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San Francisco Tamburitza Festival

  Sat - Sun, Feb 19-20, 2011         8:00 PM        Sun 1PM - 8PM $15

Event Details

sarena_288For the past decade the Croatian American Cultural Center has annually showcased the best tamburitza music in California and presented nationally renowned orchestras. On President's Day weekend each February; the halls are filled with singing, dancing, and the music of the tamburitza. For two days the San Francisco Bay Area reverberates with a rich tapestry of tamburitza music, both traditional and contemporary.

The festival is highlighted by two rare west coast performances by Šarena, the all women's tambura group from Cleveland.  Noted for vibrant singing, and lively kolos, Šarena was created in 1996 by former members of two other female tambura orchestras: the Trivanovich Sisters Orchestra and Danice.  Today the group tours widely in the midwest .  The love of the tambura is deeply imbedded in their hearts from early childhood.  Also performing: St Anthony's Tamburica Orchestra from LA, Sidro, Novi Stari Tamburasi with Dalmacijo, Slavonian Traveling Band, Mark Forry and Friends, Koraci Croatian Dance Ensemble, and Ezsterlanc Hungarian Dance Ensemble.

Two locations to celebrate!

On Saturday 2/19 at 8PM the traditional Welcome Dance will be held for at the Ashkenaz Dance and Music Center in Berkeley.   Following a Kolo dance lession at 8PM, Sarena and Mark Forry and Friends will play for dancing at 9PM.  Eszterlanc Hungarian Dance Ensemble will perform later in the evening.

On Sunday 2/20 at 1PM the music moves to the Croatian American Cultural Center in San Francisco for the finale with all the performing groups. The Center will host a full Concert, sing-a-longs, participatory dancing, exhibits and the lively music of the tamburitza resounding from two halls. 

Origin of the Tamburitza:

Tamburitza's origins can be traced back to Europe the mid-1800s, when along the central Danube River and its tributaries, tamburasi (tambura musicians) began to form ensembles. While it is believed that Hungarian Roma were the first to play tamburitza instruments in groups modeled on their famous violin ensembles, the first known ensemble was formed in 1847 in Osijek in eastern Croatia. They played a repertoire much like that known today: Croatian folk songs, and circle dances, folk songs and dances from neighboring peoples, light classical songs and instrumental pieces, and popular music of the day.

Five instruments are key to tamburitza music: the small lead prima (or bisernica), the alto brac (or basprim), the tenor celo, the chordal bugarija or kontra, and the large fretted bas or berde. It is not unusual to find other instruments in a tamburitza orchestra; violin and accordion are most common.

When massive immigration from eastern Europe to North America peaked in the years 1870-1910, tamburitza ensembles began to make their appearance in the immigrant's new country. The first known American ensemble was active in the early 1890s around Steelton, Pennsylvania.  The first tamburitza orchestras in San Francisco formed in the early 1900's.



Saturday, Feb 19 - Ashkenaz

8:00 pm Jerry Duke teaches kolo
9:00 pm Welcome Dance - Mark Forry & friends, Eszterlanc Hungarian Dance Ensemble, Sarena plays for dancing.

Sunday, Feb 20 - Croatian American Cultural Center

1:00 pm Tamburitza panel/talk by Mark Forry & guests "women tamburasi"

2:00 pm   Concert featuring Sarena and all the groups.
5:00 pm   Koraci Croatian Dance Ensemble.

5:30 pm  Sarena plays for kolo dancing

5:30 pm  Sing-a-long in the bar. Novi Stari Tamburasi plays first.  Sarena plays second at 6:30PM


Food and drink available from 1:00 pm

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