Friday, 14 August 2020

Battle of Sinj 1715 Successfully Reenacted Thanks to Sinj Tourist Board

August 14, 2020 - In memory of the glorious defense of Sinj from the Ottoman invasion, the battle of Sinj in 1715 and the events that preceded it were staged this year. The play was organized by the Sinj Tourist Board, with the support of the City of Sinj and the Ministry of Culture, and in cooperation with the Shrine of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj, the Alka Knights Society and KU Marko Marulic.

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The plot of the "Battle of Sinj in 1715" took place in two acts. The first act began at the Market Square, King Tomislav Square, where the Ottoman conquest of the town of Sinj, the burning of the church and the enslavement of the regiment were staged. A handful of defenders with the image of the Mother of God took refuge in the Sinj Fortress, the easy conquest of which was announced by the arrogant Mustafa-pasha Celic, who triumphantly passed in a carriage with his entourage. This year, the play was enriched by the performance of the Brodosplit City Choir under the direction of maestro Vlado Sunko, and excellent light and sound effects.

In the second act, which took place this year in the original ambiance of the Alkarski dvori, the Defense Council decided to defend its city despite a more numerous and superior enemy. With Our Lady's intercession, the Ottomans were eventually defeated, and the threat of the enemy removed. Led by Fr. Pavle Vučkovic, embodied by Fr. Hrvatin Gabrijel Jurisic, the joyful and grateful faithful have since celebrated their Protector with even greater zeal.

The Battle of Sinj in 1715 is a unique stage spectacle that, with its originality and drama, instantly transports the spectators to the year of the glorious victory that determined the future of the city. The author of the dramatic template was prof. Velimir Borkovic. The play was realized in cooperation with the Shrine of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj and the Alka Knights Society.

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About 100 participants contributed to its successful performance this year. The main actors were Fr. Hrvatin Gabrijel Jurišić, Marko Duvnjak, Bruno Barać, Marijan Grbavac, Damir Žane Alebić, Saša Miletić, Bobo Delonga, Dijana Ivić Kundid, Bože Pavić, Sanja Gojun Vučković, Vedrana Vrgoč, Željko Domjanović, Anđelka Vučković, Marija Mandac, Dino Vukovic, Dubravka Vukovic, Mario Vujevic and Marko Jelincic.

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In addition to amateur theater actors, participation was included by members of the historical unit of the Klis Uskoks, the Patriot Veterans' Cooperative, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, the Association of Rera and Gusla from Otok, the Association for the Preservation of the Heritage of the Cetina Region, Sinjski Ferali, and cavalrymen of the Alkar Equestrian Club 1968 and Marko Vuković, horses of the Alkar stud farm, and the carriage was taken care of by Mr. Davor Ivkovic. The director of the play was the prominent theater, television and film actor Robert Kurbaša. The assistant director was Bruno Barać, and the playwright and producer is Luka Perković.

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This year's performance was also dedicated to all Croatian veterans, and to all those who helped hold the show, but are no longer with us.

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The Sinj Tourist Board truly thanks all employees and members of VAD, the Monastery of Our Lady of Sinj, the Purity of the Cetina Region - Sinj, KUS - Sinj, Kamička dd, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, members of the Veterans Cooperative Patriot, the historical unit of Klis Uskoks, the Association of Rera and Gusla from Otok, Sinj Majorettes, the Association for the Preservation of the Heritage of the Cetina Region, the Association of Sinjski Ferali, the Association SRMA, KGK Alkar 1968, KU Marko Marulić, Ms. Vesna Bader and Branka Marinović for scenography and props, staff and owner of the restaurant Alkarski dvori, and all who selflessly helped the successful realization of this spectacle.

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Special thanks go to Mr. Vlado Sunko and GZ Brodosplit who magnified this play with the performance of the cantata to Our Lady of Sinj and thus gave it a new dimension in a unique way, then to media representatives and the audience who, despite pandemic conditions, participated successfully and patiently in implementing all recommended measures by the Civil Protection, as well as the Croatian Institute of Public Health, to preserve health.

