We are happy to announce the release of our new album (PDV Records)

Divinities of the Earth and the Waters

and release concert on

25th May 2018 / 8pm

Museum of Contemporary Art / Zagreb / Croatia

Guests: Damir Imamović (BiH), voice / guitar & Rob Milne (UK), tenor saxophone / bass clarinet

Video wall: Iva Gavrilović

Get your tickets here!

Attend Facebook Event here!

Narrative-wise, the album Divinities of the Earth and the Waters follows a psychedelic plot set on an imagined ancient Slavic festival in the preindustrial Balkans, aesthetically reminiscent of the late Sergei Parajanov. Dealing with the human condition, love, loss, myth and struggle, it exposes the protagonist’s life through his reality and imagined perception, from folk festivals in young adulthood to his own funeral ceremony. Musically, it is an album full of orchestral twists, complex arrangements, lyrics in the old Kajkavian dialect, uneven measures, heavy grooves, solos, free improvisations.


Mimika is an alternative jazz, world & progressive art music orchestra from London, formed of 20 of London’s most sought after musicians, performing original music by composer Mak Murtic.

Mimika Orchestra was founded in London in 2010 by the Croatian composer and saxophonist Mak Murtic. It has been dubbed as one of London’s most creative, trans-idiomatic orchestras, taking audiences on an adventurous journey to where jazz collides with other musical genres and art forms, telling anthropological, cultural and mythological stories of the future and the past.

Mimika played at the London Jazz Festival 2012/14/15, Love Supreme Jazz Festival 2014 (Winners of the Jazz FM Discovery Competition), Latitude Festival, Olympic & Paralympic Festivals, and renowned London venues such as The Vortex Jazz Club, RichMix, Regularly at the Bussey Building, The Forge, Union Chapel, Courtyard Theatre, and is hosting a monthly residency at the Spice of Life in Soho. The Orchestra has been featured on BBC Radio, Jazz FM, major European Radio Stations via the European Broadcasting Union and HR3 – Croatian national radio dedicated to culture, jazz & classical music.

In 2014, Mak Murtic was one of the few selected composers of the Adopt a Composer Scheme – a joint project by the PRS, BBC, Sound and Music and Making Music, which led to a smaller version of Mimika performing the commissioned piece Encounters with the Clapham Community Choir.

Later that year, Mimika’s music was performed by the Croatian Radio Television Jazz Orchestra for the European Broadcasting Union, featuring composer Mak Murtic and vocalist Maja Rivic.

In 2015, Mak Murtic was commissioned to write the piece Dodole for Purcell school’s Pianorama festival, as well as for the Croatian contemporary music ensemble Septet Ad Libitum of the Zagreb Philharmonic, who premiered the piece Liburnia at the 51. Contemporary Classical Music Festival in Opatija.


Mimika UK currently performs as a 20-piece Orchestra, and these are the more regular members

Mak Murtic – composition /lyrics /artistic & musical direction
Maja Rivic – lead vocals /narration /production assistant
Sylvia Schmidt – vocals
Sam Warner – trumpet w/effects
Andy Hall – trumpet
Andrew Linham – clarinet
Daniel Woodfield – soprano, alto & tenor saxophone
John Macnaughton – alto saxophone /clarinet
Rob Milne – tenor saxophone /bass clarinet
Seb Silas – baritone saxophone
Rosie Turton – trombone
Hannah Dilkes – trombone
Thomas Kelly – tuba
Leon Rosten – piano /el. guitar
Jamie Benzies – el. bass /double bass
Harry Pope – drums
Tom Atherton – percussion
Tile Gichigi-Lipere a.k.a. D’Vo – live electronics

Mimika Croatia / Ex Yu Region currently performs as a variable setup with these musicians

Mak Murtic – composition /lyrics /artistic & musical direction / saxophone / sopela / synths
Maja Rivic – lead vocals /narration /production assistant
Anabela Baric – vocals
Dunja Bahtijarevic – vocals
Leo Beslac – flute / soprano saxophone
Miro Kadoic – flute / soprano saxophone / alto saxophone
Mario Bocic – tenor saxophone / bass clarinet / soprano saxophone
Danijel Hrsak – trumpet / flugelhorn
Luka Zuzic – trombone
Ivan Marincel – trombone
Hrvoje Stefanic – trombone
Joe Kaplowitz – tuba / keyboards
Luka Capeta – guitar
Elvis Penava – guitar
Viktor Slamnig – el. bass
Adriano Bernobic – drums
Jan Ivelic – drums
Nicolas Sinkovic – percussion / live electronics
Nenad Kovacic – percussion
Damjan Blazun – live electronics

Collaborations between the UK and Ex-Yu team are regular, and smaller setups are possible when the projects are workshop and small concert rather than programme concert oriented.

