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Kitka and Milla with the Chicago Tamburasi

  Friday , Jan 28, 2011         8:00 PM        $18, $15 Advance. Children free.

Event Details

milla_kitkafront_200The culminating event of the Culture at the Crossroads concert series will be a concert featuring Kitka and Milla Milojkovic with the Chicago Tamburasi.  Two creative forces in Balkan music on the same program!  Kitka striving to expand the boundaries of folksong as a living  and evolving expressive art form, and Milla exploring the synthesis between jazz and Balkan music with her stellar sidemen, the Chicago Tamburasi. 

Ethnic food at 7:30PM, concert at 8PM, and dancing afterward. 

Advance tickets at

Kitka is an American women's vocal arts ensemble inspired by traditional songs and vocal techniques from Eastern Europe. Dedicated to developing new audiences for music rooted in Balkan, Slavic, and Caucasian women's vocal traditions, Kitka also strives to expand the boundaries of folk song as a living and evolving expressive art form with adventuresome collaborations.

Milla Milojkovic is a well-known San Francisco jazz singer. Born to a Croatian mother who grew up in Bosnia, and a Serbian father, folk music and culture was a prominent feature of her youth.   Milla enjoys the creative freedoms of jazz, and believes that there is a true synthesis between jazz and Balkan music, for both genres welcome improvisation and require chops. She will be accompanied by the stellar Chicago Tamburasi; Adis Sirbubalo, Danny Ovanin, Ryan Werner, Marko (Suco) Dreher, and Steve Ovanin.

The Chicago Tamburasi:


Danny Ovanin is a well known and highly accomplished Tamburas.  Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Danny has been playing tambura since the young age of 6.  Danny is the son of Croatian parents who instilled in their children a love for Croatian culture, language, and most notably, music.  He was very active with the Yeseta Brothers in Los Angeles, and following a move to Chicago, Danny began to play with prestigious musicians such as Joe Kirin, Joe Grlica, and Robi Sestili.  He has produced recordings with Boduli, Slanina, 8601, Sonya Kosovec, Momcilo Nikolic and TRroma.  His “home” band is TRroma of Chicago, and Danny was recently awarded a 2009 Founder’s Award from the Tamburitza Association of America. 

Adis Sirbubalo started playing accordion at the age of 9. He attended Music High School in Sarajevo and got a degree in Classical Performance. In 2007 he got a Bachelor Degree with Honors in Jazz Piano Performance from Columbia College of Chicago. He has worked with top jazz musicians: Eddie Gomez, Christian McBride, Chuchito Valdes, and many others. He was twice awarded Best Soloist at Elmhurst Jazz Festival and Notre Dame Jazz Festival. He also plays with ODE, Eyes Manouche, Greta Pope Entertainment, and his jazz accordion

Marko Dreher was born into a family of Croatian musicians in Chicago in 1983. He began classical violin studies and started sitting in with his father’s tamburica band at the age of four and has played tamburica professionally since age seven. Marko has toured with I Solisti Di Zagreb, as well as with such greats as Zvonko Bogdan and Miro Skoro. He performs regularly with the Jerry Grcevich Tamburica Orkestar and with Otrov and Harmonia. In 1998 Marko was the youngest person to ever receive the TAA founder’s award. Marko has degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and The Cleveland Institute of Music and is on the faculty of the Vamos School of Music. He has served on the staff at the Eastern European Folklife Center (EEFC), which runs internationally acclaimed summer school programs to train Balkan musicians, singers and dancers. In 2004 he taught classes in violin and tamburitza.

Joe Kirin is a third-generation tamburitza musician. His maternal grandfather, Roman Kauzlarich, led the Croatia-based Jadran Orchestra that played at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago. His father Joe Kirin, Sr., founded the renowned Sloboda Orchestra. Joe performed at an early age as a dancer and musician in the orchestra’s junior groups. Currently Joe plays lead brac and sings for TRoma. In 1988, the Tamburitza Association of America presented Joe with its first Founders Award, given to a young person who demonstrates an outstanding devotion to the preservation of “tambura music and Slavic culture.”


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