rivals such as James Last and Max Greger Orchestra. He created the conditions for the development of leading soloists, who represented the pillars of Slovenian jazz for several decades: Petar Ugrin, Andrej Arnol, Tone Janša, Silvester Stingl, Ratko Divjak, Ladislav Rebrek, Milan Ferlež. The Dance Orchestra was eventually renamed into the Ljubljana Radio and Television Big Band, which in turn became the Slovenian Radio and Television Big Band after Slovenian independence in 1991.
After Privšek’s retirement in 1992 the orchestra was taken over by Lojze Krajnčan, together with Petar Ugrin, Milko Lazar, Emil Spruk, Tomaž Grintal and some others. We frequently hosted musicians from abroad, including some of the biggest jazz conductors (Peter Herbolzheimer, Mercer Ellington, Maria Schneider, Jerry van Rooyen, Carla Bley, Herb Pomeroy, Mathias Rüegg, Miljenko Prohaska, David Murray, George Lewis, Bill Holman, Michael Abene, Bob Mintzer, Lars Møller) and soloists (Clark Terry, Stjepko Gut, Johnny Griffin, Ack van Rooyen, Toots Thielemens, N.H.Ø. Pedersen, Jiggs Whigham, Jon Hendricks, Albert Mangelsdorf, Nancy Marano, Bobby Shew, Mario Gonzi, Duško Gojković,
Boško Petrović, John Riley, Dennis Mackrel, Bojan Z, Eric Vloeimans, Peter Erskine, Ronnie Cuber, Mads Vinding..) of our time. Most of them were impressed by the musicians, the professionalism of the orchestra and by the remarkable level of orchestral jazz production in Slovenia. Today the band is rejuvenated – the average age of its members is just over 30. Most have studied at various jazz academies abroad and each of them masters their instrument with virtuoso skill.
From 2002 to 2013 the artistic director and manager was Hugo Sekoranja. Since then his role was appointed to four Big band members who act as artistic council in agreement with managing director of Music Production Patrik Greblo. The soloists who keep conquering jazz audiences in Slovenia and abroad are Primož Grašič, Tadej Tomšič, Dominik Krajnčan, David Jarh, Blaž Jurjevčič, Primož Fleischman, Matjaž Mikuletič, Aleš Avbelj, Aleš Rendla, Aleš Suša, Blaž Trček, Adam Klemm, Emil Spruk, Klemen Repe, Miha Hawlina, Rok Štirn, Andy Pessendorfer, Tomaž Gajšt, Darko Sedak Benčić.
In past few years band played with some of most famous worldwide music stars (performers and conductors): fourteen times Grammy award winner alto saxophonist, clarinetist and soprano saxophonist Paquito d’Rivera, few time Oscars and Grammy winning composer, pianist, arranger Michel Legrand, few time Grammy nomenees and winners singers Kurt Elling, Patty Austin and Diane Schuur, on of world most famous vocal groups New York Voices, famous American conductor and composer Michael Abene, saxophonist Ernie Watts and others. One of the last big concerts was in April 2015 with conductor and arranger Ryan Truesdell and his Grammy winning Gil Evans Project.
Among the qualities of our Big Band are its diversity and the ability to fulfil the needs of various radio and television programmes. It has excelled in musical genres as diverse as film, dance, popular and classical music. Jazz, however, is the music Big Band RTV Slovenija plays with the greatest dedication and pleasure.