Groove Garden is a jazz-funk project, initiated by the pianist Sorin Zlat, which brings together experienced musicians well-known on the romanian and international jazz scene. The styles that the group approaches are: gospel, funk, r&b, soul, fusion, electro, the repertoire consisting in re-orchestrated famous songs by artists such as: Gregory Porter, Earth Wind And Fire, Stevie Wonder, Lalah Hathaway and also originals.
The band has been present so far at festivals such as: Timișoara Jazz Festival, the Festival Here-There Creart Bucharest, Campina Jazz Festival, Danube Jazz Festival, Ploiești Jazz Festival, Jazz on the Rooftop Festival Ploiești, Sibiu Jazz Festival, Târgu Mureș Jazz Festival, Bacau Jazz Festival, abroad participations in Belgium, Holland, France, England, Turkey, etc.
In 2019 the group was awarded with the Best Band of the Year from the annual Jazz Awards Gala held at Hard Rock Cafe in Bucharest. Currently, Sorin Zlat, the leader and founder of the project, is working on new compositions that will soon materialize on a record label Groove Garden.
Sorin Zlat, the Jazz pianist, clarinetist, composer, orchestrator and winner of over twenty national and international award began the musical studies at the age of seven, the first instruments studied being the violin and the clarinet at the George Apostu High School of Art in Bacău. He is a graduate of the George Enescu Music College in Iași, the classical clarinet section and master of the Music University of Bucharest, the jazz piano-instrument section.
Sorin created a repertoire that contains original jazz pieces, as well as re-orchestrated, varying from latin, jazz, pop to classical styles, orchestrated to reflect his unique interpretive style that brought him instant recognition on the European and North American jazz scene. Sorin's numerous awards include the Grand Prix at the Jazz Competition in Jacksonville, Florida, United States of America (2015), the Grand Prix at the Monaco Jazz Competition (2013), the Grand Prix at the Jazz Competition in Montreux (2015), as well as the Prize for Best Jazz Musician for the years 2014, 2015, granted by the Jazz Muzza Foundation.
Noteworthy is the fact that Sorin was not only the first romanian-born pianist, but also the first international pianist to win the Grand Prix for the first time in the most prestigious US solo piano competition, The Great American Jazz Piano Competition, a competition with a tradition of over 30 years. In the summer of the same year, Sorin released the record Endurance, which contains solo pieces, trio, as well as originals, an album very appreciated by jazz lovers.
In addition to the many projects in which he is a bandleader and collaborator, Sorin also set up a jazz-funk project, Groove Garden, in which he set out to gather some of the most representative musicians of this genre in Romania. With this project Sorin is working on a new album to be released in the fall of this year and holds numerous concerts in the country and abroad. Invited as a headliner at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Sorin Zlat has performed on the same stage with the Chick Corea Trio, Joey Aleander Trio, Gregory Porter, Richard Bona, Lalah Hathaway and many others.