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Thursday, 13 August 2020

Velika Gospa Procession Canceled: Assumption of Mary Program Held Under New Rules

August 13, 2020 -  Despite the coronavirus epidemic, the town of Sinj successfully maintained the continuity of Alka festivities, but can they do the same for Velika Gospa? A new program has been announced.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that the Assumption of Mary will be observed from two focuses - the organization of the feast and religious ceremonies that include pilgrimages, meeting the image of Our Lady, confession, and the celebration of Holy Mass. The latter is, in fact, the meaning of the faithful's visit to Our Lady of Sinj.

In the first part, significant changes have already taken place concerning the established practice of recent decades. Ante Covo, the Guardian of Sinj, emphasized that the celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be celebrated "in a slightly different form".

Thus, from July 26 to August 16, the Franciscans of Sinj celebrate all Holy Masses in the monastery yard, and through video walls, the faithful can participate in Masses in the premises of the church and the convent. Singing is shortened during Holy Mass, and choirs sing from the church choir.

The most significant change relates to the traditional central procession through the city in which the image of Our Lady is carried on the holiday. This, unfortunately, has been canceled this year. The Franciscans say they have canceled the procession "in order to avoid provocation and, God forbid, be a hotbed of contagion."

In order to reduce the gathering of a larger number of believers at certain hours, on August 14 and 15, Holy Mass will be held almost every hour. Hand disinfection is mandatory at the entrance to the convent, and wearing masks is also recommended. While waiting in line for communion, a distance is kept, and it is recommended to be with family members and to avoid socializing with strangers.

Pilgrims arriving in Sinj and local believers generally adhere to all measures and recommendations. During the past ten days, a river of people has already passed through Sinj, although in several times smaller numbers than before.

It can be assumed that due to caution and justified fear of the virus, this year's number of pilgrims to the shrine of Our Lady of Sinj will be significantly lower. The previous religious gatherings in the church of Our Lady of Sinj were not the focus of the infection. The hope remains that this will be the case after the Assumption of Mary. 

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Monday, 10 August 2020

Battle of Sinj 1715 to be Reenacted on August 12

August 10, 2020 - Let's hop in the Sinj time machine and go back to 1715 when it all began! The Battle of Sinj reenactment will be held this Wednesday, August 12. 

Organized by the Sinj Tourist Board, on Wednesday, August 12, at 8:30 pm, the 1715 Battle of Sinj, as well as the events that had just preceded it, will be reenacted at King Tomislav Square (Pijaci)!

The historical spectacle takes place in two acts.

The first act is staged on Sinj's main square, when the Ottomans conquered the town of Sinj in a dramatic and violent raid, set fire to the church, and took the people into slavery. Incredibly realistic light and sound effects contribute to the authenticity of the scenes.

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The second act takes place in the original ambiance of Alkarski dvori. The Defense Council, despite the almost hopeless situation, does not even think of retreating and decides to defend its city from a more numerous, superior and stronger enemy.

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According to tradition, it was with Our Lady's help that the Ottomans were defeated, and Sinj freed from the threat of the enemy, leaving the walls of Christianity. Led by Fr. Pavle Vučković (embodied by high school professor, scientist, writer, editor and publisher Fr. Gabrijel Hrvatin Jurišić, a self-effacing priest and an inexhaustible source of wisdom, he recently celebrated a diamond Mass and a brilliant 60 years of priesthood), joyful and grateful believers have since celebrated their patron with even greater zeal.

