Đuka Čajić in Edmonton
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  Posted January 2nd, 2012 by Zdenko  in Purgerska Nostalgija | 4 comments

Review of the concert

By: Zdenko Kahlina
Awesome concert in Croatian Cultural Center!
“It’s weekends like the one just passed, that make Monday mornings beautiful! Any time I get to dance the ‘Međimurski’ czardas is a great day/weekend! Miss it so much!!! Thank you Đuka…” said Mary Balen-Medurecan, talking about Đuka Čajić concert.

Last weekend a well known Croatian contemporary singer Đuka Čajić was here in Edmonton. Small Croatian community welcomed him in our Croatian church Nativity of Mary, for a concert in front of 200 hundred local Croatians and their guests.

Đuka Čajić, his friend „Tvrtko“ (on the left) and Reverend Frane Visaticki  (right)

Among guests, there were some well known Edmontonians, like Janice Sarich (MLA -Edmonton Decore) and Peter Sekulic (ex. MLA), currently president of the Croatian Soccer club in Edmonton and organizer of this event. Peter Sekulic was born in Canada, but he has a Croatian heritage. He was politician from Alberta, Canada. Peter served a single term in the legislature, he was the Deputy Native Affairs Critic for the Liberal opposition.

Croatian church Nativity of Mary

Kule was working at the door, ensuring everone had a ticket
 Đuka Čajić brought with him his friends, the band „Tvrtko i prijatelji“ a.k.a. „Trevor Gruber band“. Local Croatian band „Modro Nebo“ was also there to fill in when Đuka and „Tvrtko“ duet needed help.
Reverend Frane said a few welcome words… but no prayer this time.

Reverend Franjo (Frane) Visaticki said a word of welcome before dinner was served, as is our tradition at all events. Dinner consisted of traditional Croatian food, including beef stew, cabbage rolls, pig roast, mash potatoes, pasta noodles, mix of several different salads, etc. There was plenty of food, and I can tell nobody was left hungry thanks to volunteers Helena, Slavka and Marija who worked in the kitchen that night.

Peter Sekulic welcomed all guests

Croatian hall at the Nativity of Mary church

Group of Croatians enjoying the evening

Of course, there is no Croatian party without having a wide selection of booze… vino, beer, rakija and other beverage was served all night. Evan Jankovic, the bartender for the night, was a busy man.

Bar was a busy place throughout the night

Local Croatians chit chat by the bar

When Đuka Čajić finally appeared on the stage after dinner, we were all ready for his concert. He began with several of his well known songs from his most popular album „Zapalit ću svijeću“: Boze Cuvaj Hrvatsku, Tko ste vi da sudite o nama, Ko da opet cujem topove.

What sets Đuka Čajić apart from other musicians is the fact that he is actually asking his audience to sing along with him and he doesn’t hesitate to come down from the stage and mingle with people. He is an experienced performer with the warmth and talent required for this job. Ultimately, it’s the music and the performer’s love of it that lifts the atmosphere in the room and everybody is clapping after his performance.

When the warm up songs were done, it was time for us to hit the dance podium, and Đuka and his partner „Tvrtko“ didn’t disapoint. Song after song, dance after dance and pretty soon we were all sweating. The whole place became heated by his singing and our dancing. He showed a lots of energy and like Kule, one of the organizers, said at one point „Đuka is not here for the money, he wants to spread Croatian spirit“ among Croatians leaving so far away from their home land.

Plenty of food was served

Table by table lined up for food, and nobody was left hungry

Without them, there would be no food: Helena, Slavka and Marija

Đuka Čajić and Modro Nebo band ensured they sang songs from all regions of Croatia. Their selection of songs brought tears into our eyes. When Đuka was singing an old song from one popular Croatian band in the 70s „Pro Arte“ named „Tike-Tike Tačke, nema više vračke“ we were all standing on our feet and aplouding… there was so much history in this song! Dancing lasted way into the wee hours of the night. It was nice to see a lot of young people enjoying the music and even joining into the “kolo” traditional group dance in the middle of the dance podium.

Croatians join in the “kolo” dance

Young generation a plenty…

 Few words about Modro Nebo band which was performing along Đuka Čajić all night. Modro Nebo is a Croatian band from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This is how they described band on their web site: Once upon a time in E-town, a foursome of friends (Robert, Mirko, Marko and Ivi) had an idea to start a Croatian band. After being together for one year, we changed drummers three times. It was virtually impossible to find a solid Croatian drummer to hammer away polkas. We were amazed to hear that a young kid (John Milakovic) in Edmonton had a great interest in playing with us. With a full five piece band in place, we started practicing on a regular basis. It’s been a while now, but with patient friends and families, Modro Nebo has taken off! Today band consists of these five friends: John, Robert, Mirko, Marko and Ivi. The band performes mostly at Croatian events like this one. They also do the weddings…
Modro Nebo band on the stage with Đuka Čajić
Robert sings along with Đuka Čajić

 By the end of the concert, we were all tired but felt satisfied, because the music and Đuka’s singing was superb! He brought a great positive spirit with him even telling us few new jokes from Croatia. The atmosphere created throughout the evening was all positive and made us all very happy to be there.
Đuka Čajić performed well in Edmonton

 Edmonton Croatian Soccer Club organized this event without a glitch and thanks to their board members Sekulic, Kule and others already mentioned above, everything was well organized. The only regret is that many Croatians leaving in Edmonton didn’t show up for this concert… but it’s their miss. The ones that did had lots of fun!

Živjeli, and see you soon again!



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4 comments to “Đuka Čajić in Edmonton”

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