Orchestra Members:

bullet Rade Ostojic - vocals
bulletAleks Jakovljevic - percussion
bulletDanny Danilovic - keyboard, vocals
bulletMilan Kalaba - accordion, vocals

 

Rade Ostojic, Aleks Jakovljevic, Danny Danilovic and Milan Kalaba

United Serbs - Ujedinji Srbi, Serbs United.

     Formed in 1981, the  "United Serbs" original members were as follows:  Danny Danilovic (Accordian & Vocals), Milan Kalaba (Accordian & Vocals), Rodney Vezmar (Guitar), Kenny Richards (Drums) & Rade Ostojic (Lead Vocals).

     The band came upon it's name by uniting despite political lines drawn by a split in the Serbian Orthodox Church . In short, the band crossed political lines with 2 members from the Raskolnik (Rebellious) Serbian Orthodox Church and 2 members from the Federalac (Parent) Serbian Orthodox Church. At the time the split was still strong and  politics kept the two sides separated.

     The bands first drummer, Kenny Richards,  left after only 6 months to pursue his dream and play in a rock band. Kenny was replaced by Rudy Labovic. Rudy stayed for about 4 years and then quit to play at the " Kragujevac" Kafana (Cafe) as the regular house drummer. The next drummer was Dusan Ivancevic. Dusan lasted a little over a year and was forced to quit because of  career conflicts. The "United Serbs"  forged on and found yet another percussionist  - George Mihajlovic. George was a member of orchestra "Soko" for many years. This experience made George a great fit.

     The combo had an excellent compliment of voices. Rade being the lead singer with fine support from Danny and Milan singing the harmonies . This gave the group a solid three part harmony. 

     Meanwhile other changes in the band were occurring. As Serbian music started to get more dance and rock orientated,  the vocal styling had to change. The lead vocalist up to this time was Rade Ostojic. Rade did not find the newer style to his liking. To keep the group going, Danny Danilovic started singing lead on  the more modern songs. Rade was as strong as ever with the more traditional style of song. The group then agreed to alternate the lead vocals depending on the song.

     Somewhere around 1989 Danny started to play around with keyboards. Most of the newer hits were using synthesizers and the "United Serbs" went along with the flow. Soon Danny started to incorporate bass with his left hand while playing leads and harmony rifts with his right hand. Up until this point the band had no bass player. The bands sound was changed considerably with the addition of the electronic keyboard-bass. The "United Serbs" were now a 1 accordion band, but, they had an electronic bass and keyboard addition.

       The bands next drummer was none other than George Ostojic (Rade's son). He was taking drum lessons for a few years and had a start-up band when  asked  to join. Still in High School, he was the groups youngest drummer yet. "United" was now playing EVERY weekend and George needed his weekends free, so, his time with the band was shortened. Meanwhile, the group was being joined on stage occasionally by Vera Ostojic (Rade's Daughter) on vocals. This allowed them do many songs that just didn't sound right with a male singer

        The band's core had remained the same for quite some time, however, it was in need of a percussionist once again!  This  was to be Pero Momic from Milwaukee. Pero stayed (as most of the others) for 4 years. He then moved on to play with Sasa Kusevic and other wedding band singers. Pero was replaced by Philip Popovic who only stayed 1 year. Philip had made the decision  to further his education and go to college.  About this time another crew change took place. Rodney Vezmar was studying to become a Nurse and found that this was taking all of his time. After a good 17 years Rodney finally called it quits. The band then found a well seasoned guitarist who had played with many bands and had been a member of Orchestra Sumadija. Stevo Bevc was the new guitar player. Stevo, also a good lead guitarist,  really enhanced the sound with his style. Searching for yet another drummer, Stevo recomended his son, Goran Bevc. Goran was only 15 when he joined the "United Serbs" and is the youngest drummer we have had so far. Unfortunately Stevo's Trucking business started to need his attention more frequently and he had to leave the band after only 2 years. Goran stayed with us for nearly 5 years and decided to help his Father with his business. Once again a new Drummer was needed. In the end of 2003 we asked Aleks Jakovljevic to join the band. This is also Aleks's first band but you wouldn't know it from hearing him. He has been a fan of ours throughout his life and fits in very well. Also, in the last 5 years Milan has taken over much of the vocals and has added yet another fine vocal lead for the band.

      The "United Serbs" band celebrated 20 years together in 2001. The band hopes  to celebrate in some way for their 25th by gathering together all of it's former members for a Retro night.  Planning on playing all of the old songs from the 80"s and 90"s and have a grand finale with all of the former drummers playing together!

     Another name that deserves mention is Dragan Plavsic who has been our friend and helper for close to 10 years. He is considered the 6th member of the band even though he does not play an instrument. Mention should go out to Uros Vezmar (Rodneys father). Uros would sing with us for weddings when needed in the 80's. He had a tremendous song lineup and was outstanding with older songs that remain classics even now.

     The "United Serb" orchestra is a very flexible band that can play for any type of crowd. Though  probably strongest with the "American -Serb" crowd, they are also very popular with the new immigrants and have a song list that would impress anyone.

For booking information please contact:

danilovic47@aol.com

or

Milan Kalaba (219) 662-9680