Oana Cătălina Chițu is a Romanian singer who interprets and reinterprets music traditions of the Balkans so as to bring them closer to the audience from all over the world. Her warm strong voice masters both the exuberant sonorities of Roma party music and of heart-rending old Romanian love songs.The Balkans is home to many different peoples, each with its own highly dynamic past and present. Over the years, amid this cultural landscape, a form of music evolved that brims with rhythm and draws inspiration from multiple sources.
In 2000, Oanaformed the Balkan band 'Romenca' with the accordion player Dejan Jovanovic who comes originally from Serbia. They were joined by Vladimir Karparov (Bulgaria), sax, Dejan Jovanovic (Serbia), accordion, Alexej Wagner (Russia), guitar, and Alexander Franz (Siberia), bass. An album, Verka, followed, as well as tours through Europe, concerts that opened for the public those exotic Balkans, full of rhythm and energy. Oana Cǎtǎlina Chiţu and the Dejan Jovanovic were raised in a rich tradition of Romanian and Gypsy music. As a perfectly tuned duo, their repertoire includes Romanian tangos, Roma songs and the oeuvre of Romanian diva Maria Tănase. Chiţu's velvety and voluminous voice seduces listeners in fashionable bars and at rustic peasant weddings. The contrast between the often melancholic tangos and the always exuberant dances is quite stark, but Chiţu handles each transition with pure charm. In addition to their work as a duo, Chiţu and Jovanovic also perform with an ensemble consisting of three to eight members representing a mix of ethnic heritages similar to Bucharest between the two world wars. Their most outstanding work includes collaborations with the Moldavian Cimbalom virtuoso Valeriu Caşcaval.
Oana Cǎtǎlina Chiţu has been singing since she was a little girl growing up in Humulești in northeast Rumania. She studied jazz vocal performance and classical singing in Berlin, where she has lived since 1990.