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 2001, he was inducted into the Tamburitza Hall of Fame, the youngest musician to receive that honor.
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Sample: "Subotica Kolo Medley"
Sample: "Moja Juliska"