Sunday, 27 November 2022

Andre Rieu's Johann Strauss Orchestra in Sold Out Arena Zagreb

November 27, 2022 - On Friday the 25th of November, I had the pleasure of attending the concert of the year and enjoy the legendary conductor Andre Rieu's performance with his Johann Strauss orchestra. The concert took place in Arena Zagreb, which was completely sold out for this event. The performance in Zagreb was part of the Andre Rieu 2022 World Tour, which included concerts in South America and all over Europe.

Andre Rieu and the orchestra

This 73-year-old Dutch King of the Waltz is best known for his performances with the Vienna Philharmonic Crchestra for their New Year concerts. As the name of his orchestra reveals, he finds a lot of insipration in the music of the great German composer Johann Strauss. He has been the orchestra's conductor for over 35 years. The members of his crew come from all over the world. The fourteen nationalities include the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Belgium, even Tasmania. Though the music they play belongs to the classical genre, the overall style in which they do it is a lot more quirky and fun. From start to finish, Andre's comments made the audience laugh, and even the musicians behind him would get in on the jokes. Winking to the cameras, little waves and nods, making faces, they do it all to make sure that everyone has a great night. And they genuinely look like they're having the same amount of fun as well. Even if you're not a big fan of classical music or simply do not know enough about it (like me), the experience is definitely worth the hefty price and three hours of your night.


Set list

The ensemble entered the arena at 20:00 sharp, playing Georges Bizet's Toreadores, setting the tone for the concert and the atmosphere that they were about to ensure. What followed was a mix of tunes which captured everyone from opera lovers to those completely uneducated who were there just for the experience or as a plus one. Giacomo Puccini's Nessum Dorma performed by the Platin Tenors received a standing ovation, while the three beautiful sopranos left the full arena in awe. The Phantom of the Opera was there, and so was Scheherazade. The Berlin Comedian Harmonists also made an appearance, singing Veronika der Lenz ist da, followed by more of their repertoire. Johann Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz (An der schönen blauen Donau) marked the beginning of the end, with all the audience members who had access to the floor waltzing it away, while Radetzky March had the entire arena stomping to the rhythm. The final part of the evening even included the romantic notes of Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling in Love.


Though all twenty five thousand seats in the Zagreb Arena were sold out, the entrances were well organised and the queues took no longer than 5-10 minutes. The same cannot be said for the traffic in Zagreb, though, which was really busy for a number of reasons, including Black Friday and the first weekend of Advent in Zagreb. As for the organisation of the concert itself, the festive atmosphere was enhanced with fake snowflakes during the first part of the concert, and balloons for the energetic, joyful ending. Drinks and popcorn were served in the lobby before the performance and during the break. Unfortunately, that was it. Sharing the experience with other members of the audience, it seems that the venue did not meet expectations to do justice to the overall mood and aesthetics of the orchestra. With most of Andre Rieu's concerts held in castles and theatrical venues, the Zagreb Arena felt a little cold and basic. 


The verdict

All in all, the experience of going to a classical concert that does not take itself too seriously is a lot of fun, and like stated above, worth the investment. Even that of taking a train in Croatia (50 minutes late on arrival to Zagreb from Vinkovci, only 30 on the way back). The three hours of the concert really flew by, even for someone with a very basic education in classical music. The extra touch of communicating with the audience and even with the Croatian interpreter made it all that much more fun. 10/10, would go again.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

Meet Vukovar 365, Full of Life - Mess, Underground Music Collective

September 13, 2022 – There are doctors, and lawyers, and business executives… and then there are florists, and artists, and Mess. Vukovar’s underground scene might be a bit like a certain city that suffered a nuclear catastrophe in 1986, but something is cooking. If you try hard enough, you can learn about it today from the creative minds behind Mess. Mess is what they are, Mess is what our interview was. Mess is all you need to know, it’s all we can say, it’s nothing, but it’s enough. This colourful group of young individuals somehow got together and decided to start producing hip hop. In Vukovar. 365.

What is Mess all about?