These are notable guests, regular deps and former musicians that form the extended Mimika family

Laima Ivule – vocals
Shama Rahman – vocals /narration
Rochelle Annne Swanson – vocals /narration
Yazz Ahmed – trumpet w/effects
Tim Wearden – trumpet
Mark Perry – trumpet
Eikel Venegas Hernandez – trumpet
Jessamy Holder – baritone saxophone
Phil Meadows – flute/soprano & alto saxophone
Andrew Liddell – soprano & tenor saxophone
Nubya Garcia – tenor saxophone
Chris Saunders – trombone
Owen Dawson – trombone
Rohit Nijhawan – guitar & el. guitar
Benjamin Kelly – sousaphone
Christopher Barrett – el. tuba
Theon Cross – tuba
Paul Love – percussion
Leon Bovell – baritone saxophone
Andres Castellanos – bass guitar
Marin Galan – tenor saxophone
Adele Grogan – tenor saxophone
Ed Babar – double bass
Steve Parker – piano
Chris Duffy – drums
Rachael Birkin – violin / viola
Antonia Pagulatos – violin

RIP We will never forget you

David Turay – soprano & alto saxophone
Oberon King – drums

Behind the scenes


Martin Merenyi – recording /mixing /mastering /production
Gábor Halász – recording /mixing /mastering /production
Kristina Sucic – filming /editing


Hrvoje Niksic – mixing /mastering /production
Nika Bauman – booking
Tena Stanic – booking
Damjan Blazun – booking


Live Review by musicdeli, music and arts review blog – Mimika – Divinities of the Earth and The Waters, Courtyard Theatre, London, 25th June 2016

“Mimika is a rare beast. An 18-piece jazz big band. Even rarer, a big band playing original progressive music and songs with Balkan roots. They’ve set themselves quite a target. I’m not sure who’s going to book them for a local jazz club show as the economics of it mean that for sure last night’s gig at the Courtyard Theatre London was played for love not money. But they deserve to be booked by festivals across Europe, and maybe their new show “Divinities of the Earth and The Waters“, despite or maybe because of its esoteric sounding title, will help them get some interest. Because what Mimika are doing is really unique, really cool. And yes it’s a beast.

The band is led by young Croatian saxophonist Mak Murtic who composes the music and directed the show slightly off centre stage, sometimes leaving the musicians to do their stuff, sometimes turning to involve the audience or taking a sip from his pint. Although the jam-packed stage of the tiny venue was a visual treat, it’s the music that stands out. As this was the first full outing of this show, there were elements that clearly could polish up a bit. But the youthful energy was palpable, and the compositions hang together, so that the audience know a tale is being spun, even if the words of the two theatrical female singers who sometimes wailed, sometimes went all ederlezi lyrical, are not understood.

The work leans toward the dark side, but with those assymetric Balkan rhythms, wall of brass from the huge wind section, two percussionists, and at one point a stand up rock guitar solo, the show is utterly engaging and appealing even to those who are not obvious jazzers. It is important to recognise the work as that of a substantial composer and band-leader, whose future output will be well-worth following. The ghosts of Stravinsky and Bartok seem to hang around in the shadows alongside Bregovic, for want of a better-known Balkan music reference and someone who has also put bravura into Balkan. It reminds strongly of the curious 1960s liturgical work Hear O Israel which involved Herbie Hancock. It exudes a 60s creative vibe. Though the subtle electronics that came to the fore to glue the work together between pieces and sometimes to live mix some of the instrument located us firmly in the present, as did the European mood.

The concert was opened by Thodoris Ziarkas from Rhodes playing solo on double bass with reverb and lyra fiddle in a great contrasting combination. After the show he admitted that it was his first solo gig. That was not apparent. The brilliant sound mix meant we felt every vibration of his strings. He held the audience captive with a reflective, possibly angry, mood. More please.

The concert followed 2 evenings after the seismic Brexit referendum. Greek and Croatian artists have made their creative home in London. If they and we are lucky, they get to stay, and the public might even fund their art from UK taxpayers’ money. But terrible to think of the creative people we will not now have coming to the UK and the missed opportunities. Let’s hope that this kind of artistic encounter is not even more of a rare beast in a couple of years’ time.”

Review by Adam Tait for London Jazz News – Rich Mix, 14th November 2012, London Jazz Festival

“Mimika are one of the most visually striking groups you are likely to come across at the moment. Dressed all in virginal white and going about their performance with an almost military precision, they’re hard to look away from.”….” Part of what seems most exciting about Mimika is the cultural blend in their music. At times their music seems somewhat reminiscent of New Yorkers painted in an Art Deco fashion and snapping their fingers, at other times Eastern European colours can be heard. The lively rhythms of Balkan beat mix with snappy hip-hop beats, all of it held together with the vibrancy of jazz.”

Ognjen Tvrtković for jazz.hr

“The title Ensemble is actually meant to denote a small orchestra, like the ones once lead by Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan, and with further associations to Vienna Art Orchestra (with a female vocalist) or second-line New Orleans street marching bands. The latter, because instruments such as the tuba, which is slowly returning to the jazz scene in the last decades, are found in the line-up. The four piece brass section uses many different mutes and there are as much as six reed instruments, a three piece rhythm section and finally, a female voice.”

Quote by Paul Pace for SpiceJazz – Spice of Life, 15th November 2015, London Jazz Festival

“The exploratory space-age wonderment of the Mak Murtic’s Mimika Ensemble featuring vocalist Maja Rivic on the first Sunday truly embraced the festival aesthetic!”




For more info and booking please contact


HR  +385(0)995309643

UK  +44(0)7412298060

Play Cover Track Title
Track Authors