Jusić, Ibrica

Date created: 05.06.2015.
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Ibrica Jusić was born in Dubrovnik, where he launched his fruitful career in 1965 singing on the steps of the Dominican Monastery, the venue which turned out to be crucial for his vocation. On the invitation of the composer Pero Gotovac, he moved to Zagreb. In 1968, he made his debut at the Zagreb Festival, and won the first prize with the song Celuloidni pajac. In the years that followed, he made two more triumphant appearances at this festival performing the songs Osobenjak (1969) and Mačka (1970).

After that, he - in his own words - realised that Zagreb was too small for him, and moved to Paris, where he appeared at the most prestigious cabarets. Nevertheless, every summer, he kept on returning to his native City and his steps, where he performed his traditional midnight concerts for faithful fans. During his summer visits, he began his collaboration with the Dubrovnik Summer Festival (1971), and took part with his songs in the Festival's cult plays Edward II, Columbus and Aretaeus (directed by Georgij Paro). He composed music and performed in the play Miho Pracat Biography in 1977. That same year he gave a recital at the Rector's Palace, the venue reserved for the most prestigious musicians, which was a kind of official recognition of his artistic value.

He was one of the first singers who made an LP for Jugoton record label (1974). He was also the first, or one of the first, musicians who gave a recital at the Lisinski Concert hall in Zagreb (1975). In the years that followed, he performed in almost all major concert halls in the world including the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall in New York and China Theatre in Stockholm. He has set to music the verses of Paljetak,  Cesarić, Šantić, Antić,  Shakespeare, Brecht, Britvić and Zuppa, which is why they called him the magician of verses in song. He has released the following albums: Skaline od sudbine (Jugoton, 1975), Nostromo (Jugoton, 1976), Emina (Jugoton, 1977), Ne dajte da vas zavedu (Jugoton, 1978) and Čovjek bez kafića (Jugoton, 1980). 

A turning point in his work came with his first symphonic album entitled Ibrica (1981), characterized by the lush Mediterranean arrangements made by his brother, maestro Đelo Jusić, who wrote for him the anthological songs such as Šalom Sara, U svakom slučaju te volim,  and Na Stradunu

Ibrica Jusić went to France again in 1980, following Le Grande Echique's three-hour live broadcast from Dubrovnik produced by Jacques Chancel. That same year, Jusić was invited to appear in the Christmas Eve show alongside the stars G. Becaud, Ch. Aznavour, G. Greco and the Golden Gate Quartet. In the following two years he appeared three times in the shows of the aforementioned producer, which is a rare honour even for French singers.

In 1985, he recorded the album La vie singing in the French language, while his album Hodaju ljudi, released in 1988, reveals the influence of his sojourn in Sweden, from where he returned to his homeland in 1991.

In the late 1993, he wrote music for the play Great Magic, directed by  Paolo Magelli and Krešimir Dolenčić at the Gavella Theatre, in which he also appeared as an actor and singer. His extensive artistic engagement in Croatia resulted in the compilation album entitled Retrospektiva released by Croatia Records in 1994. In 1997, he signed a contract with the newly established Dancing Bear label, which released Jusić’sCD The Day Before with live recordings from his concert that took place on 24 May 1997 at the Zagreb Youth Theatre – a day before the theatre ceiling collapsed on the very same stage.

In 2001, Ibrica Jusić recorded his tribute to Leonard Cohen album  Hazarder, with his arrangements of 12 songs of this legendary Canadian songwriter.

With the album that followed, entitled Amanet, Jusić paid homage to his first spiritual homeland and the country of his parents, Bosnia and Herzegovina, featuring his arrangements of the most beautiful Bosnian traditional songs (sevdalinke), after which he was invited - as the first Croatian singer - to perform at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in 2004. That same year, he performed at the Ethno World Festival in Oslo.

In 2008, he released the Amanet 2 album with 13 original Bosnian traditional songs recorded at the Liburnia Jazz Studio in Lovran and produced by Elvis Stanić,featuringthe accordion virtuoso  Omer Pobrić and the outstanding violinist Saša Olenjuk, while Jusić himself played the saz, an  ancient and nowadays neglected stringed instrument.

In 2009, Ibrica Jusić celebrated the 45th anniversary of his artistic work. Considering that his musical expression is an amalgamation of the Italian, French, Croatian and Bosnian influences, this year was marked by a large number of concerts entitled From Shakespeare to Sevdah. For 45 years now, Ibrica Jusić has never been too loud, but always present.



Celulodni pajac, Stranac, Ponoć, Jagoda (single, Jugoton, 1968)

Golubica, Kada jednom budeš sama (single, Jugoton, 1969)

Još uvijek ne znam neke važne stvari, Mala kavana (single, Jugoton, 1969)

Mačka, Morem plovi dragi tvoj (single, Jugoton, 1970)

Nemoj ići, Nikolina, Ave Maria, Ana (single, Jugoton, 1970)

Zašto san sritan / Leila (single Jugoton, 1971)

Emina /Na trgu ispod sata (Jugoton, 1972)

Bezimenoj / Pjesma o ruži (Jugoton, 1974)

LP Ibrica Jusić (Jugoton, 1974)

Skaline od sudbine (Jugoton, 1975)

Nostromo (Jugoton, 1976)

Emina (Jugoton, 1977)

Ne dajte da vas zavedu (Jugoton, 1978)

Čovjek bez kafića (Jugoton, 1980)

Ibrica (Jugoton, 1981)

Ibrica Jusić + pas, soba 501, osoba dvije (1983)

La Vie (Jugoton, 1985)

Hodaju ljudi (1988)

CD Retrospektiva (Croatia Records, 1994)

Dan prije - Live in ZeKaeM (Dancing Bear, 1998)

Hazarder - Tribute To Leonard Cohen (Dancing Bear, 2001)

Amanet  (Dancing Bear, 2003)

Kavana Mediteran (Dancing Bear, 2005)

2 na 1 (2006)

Amanet 2 (Dancing Bear, 2008)

Harlekino (2015)