Mess is a music collective and Telegram group with a focus on rap, but we dabble in various genres.

Our members are Kien, Kari Gasparov, Sky Kole, Sveti Melodije, Ivica Šetač, Glone, and 2 much-respected telegram bots (all our birth names).

How did that happen, what inspired the movement?

We met on a night out by chance, talked, and found out that we share a love for hip hop and music in general.

Not long after that, we agreed to meet in the spaces of Youth Peace Group Danube where they had a music studio, and those gatherings became Mess.

Not, that’s what it looked like on the surface, but the reality is that Trun was behind it all. It connected us metaphysically to channel his agenda and enter the collective consciousness of this city, possibly even beyond.

We only found out after 3 years when he appeared at an after-party to tell his truth.

Can you tell us more about Trun?


Dall-e2 and Pegla (Mess)

Trun? Trun is a powerful entity that lives mainly in the 6th dimension but possesses the ability to appear in the third dimension as well, though exclusively in after-parties. We were able to learn about his form with the help of another one of our friends, Dall-e. Dall-e is an AI image generator that creates art based on briefs where you can indicate the subject, the style, and more. We had a chance to Beta test the program and are thankful for the gift of Trun.

What message are you sending through this project?

We don't send messages, we send messages through things.

The overarching message would be that we live in a society.

What is your main product?

Our main product is music, we are not really planning anything else, except Mess merch.


What is the underground scene like in Vukovar?

The scene in Vukovar is something like Chernobyl, with only mutants and strong genes remaining, we might be something in between.

On a serious note, though there has been some interest, we believe that it is not strong enough to call it a scene.

Attempts to create a vibrant alternative scene in the city have so far been unsuccessful and miserable.

Are you connected with anyone else, how does that work?

We are not really connected with anyone, nor do we have any plans to do so, that can only happen if we vibe.

How is your music perceived in Vukovar?

From time to time people say “good stuff”, that’s all we know.

Some of you have left Vukovar, how is it living abroad?

“I know that over there is better, but over there is not mine”. - Coby.

What about home then, what would you change?

The city is as it is, we can't change anything there, but if we could, we would like to see a livelier alt scene, we’d like it if everyone had more money and there were more people.


Who was your inspiration?

The late Ringo.

Tell us about your latest drop.

It’s called Inžinjer, give it a listen. The cover art was directly inspired by the line

Kontam da sam nekad mogo bit inžinjer

Al’ povuko me mulj iz Panonske nizine.

(I wish I could have been an engineer

But I was pulled by the sludge from the Pannonian plain).

Tools used: Dall-e2 for the background representing the sludge and Photoshop for blending and text.


For more, make sure to check out our Lifestyle section.

If you are in or from Vukovar, do something interesting, and would like to be featured, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Subject 365.

Sunday, 11 September 2022

4th, Royal HeadOnEast Festival to Showcase Best of Slavonia and Baranja

September 11, 2022 - Although the east of Croatia lives and breathes hedonism all year round, there is a moment every year when it shines really, really brightly. For the fourth year in a row, during the two-day festival of hedonism, the Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board will offer to the world the best of Slavonia and Baranja in one place. On September 30 and October 1, HeadOnEast is taking place in Osijek!

As proclaimed by the County Tourist Board, Hedonism is in the east!

The three-day entertainment event, aptly named "HeadOnEast" or simply - Hedonist, invites all pleasure-seekers to head east. You will enjoy, as befits true hedonists, the best that Slavonija and Baranja have to offer.



Dubravka Petric / Pixsell

During those days, the old Fortress in Osijek amazes with numerous themed passages and streets, unique content and imaginative activities, along with the smells of the region's best gastronomic delicacies. All this rests on the presentation of the rich offer of Slavonia and Baranja - from well-known events to a diverse cultural offer. Discover how to live hedonism to the fullest and be inspired by the flavours, colours and beauty of this region.


Davor Javorovic / Pixsell

All clear! Hedonists, there is no surrender - except surrender to pleasure.

