Orkestar Zabava was formed in 1993 with the intent of providing music primarily for dance entertainment in Pittsburgh 's ethnic community; however, over the years, Zabava has become known as being more than just a kolo orchestra. Although two members have written and composed their own music, the band's intent is to preserve songs composed in Eastern Europe and passed through the generations. Orkestar Zabava has no cultural or ethnic ties – their repertoire consists of songs and dances from Croatia , Serbia , Bosnia , Macedonia Bulgaria and Ukraine . Since forming in 1993, Zabava has appeared many times in the Pittsburgh community for receptions, picnics, private parties, banquets and weddings. Zabava has also traveled to Detroit several times for church functions, receptions and picnics and has also performed for a Slavic festival in San Francisco . In addition to performing at these events, Orkestar Zabava has attended the Tamburitzan Extravaganza for several years now and has performed in Milwaukee , Pittsburgh , Reno , Steelton, New Orleans and Chicago .
The group has always consisted of four members and although a few faces have changed through the years, the musicianship has remained the same. Currently, Orkestar Zabava is comprised of Frank Bozicevic – accordion, Paul Hladio – bass, Tom Manfredo – trumpet and brac, and Chip Wagner – bugarija. All four members have been actively involved in tamburitzans their entire lives which enables each of them to bring a wealth of knowledge to the orchestra.
Orkestar Zabava has produced three recordings to date: Introducing Orkestar Zabava (available only on cassette), Kolo with Zabava and An Evening with Zabava Featuring Marilyn “Chee Chee” Repasky (both available only on CD). As the name implies, our second recording was made for the kolo enthusiasts and contains only kolos. The other recordings are appealing to everyone and contain songs that are familiar to everyone.