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The author of the dramatic template is prof. Velimir Borkovic. The play was realized in cooperation with the Shrine of the Miraculous Lady in Sinj and the Alka Knights Society. Numerous actors from amateur theaters are participating, and the main characters are Gabrijel Jurišić, Marko Duvnjak, Bruno Barać, Marijan Grbavac, Damir Žane Alebić, Saša Miletić, Bobo Delonga, Dijana Ivić Kundid, Bože Pavić, Vedrana Vrgoč, Sanja Gojun, Anđelka Vučković, Mario Vujević, Marko Jelinčić, Anđelka Vučković, Dino Vuković, Dubravka Vuković, Marija Mandac, members of KU Marko Marulić, GZ Brodosplit, historical units of Kliški uskok, Veterans' Cooperative Patriot, Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, dance theater GMS, KUD Dicmo, KUD Glavice, Sinj majorettes, the Association for the Preservation of the Heritage of the Cetina Region, the Association of Rera and Gusle from Otok, the Sinj Ferali, the horsemen of the Alka Knights Society, the horses of the Alka Stable, and Mr. Davor Ivkovic.

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Nikola Belancic

The director is prominent theater, television and film actor Robert Kurbaša, the assistant director is Bruno Barać, and the playwright and producer is Luka Perković. This year's novelty is the performance of the Brodosplit City Choir under the direction of Mr. Vlado Sunko, a famous music pedagogue, conductor and composer, with the performance of the cantata Our Lady of Sinj.

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The Battle of Sinj in 1715 is a unique stage spectacle - under the auspices of the August night of Sinj; the entire city becomes a stage that, with its originality, transports the viewer 305 years into the past!

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All visitors are asked to adhere to the recommendations of the Civil Protection Headquarters and the Croatian Institue of Public Health. The volunteers will take care to implement all necessary measures so that everyone can be safe and responsible.

To read more about Sinj, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Ivo Zorica Named Winner of 305th Sinjska Alka!

August 9, 2020 - The 305th Sinjska Alka was held on Sunday in Sinj, under strict epidemiological measures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that the Sinjska Alka is a well-known Croatian knight's game, established in memory of the great victory of the Venetian army and the people of the Cetina region over the Ottomans on August 14, 1715. Seventeen Alkars competed in the Alka on Sunday, and the Alka festivities were held under special circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sinj Alka was attended by President Zoran Milanovic, president of the Croatian Parliament Gordan Jandrokovic, and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, as well as a number of ministers. 

Instead of the usual 5,000+ spectators lined along the Alka track, this year, there were only 1,400 spectators in the stands. All spectators had to give their name, surname and telephone number so that epidemiologists could do their job more easily should an outbreak occur.

The Alka duke signaled to start 305th Sinjska Alka just before 5 pm. Frano Ivkovic, the winner of the 304th Sinjska Alka, was the first to go, though his attempt was unsuccessful.

Ivo Zorica was named the winner of the Sinjska Alka on Sunday, after accumulating seven points on the legendary racetrack. After the third round, he escaped debutants Martin Susnjari and Nenad Maric.

Ivo Zorica was born in 1983, and according to his education, he is an economic technician employed at the PBZ branch in Sinj. He is married to Monica, with whom he has a son and a daughter, and comes from the famous Zorica family as the second Alkar. Accompanied by the flag, he made his debut in 2000, and in 2002 he became an Alkar spearman. From 2006 to 2013, he was the deputy alaj čauš.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Friday, 7 August 2020

Everything Ready for 305th Sinjska Alka!

August 7, 2020 - Everything is ready for the 305th Sinjska Alka, which will be held this Sunday in Sinj, under special epidemiological measures and corona rules.

Due to the epidemic, the Alkars trained separately, and the number of spectators in the stands has been reduced. The knights' competition is preceded by the Bara, which is scheduled for today, and the Čoja, which runs on Saturday.

There are no tickets on sale this time around, and the only hotel in the Sinj region is almost completely filled with guests. Small renters in the Sinj region, which lives for the Alka, are also satisfied with the reservations. This year is no exception.

The last dress rehearsal before the competition was held on the Alka track in Sinj on Thursday. RTL's Jelena Tešija was there with one of the organizers. You can see the video here.

Sinj claims they will not become a new coronavirus focus.

