Zvonko Bogdan

Infobox musical artist
Name = Zvonko Bogdan

Img_capt = Zvonko Bogdan on the cover of the "Tko te ima, taj te nema" album
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = solo_singer
Born = Birth date and age|1942|1|5|mf=y
Origin = Vojvodina, Serbia
Genre = Tamburitza
Folk music
Occupation = Singer, songwriter
Instrument = vocals
Years_active = 1971 – present
Label =

Zvonko Bogdan (Serbian Cyrillic: Звонко Богдан) (born January 5, 1942 in Sombor, present day Serbia) is an eminent Serbian performer of traditional folk songs of Vojvodina, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Romania. Apart from being famous as a singer, he is also a composer, painter and harness racer. Zvonko Bogdan is of Croatian-Bunjevac origin.


He was born in the city of Sombor (present day Vojvodina, Serbia) during the World War II, when that part of Yugoslavia was under Axis Hungarian occupation, to a Bunjevac family. He spent the childhood on salaš (farm) of his mother-side grandfather Stipan Kukuruzar; his other grandfather Franja was a coachman, tamburitza musician and bon viveur. After a brief adventure in local Sombor theatre, he headed for Belgrade, in age of 19, to enter the drama academy, and started singing in Belgrade kafanas to earn for living, and he found himself in this job.cite web|title=Bački meraklija|url=http://www.danas.co.yu/20060511/dijalog1.html|date=2006-05-11|publisher=Danas|author=Zoran Panović|language=Serbian] . The engagement in Belgrade's "Union" hotel, meeting place of numerous journalists and bohemes, boosted his career; for almost 30 years, he would sing in "Union" whenever he visited Belgrade.cite web|url=http://www.balkanmedia.com/m2/doc/1461-1.shtml|title=Veliki gospodin pesme|date=2002-05-24|publisher=Balkanmedia.com|author=Nebojša Mijalković|language=Serbian] . His first solo concert was held at Kalemegdan terrace. In 1971, he recorded "Hej salaši na severu Bačke", the song he would be forever remembered for.. From 1972, he performed with Janika Balázs' orchestra on Novi Sad's Petrovaradin fortress, a hallmark of tamburitza music.cite web|url=http://www.dnevnik.co.yu/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=18311|title=Ono vreme što se vratit’ neće!|date=2006-12-30|publisher=Dnevnik|author=Jovan Tanurdžić|language=Serbian]

During the turbulent 1990s and Yugoslav wars, Bogdan largely withdrew from public performances. As he explained, "Simply, I wasn't in a mood to work. Also, the piracy took so much momentum that I was sick even of thoughts of composing and music... I hope those ugly times have gone and that we would be able to live like humans again".

In 2004, Bogdan performed on Novi Sad Exit festival, mostly devoted to pop/rock, also held on Petrovaradin fortress; it was a tribute of new generations to the old bard and the site which was the cornerstone of the traditional music. [cite web|url=http://www.dnevnik.co.yu/arhiva/30-06-2004/Strane/hronika.htm|title=Tamburaši se vraćaju na Petrovaradinsku tvrđavu|date=2004-06-30|author=P. Klajić|language=Serbian]

Bogdan sings both original and traditional songs (especially those of the Bunjevac people he belongs to) accompanied by the traditional tamburitza orchestra. Some of the songs he composed himself, including his most famous "Hej salaši na severu Bačke" ("Hey, farms of Northern Bačka"). Some of his songs are also in Hungarian and Roma language.

Accompanying bands on his concerts are the "Orkestar Mileta Nikolića" (Orchestra of Mile Nikolić - the successor of the famous Orchestra of Janika Balázs) from Vojvodina and the "Zagrebački tamburaši" from Croatia. The late Janika Balázs and still living Jerry Grcevich are his favourite tamburitza musicians and co-workers. Zvonko Bogdan is still very active and he plays in Vojvodina and Croatia, and all over the world where people of Vojvodina and Croatians live.

Bogdan is also a prolific harness racer, and horses and affection for them are common themes in Bogdan's songs. He is considered one of the most successful racers of Vojvodina [cite web|url=http://www.blic.co.yu/stara_arhiva/arhiva/2005-01-17/strane/sport.htm|title=Raspevane sulke Zvonka Bogdana|publisher=Blic|date=2005-01-17|language=Serbian] In 2001, at Zagreb's Hippodrome, he won the "Hrvatski kasački derbi" (Croatian Harness Race Derby) [ [http://www.hipodrom.hr/kasacki_derby.asp Hrvatski kasački derby ] ] , establishing a record that still stands.

