San Francisco Tamburitza Festival
For the past two decades, 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. The Croatian American Cultural Center reverberates 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.
The headlining band will be Tamburaski Sastav Ponoc (Midnight) from Pittsburgh. www.tsponoc.com. They are today's virtuostic, new generation of musicians and vocalists. Members are Peter Kosovec, John Huckle, Mark Stafura, Ben Wagner, Nikola Vranesevic. They have all performed for Duquesne University's famous Tammies. Peter Kosovec is a well known songwriter with numerous cds to his credit., Also performing will be Sidro Tamburitza Orchestra, Slavonian Traveling Band, and St Anthony's Tamburica Orchestra.
There will be a concert, dancing, sing-a-long from 12PM-8PM. Food and drink will be available.
*Origin of the Tamburitza:
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"
Croatian American Cultural Center (View)
60 Onondaga Ave
San Francisco, CA 94112
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