Concert reviews

Tamara Obrovac Transhistria ensemble and Croatian National Radio and Television (HRT) Jazz Orchestra at the Museum of Contemporary Art, June 6, 2018

"Tamara Obrovac Transhistria ensemble and HRT Jazz Orchestra for the jazz album of the year”

The compositions of this jazz diva in new, orchestral arrangements sound amazing... and when you add to that equation her magnificent Transhistria ensemble with its combination of professional artistry and relaxed interaction of seasoned musicians, the sound picture becomes perfect. In a wild ride through the Istrian region, dialects, folk songs and contemporary jazz, they have taken us on a sensory journey on the verge between life and death, joy and pain, heaven and earth, in which the HRT Jazz Orchestra blended perfectly with Tamara’s powerful, emotional voice, evoking different images and moods. This was the last performance of the Jazz Orchestra in this season, but they are already in the studio with Tamara Obrovac and her Transhistria ensemble, recording the album which is, judging by what we have heard at the concert, bound to be the jazz album of the year.

- Maja Car / Večernji list, June 8, 2018

Tamara Obrovac quartet at Fonokinoteka, Zagreb, February 16, 2018

"A heady mixture of Istria and the world"

Tamara’s fans and lovers know perfectly well what they will hear and see. By that I don’t mean the repertoire or a routine of any sort; I mean a small (?) miracle of artistic creation which happens here and now, and is unique and unrepeatable as such, but fortunately repeatable in new forms… Matija Dedić on the piano, Žiga Golob on bass, Kruno Levačić on drums and Tamara Obrovac, whose instrument is her voice, are a God-sent group of four perfectly harmonious musical souls. Sharing the same sensibility, they feel absolutely safe and unburdened with one another, and they playfully and freely plunge into the untried with pleasure, enthusiasm and concentration, listening to one another’s spontaneous spurs of inspiration and bringing out the best in one another, without any demands or grudges in case of a failure (mind you, so far we haven’t seen them fail). Of course, they are playing jazz, the genre which often reaches its peaks in live performances, when the riches of the spirit, freedom of the mind and artistry of the performance click in an irresistible, unforgettable way. With Tamara Obrovac Quartet that miracle happens almost on a regular basis.

- Janko Heidl / Mixer.hr, February 18, 2018

Tamara Obrovac Transhistria ensemble, Slavonski Brod, July 28, 2017

This year’s Brod Music Summer could not have ended better than it did: with a concert of the amazing ethno-jazz diva Tamara Obrovac and her international Transhistria ensemble. In an hour and a half of sheer musical pleasure, Tamara shared the full magnificence of her energy, voice and emotions, and togetherness and harmony of her musicians with the enchanted audience, which knew when to listen in silence, and when to applaud enthusiastically. With her inexhaustible energy, Tamara put all her emotions across to the audience and enraptured them by her powerful voice coming from such a delicate body. Asked how she prepares for concerts, she said: “The first step is long, technical preparations, which then turn into a mental preparation. On stage, I try to stop being myself and become music. And if I succeed, the audience feels it. It’s metaphysics. Music is vibration, the substance of being.

- Marija Radošević / sbplus, July 29, 2017

Tamara Obrovac Transhistria ensemble at ZKM, 20 years live, November 26, 2016

Emotional jazz journey

Tamara’s almost telepathic connection with her band of international musicians has made this concert a practically surreal experience, in which the metaphysical strength of common creation was felt in every song… Dynamic and melodious, touching and powerful. Tamara’s authentic voice, juxtaposed with the irregular rhythm and the freedom of jazz improvisation and energetic instrumental bravados was, as expected, a fascinating, aesthetically perfect audiovisual experience.

- Dragana Glivetić / Ravno do dna

Tamara Obrovac Transhistria ensemble - Zagreb Youth Theater

“The concert was very emotional, not just for Tamara Obrovac, but for the audience as well. Tamara is living music, and every moment of this concert was a proof to that fact.. The pleasure was mutual… At the same time, this was a treat for all lovers of brilliant, inspired performances of top musicians and excellent , authentic auteur, music. Tamara Obrovac is our cultural treasure, and I hope she will continue to share her inexhaustible repository of inspiration, talent and knowledge with us for a long time.”

- Ziher.hr / Tim Hrvaćanin - ZKM 26.11.2016.

Tamara Obrovac Transhistria ensemble, Lisinski Concert Hall, promotion of the album Canto amoroso, May 28, 2015

Witty, touching, charming. Beautiful and just a bit bitter. Thrilling…

The compositions on Canto amoroso are rooted in the Istrian ground and, of course, elaborated with the freedom of interpretation inherent to jazz music, all kinds of mostly Mediterranean influences, tango, and sometimes even the dramatic characteristics of operetta and opera. Imbued even with blues, not as much as a musical form, but more with the “do you hear how they deeply in they are” definition by one of the boys from the neighborhood. Fausto Beccalosi on accordion, Uroš Rakovec on guitar, Žiga Golob on bass, Krunoslav Levačić on drums, and Tamara Obrovac with her voice as one more instrument in this story, breathe as one, but their harmonious unity does not prevent their freedom in individual inspiration towards playful improvisations. In short, universal music from our yard, wrapped in bitter-sweet acoustic sound produced by Stefan Amerio and Tamara Obrovac.

