"Jazz is my freedom and my roots are my inner truth"
The composer, singer and flutist Tamara Obrovac from the Croatian city of Pula is one of the most impressive artists on the Croatian music scene. Her ethnically inspired contemporary Mediterranean jazz is influenced by the particular musical and dialectal traditions of her homeland, the Croatian coastal region of Istria.
Istria is a beautiful Croatian region, a North Adriatic peninsula, particular for it's musical and dialectal tradition. She writes lyrics in local dialects, of Slavic and Romanic origin, and sings in other ancient and endangered Istrian dialects.
In addition to her international concert activities, she composes music for theatre and film, and she has received many awards for her work, including 8 Croatian national discographic awards Porin (Croatian Grammy).
Her main bands, the international Transhistria Ensemble (Histria is an ancient name for Istra), and her Quartet incorporates elements of jazz, Istrian and Mediterranean music, and many elements of modern music skilfully and naturally, and her utterly original and autochthonous music goes beyond time and geographical boundaries, thus becoming a universal artistic message which establishes Tamara Obrovac as an exceptional artist who has created her own unique musical expression."
This creative musician has become known for her highly aesthetic performances; her interpretations are suffused with spontaneity, inventive improvisation, freedom, humour and the ability to communicate with the audience, while Tamara's voice is equally impressive when she sings lyrics and when she improvises thus turning itself into an additional instrument.
International recognition came also through the nomination for the BBC Radio 3 World music Awards 2004 (European Music and Audience Award).
Here is what John L. Walters, Guardian, 20/02/2004 said while browsing the double CD with all the nominees songs:
"Fortunately, the random nature of awards compilation like this provides the opportunity to browse and skip and fall headlong for something you've never heard before. In my case, the "blind date" artist is Tamara Obrovac. Cansoneita (A Small Song) performed by Obrovac with the Transhistria Ensemble, is a floating, beguiling track, with spacious drumming, tuneful accordion and a delicious lead vocal by Obrovac."
She published 12 author CDs: "Triade", 1996; "Ulika", 1998; "Transhistria", 2001; "Sve pasiva" / "Everything fades away", 2003; "Daleko je" / "Is faraway", 2005; "Neću više jazz kantati" / "I won't sing jazz any more", 2009; "Madirosa", 2011 (in colaboration with string quartet Epoque); "Ulika revival", 2014 (with reinterpretations of the compositions from CD "Ulika", dedicated to her grandmother); "Canto amoroso", 2016; "Live @ ZKM" (her first double live album recorded on a concert in Zagreb Youth Theatre), 2018; "TransAdriaticum", 2019., "Villa Idola", 2020. (in collaboration with Croatian Radiotelevision Jazz Orchestra).
Through her albums, Tamara profiles her own auctorial approach and creates a unique artistic form which, inspired by the Istrian and broader Mediterranean tradition, establishes "the personal poetics of the author".
Germany (Düsseldorf Jazz Rally, Jazzahead’13, Lüneburger Jazz-Night, Le gipfel du jazz Freiburg, Bayerisher Hof Munchen, Laboratorium Stuttgart, Eisenach Jazzclub, etc.), Norway (Trondheim Jazz Festival), China (Bejing Cultural Palace of the Nationalities, Chuama festival), Belgium (Bozar Brussels, The Music Village Brussels, Balkan Trafik Festival), Austria (Porgy & Bess Vienna, Akkordeon Fest Vienna, Jazz Festival Steyr, Glatt & Verkehrt Musikfestival, Jazz club Klagenfurt, Kunsthaus Weiz, etc.), Switzerland (RSI Lugano, Bird’s Eye Basel, Moods Zurich), Italy (Alpsklang Festival Merano, Talos Jazz Fest, Trieste Loves Jazz, Mittelfest, AnteprimaMundus Fest, etc.), USA (Joe’s Pub NYC, Hot House Chicago), France (Strictly mundial Festival Marseille, L’Entrepot Paris, Maritime Festival Brest), Spain (Circulo Jazz club Madrid, Festival Ribermusica Barcelona, La Fira Mediterrania de Manresa), Morocco (Jazz au Chellah Festival), Greece (Dimithriathess Festival Thessaloníki), Poland (Crossroads Festival Krakow), Latvia (Saulkrasti Jazz Fest, Riga Jazz Club), Lithuania (Vilnius Jazz Festival), Finland (EBU Festival Kaustinen), BiH (Sarajevo Jazz Fest), Slovenia (Cankarjev dom club, Druga godba Festival, etc.), Israel (Rishon le Zion Tel Aviv), Japan (Expo), Croatia (everywhere :), Russia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Ireland and many more.