"Not at all, because we implemented all the recommendations and agreements we had with the national and county headquarters so that we had two groups in the preparation of the Alkars themselves, and we reduced the number of spectators to one quarter at the track. Therefore, it will be very small, almost impossible to spread infection," said Stipe Jukic, president of the Alka Knights Society Sinj.

"We divided Alkars into two groups: groups A and B of 15 each, so we adhere to the measures. If one group becomes infected and ends up in self-isolation, there is another that can do Alka to the very end, because according to the statute, the minimum number is 11 to do Alka," said Ivica Filipovic-Grcic.

In the end, 17 of the best were selected, among them one debutant.

To be sure no corona spreads, there will be no reception or a traditional celebration.

"All events that are otherwise in preparation of the Alka, and lead to gathering a larger number of people, have in some way been canceled," said Jukic.

The Sinjska Alka has run since 1715, both in war and in peace, but rarely in such circumstances.

"It was rescheduled once during an epidemic, as it was during cholera in 1855, so instead it took place in October," said Monika Vrgoc, director of the Sinj Tourist Board.

The 305th Sinjska Alka will be held on Sunday and will be followed by the entire state leadership.

Source: Dalmacija Danas, RTL

To read more about Inland Dalmatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Unlucky Name! Four-Star Corona Hotel Near Sinj Evokes Varied Reactions

As Novac/Lenka Gospodnetic writes on the 5th of August, 2020, in Brnaze near Sinj, there is a four-star hotel, but with an unfortunate name - the Corona hotel.

As Slobodna Dalmacija reports, the Corona hotel's owner Mario Basic, who runs the Sedile company, in whose portfolios the hotel is located, says he will not change the name.

''We're not the only ones called corona: there is also the beer, boats, and millions of hotels around the world! One hotelier said: let the virus change its name, because I'm not going to!'' said Basic.

Otherwise, the Corona hotel's owner is engaged in the production of furniture, has five workers and very full hands. Everything in the Corona hotel is made in Sinj, by hand, from home-made wood and leather, he says.

When asked if there were cancellations for the Corona hotel due to its unfortunate name, he said there weren't, but there was stagnation due to the virus which has made this hotel's name so unlucky.

''For example, there's no one at the moment, but we're full for Alka and Velika Gospa! Our guests aren't only pilgrims here for religious tourism, we have a lot of business people because we're in a good place, we have four stars, we have a "bed end breakfast" option and it's a good price: in the heart of the season, it's 450 kuna per person for a bed and breakfast,'' says the hotel owner, adding that the Corona hotel's staff didn't work for work a month and a half, like everyone else, but they kept all of their staff.

People who come, and those who pass, admits Basic, often make fun of the name, and there are those who certainly react. Some laugh, others take pictures, and some - when they see the name of the hotel - cross themselves.

But there are reasons why no one should avoid spending the night at the Corona hotel, regardless of the ongoing pandemic bearing the same name, claims Basic.

''This is a great place for excursions, Sinj is close by, the Cetina river, rafting and canoeing, quad-driving, horseback riding. And then there's the opportunities for river fishing, the Krka waterfalls. Split! All the beauty of the world. So, who cares about the virus, or its name? It's normal for us to diligently disinfect everything, and with respect to everything else, let's not be petty,'' concluded the Corona hotel's owner from Brnaze.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 1 August 2020

305th Sinjska Alka to Allow Maximum 1,000 Spectators

August 1, 2020 - This year's 305th Sinjska Alka, which will take place on August 9, will be limited to a maximum of 1,000 spectators, and tickets will not be on sale, says the Alka Knights Society.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that this news was decided by the Board of Directors of the Alka Knights Society. The Alka administration concluded that, due to prescribed and recommended epidemiological measures caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, it will organize this year's Alka much different than before, which includes a significant reduction in the number of seats in the stands.

The number of spectators will be limited to all three final performances, the Bara, Coja and Alka itself. How the tickets will be distributed and for how many spectators, the Alka administration will decide later, all in agreement with epidemiologists.