- Janko Heidl / Ravno do dna, June 1, 2015

Tamara Obrovac Transhistria ensemble, Lisinski Concert Hall, promotion of the album Canto amoroso, May 28, 2015

Tamara Obrovac and her Transhistria ensemble have performed one more of their magician’s tricks in which music immediately transports you somewhere far way, leaving only your body in the audience.

- Jura / terapija.net, May 28, 2015

Tamara Obrovac quartet - Porgy & Bess Vienna

In Tamara Obrovac's music you can hear the deep connection she holds with her native country and birthplace, Croatia and Istria. With her amazing interpretation of often traditional musical components, Obrovac opens the door to a wide range of international jazz expressions and she does it with exceptional ease and great charm. The highly talented singer is accompanied by a quartet of brilliant musicians who with great sensibility manage to refine the expressiveness of her songs and together they bring the musical experience to a superior level.

- Ernst Weiss  Concerto magazin reviewer,  about Porgy&Bess Vienna concert, 7.12.2014. (AT)

Tamara Obrovac quartet - Jazz au Chellah concert review

She is an audience-captivating phenomenon. With her trio she brought a different kind of energy and soon had the crowd pleading for more.
Obrovac has a phenomenal stylistic range and has the temerity to want to take her trio into any number of moods.

- Sebastian Scotney / London Jazz news, September 2013. UK

Tamara Obrovac quartet - Jazz au Chellah concert review

Obrovac indigenous music found attentive ears in the audience. Her charismatic voice and moves captured quickly the audience...

Mehdi El Mouden,All About Jazz, September 2013. Morocco

Tamara Obrovac quartet - Jazzahead Bremen showcase 2013.

I was most impressed by Tamara Obrovac's performance at the Jazzahead showcase.Tamara draws on the folk traditions of Istria but puts them in the context of a jazz trio and the resulting music is a very original and attractive blend of jazz and traditional music.

Tony Duddley Evans, April 2013, Jazzahead jury member Artistic Adviser to Jazzlines Birmingham and Cheltenham Jazz Festival.

Tamara Obrovac at Lisinski Hall

Undoubtedly the greatest personality among Croatian female jazz vocalists, charismatic Tamara Obrovac, gave us an extremely successful concert, not only because of the packed house and the applause which lasted forever… (her eyes filled up and she said “this is one of the things in life worth living for”), but also because of her interpretation and spontaneity, her honesty and utter exposing in front of the audience to which she gave herself to the full, through the music which should no longer be put into any slot – it is world jazz, period!

Several encores, happy audience, happy Tamara… the concert worth of every praise.Such amount of inspiration, improvisation, “conversation” and interaction between the artists on the stage is rarely seen.“Ulika Revival” relives to the full and is right on target. A win-win situation for all parties.

www.jazz.hr  Dinko Husadžić Sansky, February 16, 2012.

Tamara Obrovac quartet: The unique synergy of music and emotion

Freedom and improvisation. Yesterday, the Lisinski Hall enjoyed jazz to the full.It was a love at first sight. The rarely seen synergy of musical virtuosos and relaxed Tamara was completed by the whole-hearted energy they got in return from the grateful audience. To quote the second number performed at the concert, “without a word” a micro-cosmos of music and pleasure was created, which is impossible to put into words. Beautiful musical experience.

As often at Tamara’s concerts, “Crno zlo” (“Black Evil”) threw the audience into ecstasies. … What gives an additional quality to this song is Tamara’s very own approach to jazz: through “Crno zlo”, her fascinating ability of improvisation manifests itself in all its beauty , enrapturing the audience,making it laugh and thrilling it completely. 
Each Tamara’s concert is a story for itself and no matter how many times you listen to her songs, they always sound fresh and different. Lisinski yesterday witnessed a rarely seen synergy of musicians and their audience, which will be difficult to repeat.

- Z. Jagodić, index.hr , February 16, 2012.

Tamara Obrovac transhistria ensemble & epoque quartet  concert / Valamar Jazz Festival 2011.

While we were still guessing what Tamara Obrovac was saying in her speech in Croatian at the beginning of the second Valamar Jazz Festival, there came a brief summary in English: "We are great - and now you will hear it!" Self-confidence of the festival's artistic director is more than justified. With her brilliant performance in the Euphrasian Basilica in the historic old city of Pore?, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, she has presented the best of the Mediterranean; the melancholy of fado, the lightness of tarantella and the lyrics in Croatian have melted with the fury of the accordion player Fausto Beccalossi so organically that the following concert of Richard Galliano Piazzolla Forever Septet seemed nothing but perfectly boring.

- Josef Engels, Jazzthing, September 2011.

Tamara Obrovac Enchanted the Audience / Valamar Jazz Festival 2011.

