Dunja Knebl (born 1946) is an acoustic/folk singer from Croatia.
She was born in Zagreb, Croatia, but has also lived in the USA, Indonesia. and Russia. After completing the studies of English and Russian, she worked most of her life as a translator and language teacher. Her favorite hobby was learning folk songs from the countries she lived in and singing them to her friends. She began performing professionally in 1993, and released her first solo album in 1994, an MC with 12 songs collected by the Međimurean poet, singer and folk song collector Florijan Andrašec, one of the people she often mentions as having a great influence to her music.
In 1997 she was nominated for the music award Porin, the Croatian equivalent of Grammy, in the Best singer category, and subsequently she has had a number of Porin nominations in various categories. In 2008 she was awarded with the Porin prize and the Index prizes for her album Kite i kitice.
Her most recent album “Svilarica svilu prede” (with Roko Margeta) self-released on Bandcamp (2019) was charted January 2020 by Transglobal World Music Chart.
The majority of the songs she sings are from Croatia (especially the region Međimurje), but also from USA, England, Russia, Indonesia. In the 1998 edition of the London-based A Rough Guide to World Music her music is recommended as an introduction to ethno-music from Croatia, as is her album Iz globline srca.
The songs she sings are slow, mellow and often sad and melancholic. Most of all she likes to record songs she has never heard and she arranges them on basis of notes and lyrics she finds in books.
She promotes traditional folk songs in many ways as, for instance, with her biographical monodrama Why I became a singer at the age of 47 or the Fear of Cloning performed by the singer many times since 1997, and with her musical performance/show Oj ti tožni človek based on Croatian murder ballads where she is the narrator, singer and is supported by participants/singers/musicians coming from her workshops. Her album 33 balade released in 2017 contains some ballads recorded during the show.
Dunja Knebl is noted for her very simple music arrangements, often only with improvised instruments or even without any. She performs with other musicians as well, and since 2013 she has a group called Kololira performing with her.
As of 2020 she has released 15 studio albums (CDs, MCs), 5 self-released online studio albums, 2 self-released online live concert albums, and has appeared on many compilations.
- Čuješ, golob, čuješ (MC, 1994)
- …Jer bez tebe nema mene (CD/MC, 1996) https://dunjaknebl.bandcamp.com/album/jer-bez-tebe-nema-mene
- Croatian folk songs from Međimurje (MC, 1998)
- Iz globline srca (CD/MC, 1998) https://youtu.be/VY435DBRpgk
- Četiri frtalji (CD/MC, 2000) https://youtu.be/BcM6b1m7I3U
- Da sam barem guska (CD/MC, 2002) https://youtu.be/f1vIlQWvPZ8
- Polje široko, nebo visoko (CD, 2005) https://youtu.be/S2Coef1j3XM
- Kite i kitice (CD, 2007) https://youtu.be/CeDd42w_muY
- Dođe Božić oj, koledo! (CD, 2008)
- Spevala mi papiga (CD, 2009) https://youtu.be/bHjh_VGH8hE
- Jelen pase (CD, 2010) https://youtu.be/hMDtcxPvwEQ
- Tamo doli – Dunja Knebl & Kololira (CD, 2013) https://youtu.be/eGtWqfYbHrw
- I Mara i cvetje – Dunja Knebl & Kololira (CD, 2015) https://dunjaknebl.bandcamp.com/album/i-mara-i-cvetje
- 33 balade (triple CD, 2017) https://dunjaknebl.bandcamp.com/album/33-balade
- Tamo gori – Dunja Knebl & Kololira (online album, 2020) https://dunjaknebl.bandcamp.com/album/tamo-gori
Self-released albums on Bandcamp (https://dunjaknebl.bandcamp.com/
- From Over There to Over Here – USA & England https://dunjaknebl.bandcamp.com/album/from-over-there-to-over-here-1-usa-england
- From Over There to Over Here – Indonesia https://dunjaknebl.bandcamp.com/album/from-over-there-to-over-here-2-indonesia
- From Over There to Over Here – Russia https://dunjaknebl.bandcamp.com/album/from-over-there-to-over-here-3-russia
- Love Li(v)es (2019) https://dunjaknebl.bandcamp.com/album/love-li-v-es
- Svilarica svilu prede (2019) https://dunjaknebl.bandcamp.com/album/svilarica-svilu-prede
Live albums (self-released on Bandcamp):
1.Dunja & Irina (live) – Traditional Folk Songs from Croatia https://dunjaknebl.bandcamp.com/album/dunja-irina-live-traditional-folk-songs-from-croatia
2.Dunja Knebl (live in 1995/1996) – Traditional Folk Songs from Croatia https://dunjaknebl.bandcamp.com/album/dunja-knebl-live-in-1995-1996-traditional-folk-songs-from-croatia
SOME VENUES FROM DUNJA’S ARCHIVE
1993 INTERNATIONAL P.E.N. CONGRESS, Hvar, Dubrovnik (Croatia)
1993 MIDDLE EUROPEAN WRITERS‚ SYMPOSIUM, Austria
1994 INTERNATIONAL FOLKLORE REVIEW , Zagreb, Croatia
1994 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
1995 Klub Gjuro 2 – recording of ETHNO-AMBIENT LIVE album, Zagreb, Croatia
1996 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
1996 INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL, Šibenik, Croatia
1997 INTERNATIONAL FOLKLORE REVIEW, Zagreb, Croatia
1997 PORIN Yearly Awards, Opatija, Croatia
1998 PEPSI SZIGET FESTIVAL, Budapest, Hungary
1998 TRNFEST, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1998 INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN‚S FESTIVAL, Šibenik, Croatia
1999 EUROMUSICA, Italy
2000 PATAPOKLOSI FESTIVAL, Hungary
2002 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
2002 KAŠTELA 2002 (folk song festival) Kaštel Kambelovac, Croatia
2003 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
2004 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
2005 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
2006 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
2007 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
2007 Ethno-ambient Live Festival, Solin, Croatia
2008 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
2008 INTERZONE FESTIVAL, Novi Sad, Serbia
2009 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
2010 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
2011 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
2012 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
2013 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
2013 34th EBU FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL, Varna, Bulgaria
2013 Ethno-ambient Live Festival, Solin, Croatia
2015 Ethno-ambient Live Festival, Solin, Croatia
2016 Ethno-ambient Live Festival, Solin, Croatia
2018 Etnofest, Subotica, Serbia
2018 Festival Kamičak, Sinj, Croatia