This year, it carries the "royal" title because the main program will take place in the parks of King Petar Krešimir IV and King Tomislav. In addition to the art of light, the mandatory parts of this year's HeadOnEast traditionally include other types of art, wine, beer and all kinds of gastronomic delicacies. An excellent music line-up will be in charge of spicing it all up. This year's list of hedonists includes Fluentes, Gelato Sisters, Z++, Massimo, Daleka Obala.


Davor Javorovic / Pixsell

Up to date information about the event and the program can be followed in detail at, Facebook page Visit Slavonija Baranja and Instagram profile visit.slavonija.baranja.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Friday, 29 July 2022

Klein Film Festival for an Exciting Summer Weekend in Vukovar

July 29, 2022 – think of Croatia in the summer. Fun in the sun, refreshment in the shade, perfect swimming temperatures, and a sandy beach. All that followed by a night out at a film festival, craft beers and some quality rock music in the forest. Dalmatia or Istria? Surprise surprise, and once again, welcome to Vukovar! We got your weekend sorted.

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the Bara Film Association as the organisers of Klein Short Film Festival are bringing something unique and exciting to the venues, pubs, and parks of Vukovar. The event of the weekend from the 29th until the 31st of July combines short films and good music for the perfect summer atmosphere.


The program for the competition section of Klein Film Festival (photo credit: Klein)

Kicking off on Friday at 20.30 at the City Museum, this international film and music festival presents a variety of short feature, animated, and documentary films. The films were split into two main categories – competition and accompanying programs, with 16 and 35 films, respectively. The category of competition films will feature pieces produced in the last two years, while the accompanying program will consist of representative pieces produced before 2020. The venues include the City Museum and the Serbian Cultural Centre in Vukovar, as well as the Đorđe Očić House in the village of Dalj. The organisers underline that the main focus of the festival is the idea, along with its consistent realisation in the film. The name of the festival is an homage to Hugo Klein, a theatre professor, theorist, and psychiatrist who was born in Vukovar.

As for the music portion of the festival, there will be something for everyone. The pub Kibic Fenster is opening its back terrace for mini-concerts, while the park forest Adica will host some big names. On Friday, Sinj’s own Mort will be there to remind us that punk is not dead, on Saturday it’s Repetitor, and to round it up, Atheist Rap from Novi Sad will play on Sunday. All concerts start at 22.30.

The main sponsors of Klein Film Festival include the City of Vukovar, SDF (Serbian Democratic Forum), and HAVC (Croatian Audiovisual Centre), and the association also expects international support. Bara Film is a young cultural association of audio-visual artists who hope that this ambitious project will help further support and enrich their work.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Traditional Festivities in Slavonia - Unmissable Events

7th of April 2022 - There are a lot of festivities you can visit in Slavonia - from beer and food festivals that became really popular in recent years, to modernized cultural manifestations which teach us something new. However, traditional festivities in Slavonia which are held for more than half a century, are still an irreplaceable staple of this region.

When reviewing the list of festivities in Croatia, a tourist or even a Croatian citizen, is shocked by the variety and content Croatia organizes every year for their visitors. Urban, cultural, and gourmand festivals are in forefront of most tours and offers, especially with summer coming soon and since Croatia became a really popular destination among tourists, they also got more interested in the tradition and cultural heritage of the region they visit. For instance, Dubrovnik, which is a jewel of the Adriatic coast, not only attracts visitors with its gourmand offers or beautiful historic sites like Tvrđava, they also have the Dubrovnik Summer Festival (Dubrovačke ljetne igre) which brings visitors closer to tradition and the way native people of Dubrovnik lived centuries ago. This event brings Dubrovnik back to the golden age of renaissance and baroque, the living spirit of drama and music, and many more, which were bestowed upon Croatian cultural and scholarly history. That’s why Dubrovnik is so good at tourist offers, they bring everything to everyone. 

However, with different tourists comes different tastes and recent years showed an increase in interest in Eastern Croatia, more precisely, Slavonia and Baranja, which are labeled as more “rural, folk” regions. Slavonians and Baranians recognized the potential these regions have and started adapting to tourists' wishes and needs. Yes, they devised and organized multiple new festivals that will be held for many years to come but they realized their traditional festivals, which are really popular with lovers of everything related to tradition and locals, need more exposure. 

