2018 HALL OF FAME and FOUNDER'S AWARD!
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!
LA/Burbank Tamburitza Extravaganza® / September 20 - 23, 2018
LA/Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel
The Lou Cavic FOUNDER'S AWARD
Angela started playing as a young girl with the Happy Hearts Junior Tamburitzans of Youngstown, Ohio. Presently, she plays in a working band called Nocne Sove. She is also a member of two adult orchestras (Od Srca of Youngstown, Ohio and Veseljaci of Farrell, Pennsylvania).
Angela serves as the Assistant Director of the Od Srca Adult Ensemble and has also written and arranged music for them. She appears on two CD’s with the Od Srca Ensemble and has also recorded, mixed and produced two CD’s of her own with some original songs on them. The name of the first CD was “Devet” and the second CD was “Lovi Me”. She plays all the instruments in the tambura family quite well and is very knowledgeable about tambura history.
Angela attends the Tamfests and TAA Extravaganzas and is very well know for her musical abilities among many musicians. She can often be seen playing with some of the bands. She has an insatiable love for tambura music and will certainly be an inspiration to other young women in the future!
Tamburitza Association of America (TAA)
2018 HALL OF FAME
John Morovich has studied, performed and taught traditional music and dance of Croatia and other parts of southeastern Europe since 1973.
Starting to play music at age seven, on the piano accordion, John is now proficient in all of the tamburitza instruments, piano accordion, Slovene button accordion as well as the traditional folk instruments, Samica, Dangubica, Lijerica, and Gusle.
John Morovich co-founded and performs with the Sinovi Tamburitza Orchestra. He was a featured performer with the Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble and the Ruze Dalmatinke Orchestra. He performed in and served as orchestra director for the Croatian Christmas Cantata Narodil Se Mladi Kralj by Tomislav Uhlik of Zagreb, Croatia. He has also performed and recorded with several local performing artists, Kultur Shock, Virginia Vulgaris, Children of the Revolution, Lara Lavi, and Balkan Cabaret.
John has worked with many folklore ensembles across the United States and Canada, choreographing for the Ethnic Dance Theatre of Minneapolis, Domagoj of Edmonton, Ban Jelacić, of Penticton, Hrvatski Vitezovi; Kardinal Stepinac and Sarajevo of Vancouver; and Zagreb of Victoria, Canada and Radost Folk Ensemble of Seattle.
John has taught at many folk music and dance camps and seminars, spanning the United States and Canada. He has brought tamburitza and traditional Klapa singing to a wide audience, many of whom have never studied it before.
John is the artistic director of the Seattle Junior Tamburitzans. He was long time conductor and arranger for Jele Croatian Women's Choir of Vancouver. B.C. and is currently Artistic Director of Zenska Klapa Ruzmarin and Tamburaski Orkestar Kisobran.
As an Applied Ethnomusicologist, he has researched and collected numerous old songs from elders in the community and has amassed a music library of hundreds of recordings, books, sheet music and resource materials of tamburitza and traditional Croatian and South Slavic folk music, dances and traditions.
John is active in the local and national Croatian community. He has volunteered much time to aiding the children of St. Theresa and St. Joseph Orphanages in Zagreb, Croatia with the annual event Festa Tri Kralja held each January. He is a past board member of the Tamburitza Association of America.
Los Angeles, CA
Chris grew up in Brookfield, Ohio. His father was Italian and his mother was Croatian. He started playing the accordion at the age of 12. Three years later he picked up a brac when he joined a Junior Tamburitza group, The Continental Tamburtizans of Sharon Pa where he performance with and taught for 10 years. He toured the USA playing in a lot of cities, from Pittsburgh, all through PA and Ohio, to Buffalo, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Seattle, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Reno, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and also Canada. His whole family is musical. His 2 younger brothers and sisters all played tamburitza which made it easy to always have someone to play with.
In the late 1960’s and early 70’s, He played in several different groups starting with the COMBO in the late 60’s and his polka band which also played tambura music. His love for music grew stronger and expanded into other music genre’s like Country Western, Blues, Jazz, Polka, Rockn Roll and Classical music. He decided to entered the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University where he was a saxophone music education major.
