Croatian American Cultural Center Logo
facebook  twitter  youtube


San Francisco Tamburitza Festival

  Fri - Sun, Feb 17-19, 2012         7:30 PM        Fri $10, 8PM Sat $15, Noon Sun $15

Event Details

For the past decade the Croatian American Cultural Center has annually showcased the best tamburitza* music in California and presented nationally renowned tamburitza orchestras.On President's Day weekend each February; the San Francisco Bay Area is filled with singing, dancing, and the music of the tamburitza. For three days halls reverberate with a rich tapestry of tambura music both traditional and contemporary. The ensembles perform for listening, play dance tunes, polkas and waltzes and circle dances, and sing Becar tunes until the bar closes late at night.

Tamburaski Orkestar Momci & the Jerry Grcevich Tamburitza Orchestra will be headlining.

Momci - Led by Hall of Fame Tamburitza player, Ken Kosovec, Tamburaski Orkestar Momci was formed in 1992, and includes two generations of ourstanding tamburasi who play and sing at the highest level in Balkan music.  Musicians include Ken, Peter, Dennis and David Kosovec, Sonya Kosovec-Sestili, Robert Sestili, Marko Dreher  and Ryan Warner

Jerry Grcevich Tamburitza Orchestra - Jerry Grcevich has recorded and toured with most of the well-known tamburitza musicians alive today. He is generally recognized as the premiere prim player in the world.  In 2001, he was inducted into the Tamburitza Hall of Fame, the youngest musician to receive that honor. In 2005 He became a NEA National Heritage Fellow. Musicians include Derek Luketich, Mark Stafura, Charlie Falentovich, and Brock Belich. 

Also, performing will be St Anthony's Tamburitza Orchestra from LA.  Novi Stari Tamburasi, Sidro, Novi Stari Tamburasi with the Dalmacijo Singers, and the Slavonian Traveling Band.

Three Days of Tamburitza in two locations.

Feb 17 - Tambura Kafana
Croatian American cultural Center
60 Onondaga Ave., SF
7:30PM Sing with the Jerry Grcevich Orchestra

Feb 18 - Welcome Dance
Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center
1317 San Pablo, Berkeley
8PM Dance Lesson. 9PM Jerry Grcevich Orchestra, Momci

Feb 19 - Concert, Dancing, Sing-a-long
Croatian American Cultural Center
60 Onondaga Ave., SF
12PM - 8PM. Momci, Jerry Grcevich Orchestra, Novi Stari Tamburasi, Dalmacijo singers, Slavonian Traveling Band, Sidro.

*What is a tamburitza

Tamburitza is a word with a variety of meanings. Most literally, it is the affectionate diminutive of tambura, any one of a number of long-necked fretted string instruments derived from those brought to the Balkan Peninsula by the Turks and Roma (Gypsies) - in the 16th century.

Tamburitza's origins can be traced back in Europe to 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.


Tamburitza Festival - 3 day schedule

Friday 2/17 - Croatian American Cultural Center in SF

7:30PM  Mark Forry - Tambura Roundtable, fingerfood, historic video of 1st ever sf tamfest

8:30PM  Tambura Kafana with Jerry Grcevich Orchestra 

Saturday 2/18 - Ashkenaz in Berkeley 

8PM Jerry Duke/John Filcich teach kolos

9:30PM Momci

11PM Jerry Grcevich Orchestra

Sunday 2/19 - Croatian American Cultural Center in SF 

noon - Doors open

1PM Food ready

1PM  Mark Forry Tambura Panel. Our music now and the next generation. 

2PM Novi Stari Tamburasi

2:30PM  Dalmacijo, Novi Stari sing Ladarke

3PM  Jerry Grcevich Orchestra

3:45PM  Momci

4:30PM  St Anthony's

5PM Slavonian Traveling Band                Sing-a-long in Bar

5:30PM Momci - kolos                                 5:30 Novi Stari

6:30PM Jerry G - kolos                                6:30  Momci

                                                                         7:30  Jerry Grcevich

                                                                         8:30 Everyone   

Home  |  About Us  |  Events  |  Store  |  Contact