Đakovački vezovi - Đakovo 

Today, Đakovački vezovi is a well-known and affirmed manifestation of original folklore. The first manifestation occurred in July 1967, as part of then the International Year of Tourism and from the beginning, the event was a great success with people from Slavonia and beyond. The main event kept its original date and it’s held every year in July. Contents of the festival include original folklore from Slavonia, Baranja, Western Srijem, and other parts of Croatia with accompanying events such as the opening of various exhibitions, equestrian events, and other cultural and tourist events. The entire city participates in the event and in 2005, it received the International Tourism Charter (European Federation of Tourist Journalists based in Rome) Merits for Tourism. Thousands of folk costumes pulled from the chest of oblivion, thousands of participants from Slavonia, Baranja, the whole of Croatia, even Europe, and the world, bring us songs, dances, and customs of their homeland for decades in Đakovo. If you’re a gourmet, you’re settled. Hundreds of different dishes are served and ready for degustation. Wine lover? Multiple winemakers with their best wines are ready to show off their products which are a reflection of the beautiful, rich region of Slavonia. Artists, folk, history lovers, and even animal lovers can come and have the time of their lives which makes it one of the largest and most popular traditional festivities in Slavonia. For more details, check out their official website.


 The opening of "Đakovački vezovi" in 2019 (photo credit: Photo Gallery -

Vinkovačke jeseni (Vinkovci Autumns) - Vinkovci

Definitely, the largest cultural event in the region, arguably in Croatia and some would say, in this part of Europe. The First Vinkovačke jeseni was organized in September 1966 and soon became one of the most famous festivals of its kind in all of Croatia. The foreground of the manifestation is the care of traditional folk dances, costumes, and customs in order to preserve various values of folk and traditional life of Slavonia. What’s really interesting is the fact that the manifestation is organized in September because of autumn - a season that rewards Slavonians for their hard work. After its founding, the festival soon began to connect all lovers of cultural heritage, not just Slavonia, but all the regions in Croatia. So every year hundreds of Folklore Societies from Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, and many more come to Vinkovci to display their culture to visitors. However, they didn’t stop there. Organizers recognized the tourist potential of their event and upgraded it for modern times, so apart from the main event which signifies a closure of Vinkovačke jeseni, the whole week before the opening is dedicated to its visitors! For instance, the opening of the event comes with a big performance by the local theatre with other guests from all over Croatia and in the evening the concerts of the biggest Croatian music stars begin, every evening of the week! Personally, I watched biggest Croatian performers on Vinkovačke jeseni stage like Dino Dvornik, Severina, Jelena Rozga, Klapa Intrade, Giuliano, Prljavo Kazalište and so many more. It truly is for everyone. Then, when the show of the manifestation ends on the last day of the week with the biggest folklore parade in this part of Europe (nationally televised), with the most popular folk and traditional commentator in Croatia, Branko Uvodić, every visitor feels enriched with Slavonian tradition, cultural heritage, food, art, folklore and more. That’s why Vinkovačke jeseni is one of the biggest traditional festivities in Slavonia and one of the best representatives of Croatian traditional, cultural heritage in this part of Europe. For more details, visit their official page. If you want to read more about Vinkovci, check this TCN article.




"Vinkovačke jeseni" parade - the main event on the last day (photo credit: Vinkovačke Jeseni - Facebook page)