Some of his most recognized songs are:
* "Hej salaši na severu Bačke"
* "Osam tamburaša s Petrovaradina"
* "Bunjevačko prelo"
* "U tom Somboru"
* "Već odavno spremam svog mrkova"
* "Ne vredi plakati"
* "Govori se da me varaš"
* "Kraj jezera jedna kuća mala"
* "Fijaker stari"
* "Prošle su mnoge ljubavi"
* "Tko te ima, taj te nema"

Bogdan married his wife Mirjana in Belgrade. They have two children, Sigmund and Evelina. He has been living in Subotica since 1980.


The most prominent Croatian tamburitza artists, such as Zlatni Dukati, Kićo Slabinac and Miroslav Škoro have recorded many songs that Bogdan wrote or is known for singing them. Zlatni Dukati made an album "Starogradska pjesmarica" in 1994, with many popular Bogdan's songs [ [http://www.crorec.hr/crorec.hr/izdanje.php?OBJECT_ID=105570 CROREC ] ] . Kićo Slabinac had also started in the 70s to sing tamburitza songs and part of his repertoire is very similar to Bogdan's. Miroslav Škoro, who is an apprentice of Jerry Grchevich, has a habit to perform in almost every concert "Ej salaši na sjeveru Bačke" as dedication to Zvonko Bogdan.

In 1990, Croatian poet Drago Britvić and composer Siniša Leopold wrote a song "Svirci moji" ("Musicians of mine") especially for Zvonko Bogdan, for him to perform at the traditional festival of tamburitza songs "Zlatne žice Slavonije" in Požega, Croatia. Because of the Yugoslavia crisis, Bogdan haven't had a chance to make his performance, but Đuka Čajić stepped in and won the festival. It took more than a decade for Bogdan to publicly perform the song. In HRT show "Hit do hita", in April 2004, Zvonko Bogdan finally gave his premiere of "Svirci moji". Since then, it became a regular song in his repertoire. Krunoslav Slabinac and Zlatni Dukati have also recorded their version of this song that has become a tamburitza classic.

During the past years, Zvonko Bogdan has written few Croatian patriotic songs such as "Otvori prozor" ("Open the Window"), "Od Konavala pa do Zagore" ("From Konavli to Zagora"), "Markova čežnja" ("Marko's Longing"). In May 2003, on the Brodfest, annual tamburitza festival held in Slavonski Brod, Zvonko Bogdan won the "Ruka slobode" award ("Hand of Freedom") for the song "Od Konavala pa do Zagore". The song lyrics were declared the most patriotic lyrics written for Croatian tamburitza scene in 2002. [ [http://www.brodfest.com/revija-domoljubne-pjesme.htm New Page 1 ] ]



* 1973: "Zvonko Bogdan"
* 1973: "Biseri narodne muzike"
* 1974: "Zvonko Bogdan peva za Vas"
* 1976: "Što se bore misli moje"
* 1980: "Zvonko Bogdan"
* 1981: "Zvonko Bogdan i tamburaški orkestar Janike Balaža"
* 1984: "Legolas"
* 1984: "Pesme i pesnici"
* 1990: "Zvonko Bogdan"
* 2001: "Život teče u laganom ritmu"
* 2002: "Živim život k'o skitnica" (A Records, Sombor)
* 2003: "Rariteti"
* 2004: "Uspomena na vreme koje se sigurno ponoviti neće"
* 2005: "Panonija i ja"
* 2007: "Tko te ima, taj te nema"



External links

* [http://www.tamburaland.com/artist/bogdan/index.html Tamburaland Artist of the month : Zvonko Bogdan]
* [http://www.zamp.hr/en/database/databaseAutorovaDjela.htm?CODE_AUTOR=133032835 Zvonimir Bogdan's entry at Croatian Composer' Society, Collecting Society Database]
*hr icon [http://www.brodfest.com/revija-domoljubne-pjesme.htm XI Revija nove domoljubne pjesme Hrvatske] – "Brodfest 2003" photo album including Zvonko Bogdan receiving "Ruka slobode" Award

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