2. Christina Frankovic, 16-year-old Istrian pagpipe (meh) player, daughter of Anita [b. Donatich] and Mario Frankovic from New York metropolitan area. She is accompanied by Tone Vitasović on the accordion and Slavko Celija on the roženice. (See below.)

Tone (Anton) Vitasović

Tome was born in 1944 Orbanici in the southern central part of Istria approx. 20 km north of Pula). His father's name was Paskvalin (Pasqualino) so he was nicknamed Tone Paskvalinov.

He attended school in Divsici, the church in Filipana. The traditional Istrian songs were sung in his family and their talent for music was handed down to Tone and his brother, Ive. 

When Tone was still a young man he started to play the accordion upside down because he is left-handed. In his teens, he played at many weddings and weekend dances in the area. The sound of his accordian, locally called harmonika (armonica) was heard in the sourounding villages every weekend. 

In the 60s, Tone recorded a few songs for the radio and Jugoton Records. Later, he performed at many cultural gatherings in Istria. He was then called by other nicknames such as: "sopac", "livi i desni", etc. He worked in Pula (the shipyards?) and travelled home to Orbanici every day. In his later teens, he started to learn and play the roženice. When he was asked for his reason, he said: "vrag mi ne da mira" (translated: the devil does not leave me in peace). Today he is probably the best traditional performer in that part of Istria.

He both sings and plays the accordian. It is a pleasure to attend performances where he is joined by his brother, cousins, and friends of Orbanici and surrounds. His son, Alan, is a well known singer of modern songs in Istria and Croatia.

Slavko Celija

Slavko ws born in the late 1940s in Divsici of one of the poorest families in that district. His parents (nicknamed Lancinovi), Ive and Ulika, had a large family. The names of their children are: Ive, Miho, Blaz, Ana, Sricko, Frane, Slavko and the youngest Zeljko.

When we used to walk in front of their house we heard and "felt" the songs.This family was the poorest but probably the happiest of all. The father played rozenice and the mother sang. Every child became a talented singer and some also play the roženice.

Three of Slavko's siblings today live in Sweden. When they get together in Divsici the sound of music and traditional songs always uplifts the air. At least one brother, Miho, who loved racing on the motocycle, is deceased. Of all the siblings, Slavko probably sings and plays roženice more than the others.

Courtesy of: Milan Sarić

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Created: Monday, February 19, 2001; Last Updated: Monday, January 07, 2008
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