Aurea Fest - Zlatne žice Slavonije (Golden Wires of Slavonia) - Požega 

In the middle of Slavonia lies the city of Požega, located in the hilly parts of the region where none of the roads are straight - a place where hills are dotted with roads. Surrounded by the old hills of Psunj, Papuk, Krndija, Dilj, and Požeška Gora and home of the famous Croatian poet, Dobriša Cesarić, it doesn’t seem odd that this city is the home of one of the biggest traditional, cultural and musical events of folklore, tamburitza but also pop music, which has been held in Požega since 1969, with a break between 1981 and 1990. Zlatne žice Slavonije today is a four-day event with more than 40,000 visitors and more than 100 accredited journalists from several countries. Songs, top-tier wines, gastronomy events, concerts, exhibitions, art colonies, sports competitions, folklore festivals and other events are slowly making Požega and the Golden Valley one of the tourist destinations in Croatia in September. It hosted multiple Croatian musicians (mostly “tamburaši”) like Gazde, Zlatni Dukati, Miroslav Škoro, Slavonske lole and so many more. CDs and cassettes were pretty popular back in the day, which meant that almost every Slavonian household had a copy of musical repertoire from Golden Wires of Slavonia! So, if you visit Slavonia, definitely visit Požega in September - great content, songs, dances, food, and most importantly, people. The main event, the concert, is nationally televised on HRT every year. For more information, visit their official page.

For now, we’re stopping here. There are a lot of traditional festivities in Slavonia but these three events are staples of traditional festivities in Slavonia and the whole of Croatia. From entertainment to food and sports recreation, these manifestations are unmissable events if you want to visit Slavonia. Slavonian spirit cannot be recreated anywhere else, so if you want to relax further after a summer tour of the Adriatic, come to Slavonia, they’re going to welcome you with open arms.

For more, make sure to check out our travel section.

Friday, 18 February 2022

When Music Meets Nature: Revizor, Soundtrack for Adventures in the Wild [VIDEO]

February 18th, 2022 - Croatian musician and producer Vedran Križan, a self-described nature lover and outdoor enthusiast, created a unique project that combines two of his greatest loves - music and nature

Meet the Revizor project, a series of ambient electronic compositions written and performed by keyboardist Vedran Križan, who describes it as a soundtrack for recreation or meditation. Revizor is  influenced by various genres and subgenres of electronic music from the 60s to the present day, with each single performed outdoors as a live act to draw attention to the importance of spending time in nature. 

Not only outdoors, but in quite special locations at that. The first live act named The View was performed and filmed on Vojak peak at the top of Učka mountain, a scenic location with a spectacular view of the Kvarner gulf on one side and Istria on the other.

Watch the video for the first single below:

Križan said the project probably wouldn’t have taken shape if it weren’t for the pandemic-induced lockdown.

‘A positive thing about the lockdown was the enormous amount of free time which I used to play music, create, and go into nature… As the compositions were taking shape, I was thinking about how to present them visually, as no one will listen to anything for more than a minute these days if they don’t have something to look at. Because of the pandemic, the Ministry of Culture supported artists in their efforts to present their work digitally, and I decided to take things a step further and use the opportunity to promote a healthy and active lifestyle. Instead of typical music videos, I wanted to present my music as a live act, step out of my comfort zone, and reveal the wonders of nature and all its benefits to the audience’, said Križan for Novi list when he first came out with Revizor.

'It’s music for different mental states and travels, whose effect I tested on myself. For example, I’d play a part of the piece while walking in the woods or while rowing', said the musician. 

He has now presented the second Revizor single with a video filmed in Platak, a ski resort north of Rijeka.

As reported by Novi list, the single named Live at Platak was performed and filmed on January 21st, 2022 in true winter conditions at the Radeševo peak, one of the few ski resorts in Europe that have a view of the sea.

Križan plays the keyboard and is joined by renowned musician and composer Zvjezdan Ružić on mellotron. Watch them perform the ambiental piece against the crisp white backdrop:

Križan is best known as the keyboard player in Neno Belan’s band Fiumens, but he’s also worked with numerous Croatian musicians and performers over his career of 30 years (Denis & Denis, Laufer, Urban&4, Let 3, Pips chips & videoclips, Kensington Lima, etc).

Friday, 7 May 2021

Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography Publishes Book On All things Turopolje

May 7, 2021 - Last month, The Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography had a presentation in Velika Gorica regarding the newly published book on all things Turopolje.

