Gorast Radojević, piccolo bass, electric bass guitar
Niki Germovšek, violin
Veronika Vižintin, cajon
Alenka Kranjac, vocals
Marino Kranjac, vocals, violin, guitar, bagpipe, wind instruments
Gabrijel Križman, vocals, guitar, mandola, flute
Peter Kaligarič, accordion
Vruja – the Istrian spring of trilingual and multicultural tradition and musical sparkle, typical of coastal artists.
The band Vruja (name is of dialect origin and means a spring, well) began its journey in March 2001. At home and abroad it established itself as a fresh and convincing mediator of the Istrian musical heritage, which it performs in its characteristic way. The members of the group reflect the multiculturalism and multi-ethnicity of the Istrian peninsula. Vruja is dedicated to the musical tradition of the whole of Istria and thus represents the diverse legacy of its ancestors.
In their approach to the tradition of northern Istria, members of the ensemble remain faithful to instruments, typical of the field, such as vijulin or šk’nt (violin), bajs (Istrian bass with two thick strings) and remonika (accordion). This band is further enhanced by the daska (washboard) – and set in motion are the most famous dances of northern Istria, such as polka, valcer, šaltin, šete paši, cotić, manfrina, mazurka, štajra, vilota and dopaši. The musical tradition of southern Istria is represented by the typical instruments of this field, such as sopele or roženice (wooden wind instruments with double reed), meh or mih (Istrian bagpipes), šurle (two-pipe wind instrument with single reed). With these instruments they present some of the most typical tunes, such as mantinjada and balun. Vruja sometimes combines all these folk instruments with other instruments such as guitar, mandola, flute, bagpipes and electric bass guitar, thus creating a musical image after its own idea and inspiration. The group’s special value is also in its vocal performance of songs from southern Istria; that is, two-tone singing on thin and thick, and villota (two-voice singing from coastal towns), and songs from Slovenian Istria. In the songs, you can hear the Chakavian, Istrian, and Shavrin dialects. Vruja gives equal attention and respect to all three languages and heritages of Istria.
Although the musicians mainly follow tradition, there is a great deal of authorship in their rendering of folk music. They are interested in performing in the traditional way as well as »modernizing« for today, since both ways enrich the Istrian folk music treasury and preserve it at an ever-young age.
The ensemble has performed at several important festivals and events in Slovenia and abroad. Let us mention the appearances for the state protocol (central celebration on national day 2003), for the municipality of Koper and the University of Primorska. It has frequently appeared on national television and on Koper/Capodistria television. The members of the band are also very active in the pedagogical field of presenting the Istrian musical tradition (lectures, music, vocal and dance workshops for children; instrumental, vocal and dance workshops and seminars for adults).
The page of the group