Tamara Obrovac with her Transhistria ensemble and the string virtuosos of Epoque Quartet has once again given an unforgettable concert interwoven with jazz, classical music and a pronounced Mediterranean spirit… the live performance offered a great dialogue of the Czech string players and Transhistria ensemble musicians and enchanted the audience in the Euphrasian Basilica, the same way that the album Madirosa enchants its listeners.

-Tibor Toromanović, Glas Istre, daily paper, 08.07.2011.

Jazz is back! Tamara Obrovac and Matija Dedić in Grožnjan

Their music represents the very essence of jazz... It was this new encounter with Matija that inspired Tamara to a new creativity. Namely, apart from the fact that the concert interpretations were totally different from those on the album, Matija and Tamara surprised each other by bravely embarking onto musical "tomfoolery" which was fully justified by the accomplishments of all band members. They all showed it by their virtuoso approach, full control over the instruments (and the voice) and by the ability for fast shifting into different styles.

Inspired by the setting and her willing colleagues, Tamara was absolutely brilliant in stunning improvisations which included scat, vocalises and narrative approach, ranging from the archaic tradition of Istrian music, through baroque and classical music to jazz, funk and rock.

Their music combines the very essence of jazz with the need to „expand the acquired knowledge", the importance to know the history and theory of music, to be familiar with different musical idioms, to have stage manners and the ability to create dynamics and communication both with the colleagues and with the audience, to take risks, to plunge into the unfamiliar and new, to elevate music onto a higher level...

- D.Hrvoj, Novi list, daily paper, September 02. 2011., Croatia

IstroArmenian Rhapsody: Tamara Obrovac and Karen Asatrian thrilled the audience at Istrian National theater

Immediately after the opening song of the concert, the two musicians performed the composition which is the combination of their two songs (Tamara's Carisa and Karen's No name). At that moment, the audience was given an opportunity to enjoy a musical fairy-tale in which the two songs flowed one into another in an extraordinarily natural and easy way. The fourth song of the concert (Črni malin/Spring) was performed in the same way. It was in those „joint songs" that the two musicians clearly expressed how much they share in common, from their „signatures" as composers combining his or her own tradition and jazz, to the honest and direct relationship with the audience and giving themselves fully to the music they perform.

However, besides the musical chemistry between these two musicians, we have to mention the striking mutual understanding of other musicians, the members of Tamara's and Karen's ensembles.

In almost two hours of great music, the insatiable audience enjoyed ten numbers by IstrArmenia Ensemble and the encore which presented the combination of Tamara's song Črno zlo and an Armenian folk song. However, only those who have never been to Tamara's concert would think that the concert ended in a classical way. Namely, Tamara rapped in Istrian dialect, with Karen singing simultaneously in Armenian and playing on a bottle (the way that a flute is normally played), thus provoking a musical cabaret in which the audience took part as well, performing both Istrian and Armenian musical miniatures, guided by Tamara and Karen. It all ended to general satisfaction with the song Oči žarnije, laughter and the roar of applause.

- Zorana Jagodić, Index.hr portal, 15.02.2011.

http://www.index.hr/xmag/clanak/istroarmenska-rapsodija-tamara-obrovac-i-karen-asatrian-odusevili-istarsko-narodno-kazaliste/538084.aspx

Musical Journey from Istria to Armenia

The thunderous applause for Tamara Obrovac, Karen Asatrian and their colleagues echoed throughout the INK Theater on Monday. The Istrian musician has showed she can attract the audience and let them have the experience of the journey from Istria to Armenia.

...During the concert, everybody on the stage was fully into what they were performing, and the musical journey included the verses of the Istrian poetess Loredana Bogliun as well. The concert was crowned by the encore consisting of Tamara's song Črno zlo. The good atmosphere reached its peak with the unusual vocal-instrumental communication flowing between Karen Asatrian, Tamara Obrovac and the audience.

Mladen Radić, Glas Istre, 15.02.2011.

The second part of the evening was marked by the unbelievable easiness with which Tamara Obrovac adapted her voice and changed its timbre

Review of Transhistria ensemble concert at Felbach, Germany, July 31, 2010. The second part of the evening was marked by the unbelievable ability of Tamara Obrovac to adapt her voice with ease and change its timbre. Screaming and cooing, tremolo and panting, whispering and squeaking – the voice of Tamara Obrovac always sounds clear; even the short sound check between the two tunes seems like recitative; in the long improvisations of her fellow musicians, she embarks into a dialogue with their instruments, following their timbre.The old folk songs and dances, the lyrics written in the obsolete Roman dialects – the buried treasures from Tamara's homeland Istria are joined with the pure jazz rhythm. And her band, Transhistria ensemble, also seems like a historical picture of Istria... The band consists of masterfully chosen group of young virtuosos, who bow with the full respect to their female leader, but also help each other in mutual cooperation.

A beautiful, intense evening, the evening that remained intense even in its quiet moments, which was recognized by the audience and rewarded accordingly with a thundering applause.

Felbacher zeitung, 02.08. 2010.