The ever-fascinating region of Turopolje, not so far from Zagreb, as the largest city of the region is Velika Gorica (connected by Zagreb with a regular public service bus) earlier this month good a book that gives an overview of every knowledge collected about Turopolje. Or in a noun: a lexicon.

As The Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography informs on its website, the end of April saw the presentation of the latest work in the edition of the Institute in Velika Gorica.

In respect to the epidemiological measures, the presentation was held among a limited number of journalists and attendees. Nina Obuljen Koržinek, the minister of culture was present along with the mayor of Velika Gorica Krešimir Ačkar, and the head if Miroslav Krleža Insitute, Bruno Kragić. The county ruler of the noble county of Turopolje Mladen Klemenčić was present too and talked about the book. Katja Matković Mikulčić, the headmistress of Velika Gorica City Library and a co-editor of the lexicon, had an opening speech.

The accompanying culture program saw an actor and singer Adam Končić recite poems by Krleža (a famous Croatian writer, poet, publicist, and encyclopedist the Institute was named after) and pupils from Franje Lučić Art School that sing with the back-up of Krešimir Starčević that followed the notes of a famous conductor from Turopolje Franjo Lučić (the inspiration for the name of the art school).

As usual, the Institute was determined to gather as a wider circle of associates as possible, especially the authors. Some of the authors are individuals from heritage, educational, and cultural institutions, but researchers from specific scientific areas and noted publicists contributed to the book as well.

„The project started with the overwhelming support of the City of Velika Gorica, the central administration unit of Turopolje, and the cooperation contract was signed in 2018. With its concept and graphics, this lexicon continues the previous editions of the Lexicography Institute, which focuses on individual Croatian regions (Istria, Croatian Zagorje) or towns (Zagreb)“, the Institute's website quotes the foreword of the book.

When it comes to history, science, and art, museums are great institutions to learn more. You can learn more about museums in Croatia on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 5 March 2021

Opera Singers to Help in Post-COVID Rehabilitation

ZAGREB, 5 March, 2021 - Several professional opera singers on Friday launched the "Breathe" campaign to help as of 8 March in the rehabilitation of people who have recovered from COVID-19 but still have difficulty breathing.

The initiative came from Croatian National Theatre (HNK) Zagreb singers Ljubomir Puškarić, Adela Golac Rilović, Ivana Lazar, Ivica Trubić, Tomislav Mužek, Luciano Batinić, Tvrtko Stipić and Ozren Bilušić, and HNK Osijek singers Martina Puškarić and Berislav Puškarić, Ljubomir Puškarić said on Friday, adding that singers from all of Croatia were joining the initiative.

Puškarić said a Facebook group was created for everyone who had experienced serious COVID-19 symptoms and had difficulty breathing even after recovering.

He said those joining the group would obtain information on breathing exercises used by opera singers and be able to work with instructors, all professional operas singers, based on one-on-one online consultations.

To begin with, each participant will get at least one session a week in agreement with an instructor. The therapy is planned to last six weeks. The idea comes from England and a survey has shown that the psychophysical condition of persons working with opera singers has improved.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

VIDEO: 200 Croatian Musicians Perform Unifying Favourite at Bundek

February 23, 2021 – In uplifting scenes filmed on Lake Bundek, Zagreb, 200 Croatian musicians gathered to record a unifying rendition of beloved Croatian hit 'Za ljubav, Treba imat dušu' (For Love, You Need To Have a Soul) by Atomsko Sklonište

It's been 12 months to try and forget. Within a world locked inside by a global pandemic, some in Croatia also became locked out when a series of earthquakes damaged or brought down their family houses. Passing from a state of isolation into one of dreadful uncertainty, it's understandable that some could have been left feeling helpless and alone.

Never ones to be defeated by any crisis, Croatians are well known to pull together when their backs are against the walls. The volunteering effort following Croatia's 2020 earthquakes has offered heartwarming insight into who Croatians are today. In the latest response, 200 Croatian musicians have come together to perform a unifying favourite hit from yesteryear. In the video, the 200 Croatian musicians can be seen playing 'Za ljubav, Treba imat dušu' (For Love, You Need To Have a Soul) by Atomsko Sklonište.

