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, and in the past few years she has become very popular due to the influence of the Istrian folk music that has been the creative force of her works.
Istria is a beautiful Croatian region, a North Adriatic peninsula, particular for It’s musical and dialectal tradition. She writes lyrics in a local dialect and sings in an ancient dialect which is not spoken any more – the Istriotic dialect.
In addition to her international concert activities, she composes music for theatre and film, and she has received many awards for her work.
Her international TransHistria ensemble and her Quartet incorporates elements of jazz, Istrian and Mediterranean national 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.”
- Professional jury award for best score for short film “Contrada”
director Matija Debeljuh, Croatian film days 2013.
- Porin (Croatian national music award) for best world music album for CD “Madirosa” 2012.
- Porin (Croatian national music award) for best female vocal performance, the song “Tango and cha cha cha, CD “Madirosa” 2012.
- 42nd PIF – International Puppet Theater Festival, The International Professional Jury Award for the music in the theatre show “Svarozic”, performed by the Zagreb Puppet Theatre (Zagreb, Croatia) 2009.
- Runjic’s evenings, Golden Seagull Award for the best remake of Runjic’s song “A vitar puše” was given to Tamara Obrovac and Matija Dedic, Split 2009.
- “Mali Marulic”, Croatian Children’s drama festival, Award for the music in the theatre show “Regoc” by Ivana Brlic Mažuranic, performed by Zadar Puppet Theatre, 2008.
- President of the Republic of Croatia awarded here with the Order medal Danica Croatia, for achievments in the culture, 2009.
- Award for best drama for its music at the festival Regoc Croatian drama for children 2008.
- Porin (Croatian national music award) for best female vocal performance of 2008.
- best music in a theatrical work for the play “Zagrljenici”, 6th festival of Bosnian and Herzegovinian drama, Zenica 2007.
- best music in a theatrical work for the play “Zagrljenici”,National theatrical festival Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2007.
- Golden Arena award (Croatian national film festival, Pula): best score for Hrvoje Hribars film “Sto je muskarac bez brkova (What is a man without a mustache?)” 2006.
- Porin (Croatian national music award) for best vocal collaboration with Tedi Spalato, for song “Ti i ja”, 2006.
- Porin (Croatian national music award) for best female vocal performance, song “Daleko je…” / CD “Daleko je.. is faraway”2006.
- Porin: (Croatian national music award) best world music album, for CD “Daleko je.. is faraway”2006.
- Award for best music in a theatrical work for play “Antigona” @ Marulovi dani, Split 2005.
- Nominated for BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music (European music and audience award categories), 2004.
- Zlatna koogla award for best croatian female artist 2003.
- Porin (Croatian national music award) fpr best world music album, CD “Sve pasiva/All fades away” 2004.
- The “Golden smile” award: best music and performance for the play “Jelka kod Ivanovih (Christmas at the Ivanov’s)” (ZKM) 2003.
- The Croatian national theatrical award: best music in a theatrical work for the play “Tanac od mrtvih (dance of the dead)” (INK) 2002.
"On the album "Canto Amoroso" Tamara Obrovac entices with her passionate vocal. With her dark, raspy voice the Croatian singer and flutist Tamara Obrovac orbits the eternal themes between love and death. On the album "Canto Amoroso" Obrovac, who largely self-invents her deeply melancholic melodies, entices with her passionate vocal, which closely reminds of the emotionally strucking Portuguese fado. The splendid Transhistria Ensemble delicately magnifies these poetic songs of strange bareness with mandolin, accordion, bass and percussion. Some texts are translated and can be followed, but it is much more beautiful to simply listen to the magic of this vocal."
"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.”
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."
"Obrovac indigenous music found attentive ears in the audience. Her charismatic voice and moves captured quickly the audience..."
- Croatia, Slovenia, Italy
- Jazz, World
- On tour: 5
- On stage: 5
- Canto amoroso (with Transhistria enseble) | Alessa Records, Austria | 2016
- Ulika revival (with TO quartet) | Unit Records, Switzerland | 20014
- Madirosa (with TO transhistria ensemble / époque quartet)| Aquarius Records, Croatia | 2011
- Neću više jazz kantati/ I won't sing jazz any more (wtih Transhistria electric) | Aquarius Records, Croatia | 2009
- Daleko je... / ...is Faraway / Il est loin … (with Transhistria ensemble) | Aquarius Records, Croatia | 2005
- Črni kos (with Georg Kusztrich & Transhistria ensemble) | Hartman, Kusztrich & Hrvatski centar Beč, Austria | 2006
- Sve pasiva / All Fades Away (with Transhistria ensemble) | Aquarius Records, Croatia | 2003
- Transhistria (with Transhistria ensemble) | Aquarius Records, Croatia | 2001
- Ulika (with TO quartet) | Aquarius Records, Croatia | 1998
- Triade (with trio) | Aquarius Records, Croatia | 1996
- Tamara OBROVAC - Voice, Composer
- Uroš RAKOVEC - Guitar, Mandola
- Fausto BECCALOSSI - Accordion
- Žiga GALOB / Double Bass
- Krunoslav LEVAČIĆ - Drums