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Over the last few years we have witnessed the rise of many talented guitarists from the Balkan region (Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Albania...) And now we have the first prominent, widely recognised guitar event!!!

The capital of Romania, Bucharest hosted a summit for the third time, masterclass, competition and the guitar show called Ziua Chitarelor.








The organiser of the event was Corrado Sgundurra, the Italian guitarist who earned the title “the best European young guitar talent” at the competition organised by Mike Varney in 1998. At the first two events we had the chance to see performances by Guthrie Govan, Brett Garsed, Andy Timmons, Greg Howe, Michael Angelo Batio...

This 3rd event brought us Jennifer Batten, Dave Martone, Michael Lee Firkins, Andras Oberg, Wiliam Stravato, Damjan Pejcinoski (first place at the Ziua Chitarelor competition last year) and Dragomir Herendić – Dragianni (second place at the Ziua Chitarelor competition last year).

The day before the event was alocated for the rehersals. This was only interupted by the short excursion to the lake in the town centre. The sound rehersals carried on late into the night.


This year the entire show was played live, instead of backing tracks. This was made posible with the little help of Mike Vanderhule - drums (Steve Lukather, Y&T, Vince Neil...) and Stuart Hamm - bass (Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Frank Gambale...)

The whole thing started quite early. The first to hit the stage, around 10:30 in the morning was Andreas Oberg, Swedesh fusion jazz guitarist. His masterclass lasted for about an hour and was followed by the short interactions with the fans.

Andreas Oberg


He was followed by Jennifer Batten whom the wider public would recognise as a guitarist from Michael Jackson's touring band. She performed her famous cover „The flight of the bumblebee“ and a fantastic but eye wetting medley made up of Michaels Jackson's greatest hits.

Jennifer Batten


Dave Martone, Canadian guitarist of quite original style and sound, who is going to support Joe Satriani during the American leg of his upcoming tour, revealed a few of his new songs during his masterclass. This part of the event lasted until 7.00 PM.

Dave Martone


The forementioned guitarists formed the judging pannel for the competition that followed. Eight young and very talented newcomers from all around the world took the stage and applied their trade, presenting the judges with a difficult task of choosing the winner. And chose they did...

First place went to Ignazio Di Salvo from Italy. Second was Hedras Ramos from Guatemala and the third place went to Ivan Mihaljevic from Croatia.

The concluding part of the event kicked off with Marius Pop, Romanian guitarist who took this oportunity to promote his first instrumental solo album called The First Step. What followed was a real treat. Dave Martone and Jennifer Batten performed Bossa Dorado.

Damjan Pejcinoski and Dragianni treated the audience with their interpretation of Macedonian traditional song Kaladzisko oro.

Damjan Pejcinoski and Dragianni


Also noted was the inspiring covers of Jimi Hendix's Manic Depresion and Little Wing by Michael Lee Firkins.

Michael Lee Firkins


Italian guitarist Wiliam Stravato performed very intense and interesting Billy Cobham's standard Stratus, which he renamed to Stravatus.

Wiliam Stravato


All this was suported by incredible rhythm section Vanderhule/Hamm who had only two days to rehearse the whole material containing some 40 numbers!!! Respect!!!

ZC3 took place at the 40th anniversery of Jimi Hendrix's death so there was no suprise that he was remembered in a jam session over his All Along the Watchtower.

Jam Session

It is important to mention that the whole  event was put up by the town of Bucharest - free of charge.

Ziua Chitarelor is here to stay. Next chapter takes place in April next year, when we hope to see more of the famous and proven, giving space and recognition to young, talented and not yet discovered guitar heroes.


Kalajdzisko oro - Damjan Pejcinoski & Dragianni:


Final jam - All along the watchtower

Little Wing - Michael Lee Firkins


Flight of the Bumblebee - Jennifer Batten