If anyone had told Jimmy Stanic thirty years ago that he would perform in an underground club known for its dimmed, smoke filled basement jazz, experimental and DJ sessions in 2016, the legendary musician would have probably shrugged away the notion. He was, after all, in his late fifties then, with a rich and successful career behind him. He’s seen all the world’s big stages, hanged out with the world’s biggest stars (of the time), his face and voice were one of the most recognizable in this part of Europe and he was thinking about retirement.
Yet, here it is, 2016, and Jimmy, now 87 years old, is going to perform in Funk club tomorrow evening, January 14th. The fact that he will perform is not that odd. He had a couple of big concerts early last year in Histrioni theater and Lisinski concert hall, made a first video for one of his most famous songs, won a lifetime achievement award, had released his latest album and was filmed with smartphones having a blast performing on private retirement parties around Zagreb.
It’s the place. Jimmy Stanic is as old school as they get. He’s class that could have only been found in the big band era. For his generation Funk club is a lowbrow place that potheads, beatniks, weirdos (read: young people) frequent and listen to soulless music. Funk is an underground oasis in the midst of trendy mainstream bars in Tkalciceva street offering quality live alternative performances on a daily basis in a 25 square meters of its basement.
The thing is, everybody here loves Jimmy Stanic’s music. His songs tell stories about working men, proud stray dogs, lazy bosses, they are fun but not light, they seems innocent but are filled with sexual innuendos, they’re straight forward in its progressions but filled with jazz spirit on live performances. The moment a kid realizes that Jimmy’s song ‘Chimney-man’, very popular among children, is not about professionalism, hard work and dedication to cleaning clogged chimneys for ladies around town, is the moment that kid grows up.
His songs have shaped generations of locals and his musical persona is an embodiment of old school Zagreb state of mind. Jimmy Stanic’s performance in Funk is a rare opportunity to see a legend of Croatian music in his element, and a must for anyone who really wants to experience what Zagreb is all about.