The song chosen for the uplifting effort, '(Za ljubav) Treba imat dušu' was first released in 1982 by Atomsko Sklonište (Atomic Shelter) on their album 'Mentalna Higijena'. Formed in Pula in 1977, the band were popular all over the former Yugoslav federation and became known for performing songs with an anti-war message.

Though the band have undergone a series of lineup changes since the late 1970s, they still perform concerts to this day. Indeed, among the 200 Croatian musicians filmed in the video, we can see Atomsko Sklonište's Bruno Langer playing bass guitar. He has been the bass player of Atomsko Sklonište since they first formed and he leads the band today. Bruno Langer is the writer of '(Za ljubav) Treba imat dušu' which the 200 Croatian musicians play.

The 200 Croatian musicians were comprised of 50 drummers, 50 guitarists, 50 bassists and 50 vocalists. Many are professional musicians who contribute to the contemporary rock and pop scene in Croatia, as well as some well-established performers such as members of Prljavo Kazalište. The 200 Croatian musicians came from across Croatia to volunteer their time for the project, including from Dubrovnik, Pula, Split, Osijek, Rijeka, Požega, Županja, Karlovac, Zagreb and Bjelovar.

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Saturday, 28 November 2020

Croatian Musician Thana Alexa Pavelic Nominated for Grammy

November 28, 2020 – With her second solo album, ONA, Croatian American musician Thana Alexa Pavelic explores her Croatian heritage. It's just been nominated for a Grammy! Here's an introduction to a singular talent and the sound of her Croatian roots

The songs of Croatian American jazz musician and singer Thana Alexa Pavelic have never sounded more like her life experience. On her second album, 'ONA', we finally hear her Croatian roots colliding with the cool, considered and contemporary world of the New York jazz scene. Legendary for its jazz for over 70 years, the city of New York is full of ambitious musicians chasing the vibe and reputation of its heritage. It can be tough to stand out, to sound original. With 'ONA', Thana Alexa Pavelic has done just that, and earned a Grammy nomination for her efforts.

The epic title track of the Grammy-nominated 'ONA', on which the exploration of Croatian music and feminine experience - as well as Croatian language - can be heard

Published in 2015, Thana Alexa Pavelic's debut album 'Ode To Heroes' was similarly well accomplished. But, it seemed to more reflect her American experience rather than embracing the whole. Born in New York to a father from Zagreb and a mother of Dubrovnik heritage, Thana Alexa Pavelic spent every summer in Croatia and so was hardly uprooted when the family moved back to Croatia when Thana was 13. She returned to America to complete her university studies – music and psychology.

In comparison to 'Ode To Heroes', new album 'ONA' sees Thana Alexa Pavelic replacing her femininity with feminism – the album is inspired by the experiences of Croatian women, most of all her mother and her grandmother. Not just evident in the language of the album title, for the first time in her solo output, on 'ONA' you can hear Croatian language, traditional Croatian music and the Croatian female experience in the songs of Thana Alexa Pavelic.

Thana Alexa Pavelic's jazz rendition of the Tears For Fears classic - the song has been a popular part of her live set for quite some time

It is doubtless these Croatian influences that separate Thana Alexa Pavelic from the rest of 2020's jazz hopefuls. They are partially responsible - alongside the superb execution and production of the songs - for the Grammy nomination. It is the first-ever Grammy nomination received by a Croatian musician.

And, rather than simply take from the Croatian experience, 'ONA' also gives back. Thana Alexa Pavelic has dedicated a donation from each sale of the album to Zagreb-based human rights organisation Solidarna and their #spasime campaign (which supports victims of violence). Whether Thana Alexa Pavelic wins the Grammy for Best Vocal Jazz album or not, with 'ONA', she has placed a Croatian voice on the world's music stage in more ways than one. If she is successful, then the award will surely make its way to Croatia at some point, held in the hands of a Transatlantic artist now exploring in music her Croatian heritage. Good luck at the Grammys Thana Alexa!


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