Representatives of the Alka Knights and the Civil Protection Headquarters of Sinj spoke about the organization of this year's Alka with the leadership of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, i.e., with the Director of the Headquarters and Deputy Prime Minister Davor Bozinovic and his associates.

Due to the escalation of new coronavirus cases in the Sinj area, epidemiologists believed that this year's Alka should be held without an audience.

In the Alka ranks, it was estimated that at best, every second or third seat could be used in the stands. Epidemiologists are by no means inclined to do so, so they accepted that there should be a maximum of a thousand spectators in the Alka stands, properly distributed.

Keeping the distance will also be reflected in the composition of the ceremonial Alka Lodge. There will certainly be places for the main guests: President Zoran Milanovic, who is also the patron of the 305th Alka, President of the Croatian Parliament Gordan Jandrokovic, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and the most prominent representative of the military and church authorities, as well as hosts Stipe Jukic, President of Alkar Knights Society, and Kristina Krizanac, Mayor of Sinj.

These seven persons, who should have a place in the first row, will occupy only a small part of the spacious ceremonial lodge, as there will certainly be other dignitaries, but in much smaller numbers than in previous years.

The Board of Directors of the Alka Knights Society calls on the citizens of Sinj and the Alka region, as well as the arriving guests, to implement the recommended epidemiological measures with full responsibility so that the 305th Alka festivities are held in a festive, albeit specific atmosphere, and so that due to the irresponsible behavior of individuals, they would not become the focus of the spread of the virus.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

ZZ Quartet Concert Successfully Held at Kamicak Fortress in Sinj

July 25, 2020 - On July 23, a fabulous jazz concert by ZZ Quartet was held at the Kamicak Fortress, organized by the Sinj Tourist Board and the Sinj Cultural and Artistic Center, with the support of the City of Sinj.

In the unique and beautiful ambiance of the Kamicak Fortress, we witnessed a real ambient and musical spectacle under the starry sky, a virtuoso performance of top jazz musicians from the ZZ Quartet consisting of Simone Zanchini, Ratko Zjaca, Martin Gjakonovski and Joze Zadravec.

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Thanks to the rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage, as well as a number of diverse cultural events, Sinj and the Cetina region have long been engraved in golden letters on the tourist map of Croatia. Thanks to the pursuit of sustainable tourism, the coexistence of carefully designed activities that are equally enjoyed by both hosts and guests, events in the Alkar city always attract attention and a growing audience.

An example of such events is the concerts at the Kamicak Fortress. Concerts of classical, but also traditional and jazz music are organized at the authentic and unique fortress with a beautiful stage under the open sky. Such an approach popularizes these, perhaps somewhat neglected, musical expressions, and where better than in Sinj, a city of rich musical tradition.

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The Sinj Tourist Board has been organizing successful and extremely well-attended concerts for several years through the Musical Evenings in Kamicak program. The following concerts have been held at this authentic location so far: Academic Accordion Orchestra "Ivan Goran Kovacic", Sara Reinar, Jazz swing quintet "Repassage", Wind Quintet "Kalamos", unique percussion ensemble "Sudar Percussion", ethno musician Dunja Knebl with Kololir, ethno group Veja, Nocturnal 4., and organized by KUS - Ethno Kamicak festival, which was not held this year due to the epidemiological situation.

All performances have been well received, and the ambiance of the fortress under the stars proved to be a hit on Wednesday.

This year, following the recommendations of the Civil Protection Headquarters and the CNIPH, the best of jazz music was presented to the concert attendees by world-renowned performers, Simone Zanchini, Ratko Zjaca, Martin Gjakonovski and Joze Zadravec. The enthusiasm of the audience could not be hidden. The performers and the audience enjoyed a truly unique musical spectacle.

