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The San Francisco Tamburitza Festival

San Francisco Tamburitza Festival

In the past decade the Croatian American Cultural Center has annually showcased the best tamburitza* music in California and presented nationally renowned tamburitza orchestras.

On President's Day weekend each February; the Center is filled with singing, dancing, and the music of the tamburitza. For two days the hall reverberates with a rich tapestry of tambura music both traditional and contemporary. The ensembles perform for listening, play dance tunes, polkas and waltzes and circle dances, and sing Becar tunes until the bar closes late at night.

Tamburitza is a word with a variety of meanings. Most literally, it is the affectionate diminutive of tambura, any one of a number of long-necked fretted string instruments derived from those brought to the Balkan Peninsula by the Turks and Roma (Gypsies) - in the 16th century.


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