The Lou Cavic FOUNDER'S AWARD
Tamburitza Association of America (TAA)
2019 HALL OF FAME
Lu Ann Chmura
Lu Ann was born in Cleveland, Ohio, into a Polish and Croatian background. She was exposed to both cultures at a very young age. Starting at the age of 7, she enjoyed playing the prim and brac, singing and dancing with the Zagreb Jr. Tamburitzans for 14 years then joining several local adult tamburitza and dance groups (Adria Tamburitzans and Slava).
She was a member of the all-female orchestra Danice and became a self-taught bass player and also performed with the Šarena Orchestra. Lu Ann recorded LP records, cassettes and CD’s with both orchestras. Lu Ann was a member of the Žumbercani Adult Orchestra in Cleveland for 10 years playing prim. During this time period, she also played in the Novi Žice and Stara Banda orchestras and plays with the Continental Strings Orchestra.
Lu Ann is a member of the CFU Žumberak Lodge 859 and the SNF Lodge #108. She served on the CFU United Lodges of Cleveland committee, also as the Sports Director and on the Social Planning Committee of CFU Lodge 859.
Lu Ann served on the TAA Audit Committee before being elected to the Board. In 2007, she co-chaired the TAA’s “First Ever Halfway to Extravaganza Bonanza” in Cleveland, Ohio, and subsequently received the TAA President’s Award for its success. Lu Ann co-chaired the 2012 Extravaganza in Columbus, Ohio, the first time it was held in Ohio since 1975. In 2017, Lu Ann again co-chaired the Extravaganza in Milwaukee where she was also presented with a 50-year pin for her years of playing tambura. Lu Ann has been a TAA Board Member for 17 years and is currently serving as the Vice President and Editor of the TAA’s newsletter.
FRANK MOSCA was born in 1951 in East Chicago, Indiana, the eldest son of Frank and Josephine Mosca. His Grandfather, Joseph Grdinich was born in Bjelovar, Slavonia. Grandpa was an accomplished musician, and his daughter remembers his berde standing in the kitchen of their Youngstown Home. Apparently, destiny had plans for Frank. He was raised in a large Italian family steeped in tradition and values. He was introduced to his Croatian heritage at age 9 when the East Chicago Junior Tamburitzans was formed and was a charter member, learning to play brač. Director Laudis Zivich also led the South Chicago Junior Tambutritzans. It was here that Frank met Rich and Robbie Krilich and developed a musical and personal relationship that has lasted over 50 years.
It became very apparent that the brač was not to his liking, and since he was the tallest of his group, was switched to berde. One of his friends formed a Polka band, the REGAL CROWNS, and Frank was asked to join. The berde didn’t fit into the polka style of playing, so Frank switched over to acoustic bass. The band played for several years throughout the Chicago area and South Chicago suburbs. Making $25.00 a gig was so much better than his $0.50 allowance per week that Frank decided being a musician was a most worthwhile venture.
He met Rich and Robbie Krilich at the First Junior Tamburitza Festival in Des Plaines Illinois in 1967. A month later he received a call from Rich asking if he was interested in playing tamburitza music. They met, along with Robbie and Nick Makarevich and formed a combo. Their first outing was for the Greek Sons of Pericles at the Sherman House in Chicago. On the night of the job, Robbie fell ill, and Frank called his friend, Jim Grasha, to sit in. From there, the group “JEZERA” was formed. The boys honed their music skills under the tutelage of Rudy Grasha Sr. and learned more intricate arrangements from Rudy Grasha, Jr. who at the time was a member of the Duquesne University Tamburitzans. The group morphed into the Krilich Brothers Orchestra as members left to attend college.
Frank also played sousaphone with the Purdue Marching Band and continues to play bass for Community Theatre Groups. In the mid-70’s he teamed with Rudy and Jim Grasha forming a club band called NiteMagic, playing contemporary and tamburitza music. He also added electric bass to his instrument arsenal. The band played clubs throughout the Chicago area, as well as playing tamburitza jobs. As the band disbanded in the early 80’s, Frank became a “gypsy” bassist, being asked to play in various bands with the likes of Marty Kapugi, Horace Mamula, and Tony Markulin. He could be relied upon to play with the professional attitude and interest that made him a musical asset. Despite the rigors of a management career with Inland Steel and ArcelorMittal Steel, Frank continued to ply his craft as a premier bassist with several orchestras.
Frank continued to play bass with many groups throughout the Chicago area. In 2009, he teamed with Rich Krilich and Rudy Grasha to form the Brača Orchestra, of which he is still a performing member. The group recorded 2 CDs and has played venues across the country, including several Extravaganzas, Folk Festivals, radio performances, and picnics.
Joe Osselburn (posthumously)
Joseph L. Osselburn was born in North Braddock, PA on July 13, 1940. He was the son of the late Joseph and Mary (Wargo) Osselburn. As a teenager, Joe met John I. Gregurich who was the owner of Greyko Records. At this time, John began to instruct Joe in tamburitza music, teaching him to play the brac and bugarija. This simple beginning was going to change the course of Joe Osselburn's life.
Joe began to work at Greyko Records while practicing the tambura at every opportunity. Even as Joe became more proficient on the brac and bugarija, his primary instrument was his rich baritone voice. Joe began singing with various local tamburitza orchestras. In addition, he became a featured vocalist on two (2) albums by the Pittsburgh Jr. Tamburitzans under the direction of John I. Gregurich and Violet J. Ruparcich. His recordings with the Pittsburgh Jr. Tamburitzans included “LJEPA MOJA LJEPA,” “TO NIJE CAKULA,” “AH! PISI MI MATI” and Joe’s signature song “MILICA.”
"MILICA" was later released on a 45 RPM and became a fixture on every ethnic social club jukebox in Western Pennsylvania!
Joe also became a member of the Greyko Recording Orchestra as a bugarija player and a lead vocalist. He appeared on the Greyko Recording Orchestra's LP – “OD SRCA, DO SRCA.” His vocals can be heard on “VJETAR NOSI PJESMU MOJU,” “NOC NA MORU” and “DAFINA BOLNA LEGNALA.”
Throughout this time period, Joe was also teaching tamburitza music to young students in the Pittsburgh Jr. Tamburitzan's intermediate group. Joe was a member of the Silver Strings Tamburitza Orchestra. In addition, Joe provided private vocal lessons to interested students.
But Joe was not finished with recording and performing tamburitza music in the Pittsburgh area. Joe later became the lead vocalist and brac player for the Becari. His playing and vocals were featured on three (3) recordings by the Becari – “BECARI,” “MALO STARO, MALO NOVO” and “REPRISE.” The Becari became one of the most popular tamburitza bands in the United States. They appeared throughout the country including California (twice), Seattle, Cleveland, Buffalo and across Pennsylvania.
Joe's recordings with the Becari featured many memorable songs such as “PLOVI MALA BARKA,” “OD SRCA,” “ZELENE OCI,” “ZORA JE,” “COKOLADA” and “DI SU ONE STARE PISME.”
Joe Osselburn passed away on April 18, 2005. He is survived by his three (3) children: Joseph J. Osselburn, Kara Petrovich and Krista Acosta. Almost 15 years after his death, Joe's golden voice is still being heard by tamburita music fans all over the world!
Joe Osselburn's name is synonymous with tamburitza music in Western Pennsylvania. He was a gifted vocalist, dynamic performer and the ultimate tamburitza music ambassador!