Exoticism of traditions in fairy-tale attire

Istria-Ireland Ensemble – harmonious combination of two different traditions, two different melodic expressions and two different languages.

INK Theatre in Pula was packed full by all those who came last night to listen to the first concert of Istria-Ireland Ensemble. The hubbub in the hall subsided the very minute that the performers - Tamara Obrovac, Úna Ní Fhlannagáin, Martin Tourish, Uroš Rakovec, Goran Rukavina and Dušan Kranjc – stepped out onto the stage.

For the opening, Úna Ní Fhlannagáin sang in Irish dialect, followed by Tamara Obrovac, and the fusion between the two compositions was so harmonious that they sounded like one, although it was a combination of two different traditions, melodic expressions and languages.

During the concert, the audience was in an almost meditative state. Because, when Irish tunes were played, the sound of harp evoked the image of wide Irish pastures, and when Tamara sang, the first association was Istria, its olive trees and soil.

The music was permeated with emotions to such an extent that it almost allegorically converted the sounds into the images which were probably the source of inspiration for the composers.

The members of Istria-Ireland Ensemble in all their differences made a coordinated whole which took the audience to a unique journey imbued by bits of Istrian and Irish dialectal and musical heritage. And those two worlds, although miles distant, have blended; into a fairy-tale whole which will be long remembered.

-S. Ergotić, Glas Istre, daily paper, 16. 02.2010.

Jazz-funk-ethno-stand up for the good mood

Tamara Obrovac and Rambo Amadeus held concerts at Boogaloo Club on Saturday.

The first one to perform was Tamara with two backup singers and her ensemble, composed mostly of her longtime associates. Although with the title of her latest album Tamara has said that she will “no longer sing jazz”, that is fortunately far from being true.

Tamara and her band still play the best fusion of jazz, funk and ethno (Istrian) music in Croatia. For the time being, both on the album and at the concert at Boogaloo, the funk component of that fusion is more pronounced. The communicative Tamara, bursting with energy, had no problem in engaging the audience, and with her kind of music, dancing was inevitable.

The material from “I won’t sing jazz any more”, performed alive, has proved to be even more efficient.

Maro Vukušić, muzika.hr, October 5, 2009. Monday, 18:45

Tamara Amadeus, Rambo Obrovac'

Obrovac is also collapsed factory. At the packed Boogaloo, for the price of one ticket, the audience got two decently long sets of stylistically compatible and talkative performers in the total duration of about three hours. Tamara Obrovac, accompanied by the sextet of the experienced musicians and two backup singers has again proved to be the real master in eclectic fusion of musical genres.

With her fascinating voice and singing skills, she easily goes from jazz and funk to ethno, canzone and rock, with a series of witty announcements and multicultural patterns in which she, being Istrian, gets incredibly along … One applause after another rightly followed each of her smoothly and with pleasure performed song.

Aleksandar Dragaš, Jutarnji list daily paper, October 5, 2009.

Tamara Obrovac and Transhistria Electric on radio 101 live

To sum up, Tamara Obrovac and Transhistria Electric presented their new album “I won’t sing jazz any more” to the T-portal users and Radio 101 and Radio Pula listeners with the top-line concert which gave all the musicians the opportunity for their five minutes of glory of the solo interpretations. And all of them took it to their advantage – I’d like to point out the excellent Joe Kaplowitz at the keyboards, and Krunoslav Leva?i? who has such a deep understanding with Tamara and her musical lucidity that their scenic interaction seems like the superior music play.

Backup singers, who were also Tamara’s dance partners, added a new dimension to the vocal interpretation, and the winds gave it a dance funky air.The last night’s remarkable concert of Tamara Obrovac and Transhistria Electric also announced the beginning of the cooperation between Radio 101 and T-portal, which means that from now on the live performances of the best Croatian bands can be not only listened to in the live transmission on Radio 101, but also visited at T-portal stream.

T-portal, May 5, 2009.

Golden seagull with brilliants for the best artistic cooperation

Although the Zdenko Runjić Award is traditionally given for the best remake of a song by Zdenko Runjić, this year the golden seagull with brilliants was awarded for the best artistic cooperation between the top-level musicians Tamara Obrovac and Matija Dedić, who simply enraptured the audience and their colleagues with their interpretation of the song “A vitar puše”

Tamara Obrovac has performed at Runji?’s Evenings Festival four times already, and Matija Dedić three times, and it is interesting to mention that Tamara got this same award in 2006 for her interpretation of the song “U prolazu”. The award is given by the Croatian Composers’ Society and it was presented, as every year, by Ivo Josipović, the member of the presidency of the Croatian Composers’ Society.

Tamara Obrovac and Transhistria Electric enraptured the audience of the first day of Nebo Festival on October 4 in Zagreb

Yesterday, this group of the top-level musicians showed us their other face – the face which can be clearly seen when these virtuosos plug their instruments in and get together with three young men who act as their brass section. Everything started with the obscure reggae version of the legendary Croatian song "Moj galebe".

