Artist Profiles: Jerry Grcevich

Jerry Grcevich born in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh studied tamburitza (Croatian string music) with his father and uncle both musical directors and performers. At the age of 21 Grcevich made a pilgrimage to Yugoslavia to study with the famous tamburitza prim player Janika Balaz the first of many musical journeys to the homeland of tamburitza. In 1980 he began composing and recording his own musical pieces. Because he mastered all five of the instruments of the tamburitza ensemble – the prim brac, tamburitza, cello, bugarija and tamburitza bass – he often uses,sound-on-sound” recording techniques to construct an ensemble featuring only his own playing. As a result of his special musical skills he is able to capture the characteristic melody harmony counterpoint and rhythm of the tamburitza orchestra.

In addition to leading a live ensemble the Jerry Grcevich Orchestra he has recorded and toured with most of the well-known tamburitza musicians alive today. He is generally recognized as the premiere prim player in the world. At a performance in Slovenska-Pozega Croatia in 1994 he realized that many of the tamburitza groups were playing songs that he had composed a testament to his influence in the homeland. In 21 he was inducted into the Tamburitza Hall of Fame the youngest musician to receive that honor. s.’ ”

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

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