Croatian American Cultural Center Logo
facebook  twitter  youtube


The Tambura Tradition - 15th SF Tam Fest

  Sat - Sun, Feb 15-16, 2014         7:30 PM        $15,$12 advance, Children free; Two Days of Music! See schedule.

Event Details

Ftam14_300or the past decade and a half,  the Croatian American Cultural Center has annually showcased the best tamburitza music in California and presented nationally renowned tamburitza orchestras. The *Tambura Tradition has been part of San Franisco history since at least 1902. On President's Day weekend each February; the San Francisco Bay Area is filled with singing, dancing, and the music of the tamburitza. For two days the 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. Zadnja Stanica,a vibrant young tambura orchestra based in Steelton, PA,  headlines the ticket. Also playing in the festival, St Anthony's Tamburica Orchestra. Sidro Tamburitza Orchestra, and the Slavonian Traveling Band with Lilla Serlegi.  Food and drink will be available. Advance Tickets:

Two Days of Music, Dancing and Singing

Feb 15: Welcome Dance 7:30PM

Feb 16: Concert, Dancing, Sing-a-long 12PM-8PM 

Hotel Information: A block of rooms is being held at a special rate for the SF Tam Fest. The special room rate is available for Feb 12,13,14,15 and 16. Holiday Inn San Francisco International Airport, 275 South Airport Blvd., South San Francisco, CA 94080. For reservations call: 650-873-3550 or 1-800-HOLIDAY.  Room Rate: $89.  CODE: SF TAM FEST 2014.  Deadkine for booking at special rate 1/29/14. 


Zadnja Stanica is a Croatian band based in Steelton, Pennsylvania. The group was formed in 2003 by twin brothers Mate and Petar Krpan and their childhood friend Steve Grassa. Growing up together in Steelton, a steel mill town with several ethnic European communities, the boys learned to play the tambura – the national folk instrument of the Croatian people. As they grew up in the Croatian community, the boys realized that they held a great love of the music that was an important bond for their families and friends, and that it was leading them along a path toward musical careers. As young men, the three friends decided to form a band that would play not only the traditional Croatian folk tunes long popular in American Croatian communities, but also the modern popular music of Croatia. The three friends began performing as Zadnja Stanica in and around Steelton.  Soon after their first performances, they invited their friends and former music instructors Mike Furjanic and Rick Vukmanic to join them in the band. With their mix of old and new songs and dances, Zadnja Stanica quickly became popular in other Croatian communities in the eastern United States.  Now playing the tambura, violin, guitar, and accordion, Zadnja Stanica performs Croatian music ranging from village folk songs and dances to modern pop music. They regularly perform at festivals, weddings, and other venues throughout North America, including New York City, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Washington DC, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Hamilton, Ontario.  As performing artists, they have shared the stage with Croatian singing stars Krunislav “Kico” Slabinac, Goran Karan, and most recently, Mate Bulic.  In the fall of  2012, Zadnja Stanica released their first CD. They are currently writing and recording their next disc, which is expected to be released in early 2014.  They are planning a tour of Croatia for the summer of 2014. Click Performers tag for more detailed bios of individual band members.

*Origin of the Tambura:

Tambura'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 tambura 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 tambura 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 tambura orchestra; violin and accordion are most common.

When massive immigration from eastern Europe to North America peaked in the years 1870-1910, tambura 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 tambura ensemble in San Francisco was organized in 1902 when Ilar Spiletak, a carpenter from Dubrovnik, started the Tamburitza Orkestar "Zvonimir"


Two Days of Music, Dancing and Singing at the SF Tamburitza Festival

Feb 15: Welcome Dance 7:30PM

7:30 Jerry Duke teaches kolos

8:30 Zadnja Stanica plays for dancing 

9:15 Eszterlanc Hungarian Dancers

9:30 Zadnja Stanica plays  

Feb 16: Concert, Dancing, Sing-a-long 12PM-8PM 

1:00  The Tambura Tradition -  Presentation by Lilla Serlegi 

2:00 Zadnja Stanica - concert

3:00 St Anthonys Tamburica Orchestra 

4:00 Slavonian Traveling Band 

4:45 Zadnja Stanica - dancing

5:45 Sidro Tamburitsa Orchestra

6:30 Zadnja Stanica 

6:30 Sidro plays in kafana

7:30 Zadnja Stanica plays in kafana

8:30 Zadnja and everyone in kafana 


Zadnja Stanica
Band description:      Zadnja Stanica is a Croatian band based in Steelton, Pennsylvania. The group was formed in ...

Sidro, formerly known as Blue Adriatic, is one of Northern California's favorite Croatian Tamburitza Orchestras. For over 20 years, Sidro has been per...

Slavonian Traveling Band
The diverse sound and repertoire of The Slavonian Traveling Band crosses all boundaries and speaks for tolerance and hope. The popular eight member en...

Home  |  About Us  |  Events  |  Store  |  Contact