Tamara and the electric Transhistria sounded unbelievable; the remarkable, powerful sound filled every cubic millimeter of the hall… they moved from reggae to funk, from blues and jazz to rock, and before we knew it, Transhistria already wandered into psychedelic howling and mocking a capella experiments, with brilliant instrumental improvisations. Fabulous. No need to say that the concert was immensely amusing. In all that mixture of laughter and excellent music, I caught myself rummaging through my memory, trying to remember if I had ever been to such a crazy concert. Those who missed it should really be sorry. Tamara Obrovac and Transhistria Electric delighted us all with their ninety minutes of music.

Dejan Lončar, Soundguardian, 05.10.08.

The Unstoppable Energy of Tamara Obrovac in Lisinski Hall

In this instrumental collaboration, Obrovac has managed to put together different musical forms and approaches into a compact product. Her regular collaborators – the virtuoso accordionist (and impressive singer) Fausto Beccalosi, the sensitive guitarist and mandolin player Uroš Rakovec, the reliable bass player Žiga Golob and the vehement drummer Krunoslav Levačić fitted perfectly with the extremely noble, unpretentious sound of the Czech string players.

The new songs which Tamara Obrovac prepared for the eight-member-orchestra (which she briefly joined on the flute) are very emotional love ballads in which words play a very important role. It is no coincidence that the working title of the project was “Mediterrando”, since Tamara is known for her openness to the influences of the heritage music of the wider Mediterranean circle. Her impressive voice and unstoppable scenic energy conquer the audience easily in this new edition as well.

Denis Derk, Večernji list, daily paper, 16.05.2008.

Powerful Tamara Obrovac and Dianne Reeves

The first time the festival was presented a Croatian artist - Tamara Obrovac - which with its Transhistria Ensemblom performed in his opening, completely equal footing with world stars.

Tamara Obrovac presented a powerful voice, singer, who sometimes assumes the role of musical instruments, large vocal capabilities that knowingly uses a sense of improvization special composer who has achieved genuine musical language.

D. Hrvoj, Novi list, daily paper, 15.04.2008.

Tamara Obrovac’s Volcanic Energy

At the opening of All Women Jazz Festival in ZeKaeM Theatre, temperamental Tamara has shown that she can easily compete with the greatest names of today’s music.

With Transhistria ensemble which never loses its inspiration and the desire for improvisation, Tamara sounded fresh and extremely challenging again, mainly performing her well known compositions.

It was as if she were deconstructing each composition and word in a more radical (and musical) way, thus turning the inaugurating concert of an established, élite jazz festival into a Biennale-like laboratory of the new sound and stage performance which was at times deeply moving. With Tamara Obrovac, all genre slots have long been rejected.

What remains is the exciting voice which stretches with the volcanic energy across the whole musical universe.

Denis Derk, Večernji list, daily paper, Zagreb, 14.04.2008.

Sorceress from Istria

Only true artists who have impregnated their education and talent by own blood, only that they were able to come out of their own skin, associated himself at the same time, and a large audience, manage to reach the greatest height. Such things can Tamara Obrovac.

Zdravko Zima, columnist of Novi list,13.04.2008.,wrote that the experienced concert Tamara Obrovac Transhistria ensemble, a 10. April 2008. which is open Jazzarella festival in Zagreb.

Transhistria electric in Cankarjev dom club

Yes, so quickly went into the music of Tamara because it was not clear when they are with regge switched to funk, from fuzion in rock art, from improvisation to ... no matter that, again in the improvisation-or psycho sound which would not shy or Pink Floyd!

Electric versione Transhistria proved to be as skilful a lot of head sound plague that has everything under control and then, when you see and hear, off the pieces to its members discuss who has now incursion or solo, which will now play.In short, Tamara's new construction in March was surprised and delighted.

At the concert Tamara Obrovac and its variants Transhistria Electric laugh and enjoyed Mario Batelić.

Mario Batelić, Radio Student Ljubljana, 26.03.2008.

Mediterrando - meditation and work

The project entitled "Mediterrando" unites Tamara Obrovac, Transhistria ensemble and the Epoque String Quartet.In this new project, Tamara remains faithful to the main characteristics of her musical style - jazz, the music inspired by her homeland Istria and vocal & instrumental bravuras - and the greatest contribution of the Epoque String Quartet is a certain middle-European context with which they have "complemented" Tamara's already rich music...

Right from the introductory tango, it was absolutely clear that the quartet blended perfectly with the music of Transhistria ensemble.

B.Vincek, Glas Istre, 16.veljače 2008.

Sangerkrieg festival, october 2006., Germany

With inspired east-European improvisations that echoed from a Jazz basement through the whole universe, Croatian musician Tamara Obrovac and her ensemble Transhistria were the secret stars of the festival.

Susanne Sobko,Schwabische Zeitung, october 2006., Germany

Obrovac unites tradition and modernism
Performance in Schwarzer Hase, Beutelsau

Behind the term “Mediterranean-Balkan Ethno jazz” there is fresh, unexhausted and authentic music of Tamare Obrovac hidden there.