He moved to Southern California, where he connected with Butch Samarich, Rich Snyder, Ken Stojkovic (sp) and Larry Skertich. He still plays gigs with Butch. A few months later, he joined the Yeseta Brothers and has been playing with them for the past 20 years . They have played for many events from private parties Wineries to concernt halls Croatian celebrities like Actor Goran Visnjic and Tennis player, Goran Visnjic.
Chris started teaching Tambura while in the Continental Tamburitzans and continued up until recently where he taught the St Anthony’s Tamburitrica Orchestra in Los Angeles, CA. Some of his students still play today.
His love for the music and the culture shows through his energy and his excitement when he plays.
Los Angeles, CA
BANDS: St. Anthony's Tamburica Orchestra, Pitu Guli, Baba Ganoosh. Chris was an important part of the early Balkan music scene on the west coast (Sweetsmill, Renaissance Faire and Balkan Camp), The Yeseta Brothers Tamburitza Orchestra, Musical Director for the AMAN Folk Ensemble (performer, researcher, instrumental & vocal arranger for Tambura music and beyond.. and general Tambura Guru and coolest guy in the band!), Nevenka -women's folk chorus (3 CD's - band arranger, leader, charts for their Tamburica Songs).
Currently plays in 2 bands, which primarily focus on blues/rock and the occasional Tamburica gig for AMAN reunions.
Bio coming soon...
Los Angeles, CA
John Yeseta began playing tamburitza music in 1983 when he joined the St. Anthony Tamburitza Orchestra in Los Angeles, then under the direction of his brother Tom Yeseta. That orchestra, active since 1960, is a great exponent of tamburitza music composed and arranged for the large orchestra. John started on the brac, quickly excelling to “first chair.” The orchestra performed numerous concerts throughout the greater Los Angeles area with repertoire that included classical orchestral works by composers Julije Njikos, Josip Andric, and Ivan Zaic, light classics, excerpts of Croatian opera and operetta, and Dalmatian, Slavonian, and Bosnian folk music. The group also provided accompaniment for kolo performances with the St. Anthony Kolo Club, and regularly performed at the annual church picnic and numerous other social gatherings, both at the church hall in downtown Los Angeles and Hrvatski Dom in San Pedro. The orchestra also regularly performed the Hrvatska Pucka Misa (Croatian Folk Mass), composed by Tom Yeseta, every first Sunday mass, and Christmas midnight mass, which also included traditional Croatian Christmas carols.
Other notable performances with the St. Anthony Orchestra included a musical tour to Victoria and Vancouver, B.C., Canada in 1986, a live locally televised performance at Dodger Stadium during the 1987 papal visit of John Paul II, and a guest performance in 2008 for the 50th anniversary celebration of the exceptional Detroit Tamburitza Orchestra.
John served as Director of the St. Anthony orchestra from 1988 to 1990.
In 1985, John joined the Yeseta Brothers Tamburitza Orchestra, playing first brac alongside Mark Forry until 1990, and as lead prim player since. John performed with the Yeseta Brothers at the 1986 Tamburitza Extravaganza in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and most of the orchestra’s 31 Tamburitza Extravaganzas since. In addition to countless weddings and other social events throughout the years, other highlight performances include Croatian Day at Kennywood Park in 1988, several appearances at the Greater Arizona Slavic Music Festival and Annual San Francisco Tamburitza Festival, and most significantly, two concerts in California with Jerry Grcevich, accompanying the legendary Zvonko Bogdan.
The Yeseta Brothers released two cassette/CD recordings, John playing lead Brac on the first, and lead Prim on the second. Alongside his brother Chris, John performed on CD recordings with Nevenka, an outstanding all-female vocal folk chorus that specializes in songs of Eastern Europe. He also co-produced Seraphim, a CD recording of Marian hymns performed by Croatian tamburasa and singers from across the United States.
John was the tamburitza orchestra director for several live shows with Nevenka, played lead prim with the AMAN tamburitza orchestra under the direction of Mark Forry on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary and reunion of the famed AMAN Folk Ensemble held in Palm Springs, California in 2013, and was tamburitza orchestra director for the AMAN Alumni Society reunion event the following year.
John is proud to join his brothers Chris, Tom, Gregory, and Mark Forry in the Tamburitza Hall of Fame.