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The Sinj Tourist Board thanks everyone who helped bring this concert to life, as well as everyone who attended and adhered to all recommended measures. For all those who couldn't make it, the local Hit radio will broadcast a recording of the concert.

Friday, 24 July 2020

Velika Gospa: Assumption of Mary in Sinj to be Held without Procession

July 24, 2020 - Due to epidemiological reasons, the traditional procession through the city streets of Sinj for the Assumption of Mary on August 15 will not be held, revealed the Franciscan monastery of Our Lady of Sinj on Thursday evening.

"We will organize this year's celebration of the Assumption without a big procession through the city, attended by thousands of people from different parts of our beautiful country, to avoid provocation, and God forbid, to be a hotbed of infection," read a statement signed by monastery guard Ante Covo, as reported by Slobodna Dalmacija.

It warns that we are celebrating this year's celebration of the Assumption in "unprecedented circumstances because we are surrounded by an invisible enemy, COVID-19, which threatens us." However, they say, that the parish, under the protection of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj, has been almost unscathed during this epidemic.

In order to reduce the gathering of a larger number of believers in certain hours of the day, they will have Holy Mass almost every hour on August 14 and 15, and invited the faithful to carefully read the posters and choose the best time to attend Mass.

During Holy Mass, as stated, only the changing parts will be sung: the entrance song, the singing of the psalm, hallelujah, the gift, the communion, and the closing song, and the choirs will sing from the church choir.

The Sacrament of Penance will be accessible in the cloister and the monastery courtyard under the aisle, so that there are as few believers as possible in one closed space.

"During the holidays, listen carefully to the instructions of the Civil Protection Headquarters. Be sure to disinfect your hands at the entrance to the church and the cloister and, if the measure remains in force, wear a mask.

Stick to those measures that the Church recommends: take communion only by hand, do not give a sign of peace, try to keep a distance while you go or wait for Communion, during Mass, be with those who are from your family and your environment, avoid socializing with strangers, and if you do not feel well, stay at home," continued the statement of the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Sinj.

This year's celebration of the Assumption is celebrated under the motto "Our Lady, be our salvation."

"May he save us from all that we could harm ourselves and others. May he lead us on a path that will soften everyone's hearts, open hands, strengthen faith, strengthen hope and lead everything to effective love," the Sinj monastery concluded.

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Wednesday, 22 July 2020

ZZ Quartet Concert at Kamičak Fortress in Sinj!

July 22, 2020 - Everyone is invited to the concert of top jazz musicians ZZ Quartet, to be held in the unique ambience of the Kamičak Fortress, organized by the Sinj Tourist Board and the Cultural and Artistic Center Sinj, with the support of the City of Sinj!

ZZ quartet consists of Simone Zanchini, one of the world's best accordionists, a member of the famous Milan Scale, Ratko Zjača, one of the best European jazz guitarists and composers, Martin Gjakonovski, a bass guitar virtuoso and unsurpassed drummer Jože Zadravec.

In 2016, the ZZ quartet in Italy won the award for the best jazz album, while this year, they are releasing their fourth joint album.

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The ZZ quartet has a unique musical vision that absorbs and reflects the integrity of musical interpretation, retaining an enviable individuality and superior masterfulness that extends from quiet intimacy to intense expression. They have a variety of musical inspirations as they include jazz, classical, world music and free improvisation. They worked on original compositions in which they made beautiful and unforgettable improvisations. Their unique sonic landscapes blur the boundaries between concrete musical forms and free improvisation.

With foundations in music history, they sovereignly step beyond the boundaries of modern improvised music.

You can read more at www.zz-quartet.com.

With such concerts, the Sinj Tourist Board is trying to popularize these musical expressions, but also to position the city of Sinj itself as one of rich cultural and musical tradition. Admission to the concert is free!

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Respecting the recommendations of the National Civil Protection Headquarters and the CNIPH, the number of visitors will be limited. However, for all jazz music lovers who are not able to listen to the concert live, the local HIT radio will broadcast a recording of the concert at a convenient time!

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