It is influenced by local tradition and folk music, but the oriental sounds and a bit of rap music can be heard, with a great dose of modern Jazz harmony that interconnects all.

Musicians appear one by one, like a small cosmos that wonders here and there, moved by the drive of the music. Their sounds scatter, work in fragments that scrape and flow from one to another.

Conventional roles of instruments are split apart and that contributes to weightless and circular music style, but all 5 musicians are still connected in a strange and inexplicable way.

Tamara Obrovac (Croatia), with her much nuanced and strictly controlled voice overpowers the hardest sound of rap, as well as oriental melizmatic melodies or simple full-tone parts of the songs from her homeland. Ziga Golob(Slovenia) with his contrabass appears as the singer’s partner and encompasses the melody.Fausto Beccalossi (Italy) with the accordion entices a bit of orchestral sound, casting various motives into it, while Uroš Rakovec (Slovenia) plays his guitar very classical with impressively delightful patterns of sound. The drum ritam of Krunoslav Levačić (Croatia) sounds like improvised and freely composed.

The music of Tamara Obrovac is fresh and unexhausted exactly because it connects the old traditions with modern elements which don’t flow in space irrespectively. It is, in its special way, on the ground.

Wangen/Hier & Heute, Schwabische Zeitung, 9. listopada 2006.

Flute and female vocal in dialogue
Enthusiastic response to unusual sounds of Tamara Obrovac and her ethno jazz

If you look for an artist from the Adriatic region, someone who successfully transposes traditional music and elements of jazz to music of the modern age, you will inevitably come across the singer, flute player and composer Tamara Obrovac. The kind of ethno jazz she developed has put the music and culture of her Croatian home country on the world music map.

Tamara has expressive and powerful voice, spanning three octaves without loosing any of the finest details in dynamic and intonation in the upper pitches. Although wrapped into a sound system that is new and special to our ears, her music is not hard to get used to.

The excellent international ensemble of Uros Rakovec (guitar, mandolin), Ziga Golob (bass) from Slowenia, Fausto Beccalossi (accordion) from Italy and Krunoslav Levacic, (drums) from Croatia, easily moved on to a free improvisation with intensive instrumental dialogue. Tamara joined humorously and flirtatiously with flute and vocal which culminated in long sensuous decrescendos.

One simply felt transposed to the Adriatic coastline of Croatia.

Audience honoured the solo parts of the musicians again and again with spontaneous applause and cheerfulness which lasted throughout the evening.

Manfred van Os, Allgemeine Zeitung Coesfeld,  September, 26, 2006.

Promotion of the new CD „It's far away...“ in Culture Factory club in Zagreb

The night before Christmas Eve, Tamara Obrovac transhistria ensemble made the Culture Factory club in Zagreb blaze. The tickets were sold out already two hours before the concert and promotion of their new album „It's far away…“ began. The concert was shot through with the richness of jazz variations, vocal bravura, extremely imaginative and spiritual lyrics written in Istrian and Italian language. Tamara's vocal interpretation is a perfect jazz art which describes many different emotions (sadness, happiness, menopause, erotic, humour…), and her ensemble is an excellent quartet compound of extremely professional and talented musicians.

Tamara is also a great entertainer. She was called back on stage even two times, performed an informal and refreshing mix of rock'n'roll and jazz vibrations with frenetically scatterbrained and crazy vocabulary.

She is a great artist and a real star. She showed once again that she enthuses many critics and the audience with a good reason, not only in our country but around the world.

One of the best domestic concerts I have ever seen!

Vladimir Horvat, barikada.com/terapija.net, 27. prosinca 2005.

Pastoral life and freedom

A concert of Enver Izmailov and Tamara Obrovac in Freiburger Jazz-Gipfel, a true discovery and, in any case, the culmination of the whole festival was Tamara Obrovac. Istrian singer surprised with consecutive independence and unpretentious presentation on the stage.

Constant returns to the freedom of jazz enable her to live through her fascinating individuality. She uses her voice boundlessly, going from low alto to high soprano, adding unique vibrations by taping her neck with her palm. Precisely at midnight, a stentorian applause of trilled audience resounded through the music hall in Freiburg.

Reiner Kobe, Badische Zeitung, September 12th 2005.

Saulkrasti jazz - festival 2005

Croatian, so called, “Ethno-jazz“ band Tamara Obrovac & Transhistria Ensemble, whose performance was filled with soundness, energy and completely different music mentality than the one domestic audience have assimilated so far, made the biggest impression on visitors of Saulkrasti jazz festival.

Already with the first notes, Obrovac introduced completely different musical thinking and world by vibrato and fluctuations of her vocal from the lowest to the highest, Obrovac really surprised everybody present.

She wields with her voice equally good as a poet wields with his rhyme, a hockey player with hic puck, a chemist with Mendeleev's periodic table.She sometimes even overbears the instruments with her voice.

Particular impression on the audience was also made by emotions of the accordion player, visible through his pronounced mimicry.

