On Wednesday, December 7 at 7 pm, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs presents the Chicago debut of Klapa Sinj, one of the most revered singing ensembles in Dalmatia. Croatian composer and rock musician Nenad Bach joins the ensemble as special guest. The concert takes place in the Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street. Admission is free.
“This is the first time Klapa singing will be presented to the world,” Nenad Bach says. “The world is always looking for something new. We’ve seen it with Cuban music, with Irish music. It’s time for Klapa to become a world phenomenon.”
Founded in 1982 to promote Croatia's musical legacy, Klapa Sinj has continued to be successful due to the extraordinary musical talent of its members. Having developed a wholly distinct performance style and contributing a number of new compositions to the existing canon of the Klapa music, which features soaring a cappella sounds, Klapa Sinj has produced numerous albums and has appeared frequently across the European continent. Their crowning achievement came during the recent festivals of a cappella music in Verona, Bolzano and Prague where Klapa Sinj won top prizes. Their repertory consists of a remarkable variety of traditional tunes and songs. The joy with which they approach each performance is audible in the beauty of the harmony created by so many disparate and singular voices. Klapa Sinj's accomplishments are a standing testament to the fact that the magic of music can still change the world for the better. The music reflects a 600-year old folk custom which found small groups of men gathering to give voice to the human stories of love, loss and longing, serenading a beloved on a balcony, singing their hearts out in the stone alleys and cathedrals of this region. The form has evolved over the years to become the sophisticated and finely layered sound that it is today.
Classically trained composer and rock musician Nenad Bach, a Croatian now living in the U.S., joins the ensemble in a few songs, accompanying the singers on guitar and piano, along with additional musicians. Bach has produced a new CD featuring the ensemble, called “Klapa Sinj: Lipo Ime.” “[Their music] will stop your brain,” Bach promises. “In a cluttered world, this is a pure sound that calms. Each performance receives a standing ovation, and when you see them, you will hear why.”
Nenad Bach is a recording artist, composer, and performer who has performed all over the world with a wide range of artists, including Luciano Pavarotti, Bono and The Edge (U2), Brian Eno, Indigo Girls, Garth Hudson and Rick Danko (The Band), Vince Welnick (Grateful Dead), John Malkovich, Ellen Burstyn, and many more. He performed at Woodstock 1994, and in 1998 he made a compilation album with Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen and Allen Ginsberg. Bach also writes and records music for film and theater. He has scored many features and short films. One such project was "King of Cool," a biopic about the life of Steve McQueen. Subsequently, Nenad scored the Mladen Juran film "Transatlantic", which was the Croatian entry for consideration as Best Foreign Film in the 1999 Academy Awards. Bach is also a record producer with a special interest in documenting the fascinating but little-known musical traditions of his homeland, Croatia. He recently completed work as a language consultant for the literature and film project for all four of the Harry Potter books.