Joe Kirin (b. 1958) began playing the tambura in 1967 at the age of nine as a member of the Chicago Sloboda Jr. Tammies. However, his passion for tambura began much earlier while growing up listening to the Sloboda Orchestra of Chicago, the group in which both his dad and uncle performed. That experience fueled Joe’s desire and passion to both play tambura and sing.
Since then he Joe has become a master of tambura and has also dedicated himself to the perpetuation, preservation, and elevation of tambura.
At the age of 19, he helped form the Chicago-based Sinovi. Thereafter, Kirin performed with Slanina, T-Rroma, and The KGB. He has been influenced by and performed with many seminal tamburaši around the world, including Jerry Grcevich, Bogdan ‘Billy’ Topolski, Kosovec Family, Momcilo Nikolic, and Branko Pavlovic. In the summer of 2012, Joe performed as a soloist at the 2012 Tambura Festival at Petrovaradin in Novi Sad. That same year, he was inducted into the Tamburitza Association of America Hall of Fame. Not surprisingly, Kirin was a featured performer at the Midwest Folk Festival in Bishop Hill, Illinois in 2012 and also appears with his group T-Roma on Folksongs of Illinois, vol. 4: Chicago Since 1945 (2011).