About Us

History

The Seattle Jr. Tamburitzans were founded in September, 1970 on inspiration received at the Croatian Fraternal Union's 4th Annual Jr. Tamburitza Festival, held in Pueblo, Colorado the previous July. The seed was sewn when 11 Seattle youngsters and their parents attending the concurrent Festival and CFU Jr. Convention liked what they saw and brought the idea home to Seattle.

From a rag-tag beginning, with antiquated instruments and generic folklore costumes, the group progressed steadily - growing in number, buying new instruments, and sharpening their musical repertoire. Wardrobe development proceeded more slowly.

Within months, the group began to appear publicly in Anacortes, Aberdeen, Roslyn, Tacoma, Nanaimo, Butte, and Vancouver. The highlights of these early years were the group's appearances at two World Fairs - Expo-74 in Spokane and the 1986 World Fair in Vancover.

In 1980, in order to participate in the 14th Annual Jr. Tamburitza Festival in Denver, the Seattle Jr's joined the CFU Jr. Cultural Federation. Sophistication soared as a result. Authentic costumes were imported, music stands were discarded, and more boys participated in the dance suites - adding the vigor called for by the choreography. In 1981, 1986, 1996, and 2004 the group undertook tours of Croatia that culminated with the CFU Junior Cultural Federation's festivals in Zagreb's famed Lisinski Concert Hall. The group toured Croatia independently in 2009. The group also has performed in CFU Jr. festivals in Pittsburgh, Orlando, Chicago (twice each) and in Milwaukee, Cleveland, Nashville, Toronto, and Los Angeles. Together with CFU Lodge 439, the group hosted the 1990 festival in Seattle's 5th Avenue Theater. Because of its west coast location, it is likely that the Seattle group has logged more miles than any other group to attend these festivals.

John Morovich, a graduate of the group and its current artistic director, was the guest conductor at the 2005 festival in Chicago - a truly distinct honor.