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.