By maximum of persuasiveness and appreciable wittiness (so called erotic composition made people laugh on several occasions) accompanied, of course, by faultlessly arranged and reconciled music expression, Obrovac simply captivated the audience.

Ikars Kublins,Apollo» Pirmdiena, August 1st,2005., Latvia

Second evening of the International festival of modern music, INTERZON 2004, marked by Tamara Obrovac and Transhistria Ensemble

As it could have been expected, the epithet of the main attraction of the evening, and perhaps of the whole festival as well, pertained to Tamara Obrovac & Transhistria Ensemble.

Base of their music is Istrian national heritage, arranged through moments of jazz, classical music and even tango, but also through long fragments of completely unusual sound that can hardly fit in standard genre classification.

Dynamic and melodious. Loud as much as gentle, warm and sophisticated. Not pathetic whatsoever. Occasionally ferocious but not aggressive.

Workmanship of the band members, their attractive solo jaunts and, among all, vast vocal capacity of Tamara Obrovac, her charm and untrammeled, honest, facetious and seductive performance, will be memorized for a long time.

D. Domanovic, Gradjanski, Novi Sad, May 25th 2004.,Serbia

BBC Radio 3, nominees compilation review

Fortunately, the random nature of an 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 is from Croatia, nominated for the European section eventually won by the great Ojos De Brujo.

John L Walters, The Guardian, February 20th, 2004., GB

Touching the moon without dancing with the wolves

Was that jazz or folk? In any case, it was experience.

Tamara Obrovac and her Transhistria Ensemble were guests in Martinikirche in Siegen. Ecstatic, brave, melancholic, all together - a strong experience. This evening, no one had to dance with the wolves.

Amazing tones were healing the ears of domestic audience. We heard modern Croatian music, cheerful, enriched with jazz and traditional sound. Wind was blowing from south-east of Istria, the homeland of Tamara Obrovac. It is where she gets an inspiration for her music, from poetic lyrics, dialects and local music styles. Obrovac allows to her great band a complete freedom of improvisation, building intro. And then, she utters, telling stories with her slightly harsh voice, improvising with syllables. Afterwards, she chattered a bit with her musicians, but got serious at the very next moment, letting us look deeply into her heart.

It was somewhat the blues, alternating with fast Slavic rhythm and unconventional mixes, elusive musical style where almost everything is possible and where fire gets inflamed suddenly.

It is no wonder that this woman mesmerized the audience during Croatian day on EXPO 2000 in Hanover. She enchants Siegen audience as well, with her humour, expressive music, presence and a joy of her music. To touch the moon with Tamara’s music is very easy indeed.

Siegener Zeitung, December 19th 2003, Germany

The best of all possible worlds?

Supported Voices? Well, try taking away the studio effects from Rokia Traore or the Uzbek superstar Sevara Nazarkhan, and see what you're left with. Unlike Evora or Ferrer, these young singers need the help of technology to weave their spells, and though there's nothing wrong with technology per se, this does sort out minor talents from the major ones. Croatia's Tamara Obrovac tops my bill in this group - a fine artist, with a clever band.

Michael Church, Independent, December, 2003. GB

Obrovac, from Istria with a vengeance

Ruvo - First great surprise of the 11th Talos Festival is called Tamara Obrovac. The Istrian singer (41), a native of Pula, was virtually unknown to the audience in Puglia. Tamara’s music is very distinctive, rich in the motifs from the traditional folk music of Istria blending the melancholic character of a Slavic soul with a dialect based on Latin, so reminiscent of a long period dominated by a Venetian rule. An exquisite acoustic dimension with a touch of melancholy transformed into frenetic and galloping rhythms by means of improvisation, then rapid foot moves, which were intended to remind of tango, and a posture entirely based on performance are the pronounced features of the ensemble that, along with Tamara - delicate, but with a powerful voice and bursting with determination - delights with a superb performance of brilliant Simone Zanchini playing the accordion, who joined forces with great musicians Uroš Rakovec on the guitar and mandolin, Salvatore Maiore on the double bass and Kruno Levačić playing drums. This huge success came as a surprise to Tamara as well who, having said: "Well, how have you managed to discover me, who has recommended me?", was completely astonished by the frenzied demand for the CDs she had brought.

Ugo Sbisa, Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, Italy,September 2003., Italy

Obrovac - DOBROJAZZ!

She tornadoes through the stage leaving in her wake an ever increasing number of fans.

Birgit Gabler, Concerto magazine, June 2003, Austria

Excellent woman from Pula

Maybe the most pleasant surprise is the performance of Tamara Obrovac, who is faithful to jazz, but who also interweaves it with different influences especially with that of her native Istra. In this way she gives birth to something that she in her witty improvisations "defined" as not being jazz nor ethno but her inner feeling. However it may be, with the help of experienced musicians she presented us her own understanding of a rich utterance and a succulent superstructure, which for its pleasantness can`t be compared with some big stars of "Druga godba", even if it without difficulty for its performing power, inventiveness and rich sound reaches if not overcomes them.

