AL SiTAR Jazz Trio

The trio consists of Al Sitar on vocals and piano, with Vjekoslav Crljen on Acoustic Bass, and completing the format is Borko Rupena on drums.

Keeping in line with jazz tradition, the AL SiTAR ensemble keeps the spirit alive by performing songs in a straight-ahead fashion.  Their repertoire consists of old and new melodic melodies while attempting to invoke a new breath into each song.

Currently, they perform with the vision to always keep the music dynamic, energetic, and exciting, as can be heard influentially from these jazz trio stylings: Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, Oscar Peterson, Monty Alexander, Gene Harris, just to name a few. Moreover, vocalists such as: Anita O’Day, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Nina Simone, Freddy Cole, and countless others have been also highly influential into their development as a unique jazz trio.

Short Background

Canadian vocalist/pianist Al Sitar has provided appealing and elegant musical ambiences, delighting audiences around the World, for over 20 years now.  Starting in his native city of Montreal, where he completed his studies, he left home for Toronto and enjoyed a fruitful experience within various performance situations. Having the ‘travelling bug’ in him, he decided work and tour the World for 8 years aboard cruise ships with various ensembles.  Once that feeling was fulfilled, he settled in Continental Europe for 10 years and played in numerous piano bars, hotels and resorts, but as a solo artist, while a few long-term contracts found him in Asia and the Middle-East, notably in Kuwait and Seoul, South Korea.


ALLAN (Michael) SITAR was born in Montreal, Canada, and is fluent in both English and French. He started classical piano lessons at the age of 10, privately with the Royal Conservatory of Music of Canada.  He worked very hard to achieve his physics degree at Concordia University, while simultaneously continuing his love for music, vigorously studying Theory & Composition with an emphasis on Classical and Jazz Arranging, as well as furthering his jazz piano studies privately with Jan Jarczyk (Berklee School of Music) and Wray Downes (Oscar Peterson Advanced School of Contemporary Music).  If two Bachelor degrees (1992) weren't enough - by 1995 he then finished a Master's degree in Experimental Physics!

Work History

During the late ‘90s in Toronto, ALLAN performed, composed, and arranged music constantly. As well as solo engagements, he led various small jazz groups, and governed the pianist chair for the Swing Shift and Big Smoke big bands. He wrote the score and theme song for a Canadian TV series called Exploring Horizons, as well as write arrangements for these two Big Bands.

Eventually by 2000, the Cruise Industry found ALLAN working steadily on cruise ships for the next eight years, mainly with duos, quartets, quintets, and later as a soloist. Over this period, he travelled the high seas and visited all 7 continents, while visiting many exotic cities and interacting with varying cultures around the World, singing and playing the piano mainly aboard the prestigious Princess, Holland-America, Windstar, and Royal Caribbean cruise lines, including Le Ponant - a tiny cruise ship to have been previously captured by Somali pirates.

Now based in Europe for over 10 years, ALLAN has worked in resorts and leading hotels around the World; notably Park Hyatt in Seoul, South Korea, the Hilton Resort Hotel in Kuwait, Le Méridien Hotel along the Croatian Adriatic sea coast, the Costa Blanca region of Dénia in Spain, to name a few.  Frequently, he performed in piano bars in Dresden, Germany, winter seasons in the Tyrolean Austrian Alps, and summer seasons in Dubrovnik, Croatia. His last few solo contracts found ALLAN with repeated engagements at the famous Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel in The Hague, The Netherlands.