Balkalar is an Ethno/Gypsy/Ska/Balkan band coming from Zagreb, Croatia, part of MOST:Balkan Selection.

  • You must be logged in to see the company address and website.
public contact
  • You must be logged in to see the public contact.
business contact
  • You must be logged in to see the business contact.

Embark on a euphoric journey through the rich tapestry of Balkan melodies with "Balkalar," a vibrant ethno ensemble coming from Zagreb, Croatia. Founded on the pillars of freedom, love, and celebration, Balkalar reinvigorates traditional Balkan tunes with energetic arrangements, ensuring an irresistible urge to dance to the eclectic rhythms of Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia.

Emerging in 2016, Balkalar's genesis was inspired by double bassist and vocalist Pavle's experience at Ethno Bosnia. United by their passion for cultural melodies, high school comrades Pavle, Irma, and Marko began as a busking sensation. Their authentic sound, featuring a harmonic blend of double bass, violin, and guitar, captivated street audiences. The addition of rhythmic dynamism by percussionist Ivan solidified their instrumental lineup.

Transitioning from the streets to the digital world and live venues, Balkalar's presence resonated across borders, gracing stages in numerous European countries and prestigious festivals like Balkan Trafik, Floating Castle, Goulash Disko, Seasplash Festival and MOST:Balkan. Despite the heartfelt departure of Ivan Judaš in 2023, the ensemble welcomed multi-instrumentalist virtuoso Marko Šturman, infusing fresh artistic flair.

With their debut album on the horizon, Balkalar is not just a musical act but a cultural revolution, bridging generational gaps and dispelling notions of traditional Balkan music as antiquated. They stand as ambassadors, showcasing the Balkans' sonic heritage through lively, humorous, and immersive performances, committed to international collaboration, robust artistic profiles, and continuous musical innovation.

Current Lineup:
- Pavle Kladarin: Double Bass, Lead Vocals

Founder of the band, lead vocal, double bass and our frontman, Pavle keeps the people dancing from the start to the end of the concert. His energy and bass power provides a strong foundation of the project. Pavle acquired his Master’s Degree of Double Bass in MUZA (University of Zagreb, Academy of Music) He is also a psy trance music producer and DJ under the name “Klaada”, great baroque double bass expert, orchestral player and an educator.

- Irma Bulaja: Violin, Lead Vocals
If there wasn’t for Irma, the band would not exist. Besides often handling all of the concert management, PR and marketing, she is giving the band a opposite, lyrical and gentle, but virtuoso touch to the music. Often capturing the audience’s attention with her melodic lines on the violin as well as her beautiful voice. Irma is currently finishing her MA Musicology Degree at the same music university as Pavle, MUZA (University of Zagreb, Academy of Music). As well as Balkalar, Irma is a player in other popular Croatian band and ensembles, like Jeboton Ensemble and Đutko.

- Juraj Valentić: Guitar, Backing Vocals
There is no Balkalar concert without Juraj’s jokes in between (and during) the songs. Always breaking the strings and keeping the concert atmosphere filled with humour, Juraj is the medium between the realm of rhythm, harmony and melody. Groovy riffs, too fast solos and dense-as-possible rhythm guitars keep the band sounding as tight as possible.
Juraj is currently finishing his Classical Guitar MA degree at MUK (Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der Stadt Wien), focusing on fingerstyle guitar with one of the best fingerstyle guitarists in the world, Michael Langer.
He is also a film composer (Zagreb Equinox) for the movies that reached international festival and formidable local cinema viewership, a DJ often performing in Vienna, educator of classical and fingerstyle guitar, composer, producer and arranger of various genres.

- Marko Šturman: Percussion, Backing Vocals
Multi-instrumentalist who dedicated his life to music. He taught himself to play various instruments, from wind instruments (South American flute) to percussion instruments (djembe, cajon, bongo and drums). Due to his fascination with world music, he attended various workshops and musical ethno camps, learning and sharing knowledge with musicians from all over the world, and passing this knowledge on through workshops.
Over the years, he played with many bands and artists such as Ayllu, Tribal jam orchestra, Vibrica, Kazan ethno band and Croatian singer Nina Kraljić. Today he is also playing with the experimental band Kosan, and also teaching drumming at workshops and deals with audio production.


participating in

  • WOMEX 2023


You must be logged in to see the company members.