Oana Cătălina Chiţu


Oana Cătălina Chiţu grew up in the backwaters of Romania in rural surroundings and she sang in the church choir of her home village as a child, already learning guitar in her early years. She arrived in Berlin in the nineties, after having made many stops along the way, and studied piano, jazz and opera singing.
In 2000, she formed the Balkan band ‘Romenca’ with the accordian player Dejan Jovanovic who comes originally from Serbia. However, her yearning for the elegant Romanian tangos never left her and, when the Romanian writer Mircea Catarescu wrote an article about the beautiful Gypsy girl Zaraza, triggering off speculation about dramatic jealous scenes between the singer Zavaidoc and his rival Cristian Vasile, this finally urged Oana Cătălina Chiţu to give all of those old tango melodies their rightful place and bring them into to the present.
In the autumn of 2007, supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute in Berlin, she brought her musical and theatrical performance “Bucharest Tango” to the stage. The theatre was not only filled with Romanians living in exile, but also tango fans who had never previously heard of the tango metropolis of Bucharest.
Oana Cătălina Chiţu interprets the texts, which mainly deal with love and were mostly written for the tango stars by male composers, with the same sensitivity as the songs of the unforgotten Maria Tanase.
Chiţu has been a great admirer of Tanase for a long time and her songs have been part of Chiţu’s repertoire for years. During her concerts, the Romanian singer proffers spontaneous and charming translations of the highly poetic texts of the Tanase songs again and again to the audience.
No other singer of the younger generation from Romania has been able to approach the tangos à la romanesque so authentically and yet so freely.
Oana Cătălina Chiţu, now resident in Berlin, and her virtuoso Eastern-European Balkan tango orchestra bring the Tanase songs back to life with a suggestive potency and lend the rather melancholic tangos a different emotional nuance.


Bucharest Tango

Label: Asphalt Tango
Release date: January 01, 2008

“Bucharest Tango” is a unique album, one that resurrects a lost music, the sound of Romanian Tango as played in Bucharest cafes and parks, restaurants and clubs across the 1930s. Oana Cătălina Chiţu (pronounce Kitsu) and her musicians combine the lost tango songs of that era with the folk ballads of Maria Tanase (1913-1963; the Romanian Piaf).
Oana Cãtãlina Chiþu with her charming soulful voice opens the doors to tangos and songs of the suburbs from Bucharest, the sleazy Paris of the East, which were up until now only known to insiders. No other singer of the younger generation from Romania has been able to approach the tangos à la Romanesque so authentically and yet so freely.

Oana Cătălina Chiţu - Bucharest Tango