J. Potokar, "Dnevnik", Ljubljana, 05.June.2001, Slovenia

Freedom in jazz

Transhistria Ensemble thrilled the audience""Tamara Obrovac is a great singer, her voice is relaxed and persuasive.

She finds a way in every situation, in the interpretation of a simple folk song as well as in jazz-coloraturas, where her gift for improvisation becomes prominent. Her music is communicative, stimulative and truthful.

J. Stucin,Primorske Novice, Nova Gorica, 29.May.2001., Slovenia

A master - piece of the recent music production

In an original, for us unheard and witty way, by establishing the recognition of the tradition, the language, the sound of the typical today archaic richness of the Istrian melos, Tamara Obrovac has made her own, original and autochthonous variant of the today in the world relevant ethno trend.

I. Zupan, "Glas Istre", Pula, 13. May 2001., Croatia

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Transhistria Ensemble shows its best side in live performances, where it plays in a spontaneous and relaxed way. Thanks to the experience and an envying musical skill, every member of the band is always ready for shifts and unexpected changes inspired by the atmosphere and by the instantaneous mood. This exceptional work of art reaches with its musical quality, recording and design the top of our music-culture and can proudly represent Croatia in the world.

D. Hrvoj, "Jutarnji List", Zagreb, 28.April 2001., Croatia

10th Zagreb international jazz days, 2000.

Tamara Obrovac presented her new project the Transhistria Ensemble on the third evening. In addition to her steady musicians (Krunoslav Levacic, drums, Ziga Golob, double bass) she was also joined by Ante Gelo, guitar, Dario Marusic, violin, folk instrumants, Enzo Favata, saxophone and folk instruments and Simone Zanchini, accordion. This was the first performance of the Transhistria ensamble in this lineup, meaning that the International jazz days had the opportunity to present a world premiere. Tamara remains faithful to her expression closely related to her Istrian homeland. Regardless of the objections of some jazz purists that the mentioned band does not have much in common with jazz the Zagreb concert has shown that Croatia is capable of delivering an original artistic expression in the area of modern improvised music and that in Tamara Obrovac Croatia has an artist that can present it originally and with dignity on jazz and ethnic festivals worldwide. The exceptional musicality and sync of all the band members thrilled the public which was most numerous precisely on this concert.

A. T. Saban, Cantus, Croatian composer's society magazine, October 2000., Croatia

Tamara's vocal solos have set fire to the publicđ

The public has listened to them almost with a religious ardor. Tamara's vocal solos have set fire to the public, she gave the goose pimples - judging by the outrageous applause, and both to the local admirers of Tamara's ethnic-jazz expression and the foreign public that listened to her for the first time. The Ensemble was called out for two encores because the public would not let go?

S. Matejcic, Porec, Glas Istre, daily paper, July 2000., Croatia

The first international festival Istra ethnojazz

During the presentation of the songs from her last album "Ulika" and some new compositions with her transhistria ensemble, Tamara Obrovac, supported by exceptional musicians has proven to be the master of her voice to an exceptional level of vocal expression, to have spirit, spontaneity and the ability to create an intimate relationship with the public. As the only Croatian band they have proven to be on the same level, if not better than others.

D. Hrvoj, Zagreb, Jutarnji list, July 2000., Croatia

Croatian presentation on EXPO 2000

The composer and singer Tamara Obrovac gave a brilliant performance accompanied by her exellent musicians.. Her rendition of her own composition based on the poem written by Loredana Bogliun "Touch the Moon" can without a doubt be classed among the best vocal performances in the world.

Denis Derk, Zagreb, Vecernji list, June 2000., Croatia

Tamara Obrovac, statisfaction guaranteed to the listeners

Without any doubt the best performance was that of Tamara Obrovac and her Transhistria Ensamble (Krunoslav Levačić on the percussions, Elvis Stanić on the acoustic guitar and accordion, Dario Marušić on the violin and the excellent double bass player from New York). The always funny Tamara kept raising the atmosphere in the theatre minute by minute with her spontaneity followed by her excellent band.

D. Dobrila, Pula, Glas Istre, February 2000., Croatia

Koper, Slovenia, Folkhistria '99 - The universal heritage is in our common care

On Friday night there was a extraordinary concert by the TRANSHISTRIA ENSEMBLE which was recently founded by the singer, flautist and composer Tamara Obrovac from Pula.

M. Gombac, Koper, Slovenia, Primorske novice, September 1999., Slovenia

The quartet of Tamara Obrovac can enchant

From "difficult" jazz compositions to Istrian "rap": this is a repertoire capable to draw the attention of the best connoisseurs.

Allessio Brunlalti, La Provincia, Commo,1999., Italy

Gorizzia jazz festival

Histrionic and direct in her relationship with the public, a perfect master of the scene, Tamara Obrovac has proven that she has found and achieved a very original stylistic objective in which a deep knowledge of jazz perfectly blends with the rediscovered cultural heritage of Istria.

G. Almerigogna, Gorizia, Italia, Il Piccolo, March '99

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