The Gypsy Stringz Orchestra
George Batyi: George is a genuine, Romani violinist of the finest, and fastest, caliber. He can play just about anything: traditional Eastern European songs, folk, classical, country-western, Latin--even a jig or two. Hailing from a multi-generational musical family, George is largely self-taught, but following his acceptance to the Chatham College School of Music at the age of 10, he studied with Jack Goldman of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. George has been leading various orchestras since 13 and is a sought-after performer at music festivals all over the United States. George is a 2006 recipient of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in the Folk and Traditional Arts.
Bob Sestili: Raised in Cokeburg, PA with a Croatian club on the right and an Italian club on the left, Bob gravitated to the Croatian side of the street, and, although Italian music is in his blood as well as his repertoire, he has been playing Tambura instruments since the age of 8. Bassist for The Gypsy Stringz, Kumovi and the Jerry Grcevich Orchestra, Bob is also a co-founder of Tamburaland (www.tamburaland.com) dedicated to the promotion of ethnic music and to musicians from abroad. He is a 2008 inductee into the Tamburitza Association of America Hall of Fame.
Peter Kosovec: Former member of the Duquesne University Tamburitzans. Peter is as well-known for his skills on the Brac and Bugarija as he is for his beautiful voice. Known for his orginal arrangements and recordings, Peter is also known as one of the finest Tambura players in the United States and leader and founder of the orchestra "Otrov" with his cousin David. Peter is also a recipient of the Tamburitza Association of America Founders award.
David Kosovec: Living proof that talent runs in families, David Kosovec, Peter's cousin and close friend, has a similar list of accomplishments. Also a Computer programmer by day and Junior Tamburitzan instructor by night, David is also known for his voocal talents and skillful playing of the instruments in the tambura orchestra. David is a former member of the Duquesne University Tamburitzans, in which he performed as a musician and featured vocalist. In addition to the Gypsy Stringz, Davic also currently performs with Kumovi, Tamburaski Orkestra Momci, MSTO and OTROV, playing various instruments of the tambura family in each. Davic also is a recipient of the Tamburitza Association of America Founder award.
Robert Sestili Jr., brac player, was born in 1978 in Pittsburgh and is living proof that the beauty and love of tamburica music is trans-cultural, and is carried down through generations. Like his father, Robert is a protégé of Jerry Grcevich, and has become a very gifted prim player. Robert also has played in several tamburica bands, and has recorded and produced numerous tamburica recordings.
Ryan Werner plays brác and celo with Gypsy Stringz. Born in Milwaukee in 1981, he learned to play in the Milwaukee CFU Tamburitzans, a junior tamburica ensemble, and has become very respected for the quick virtuosity and strength in his playing.
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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