DRAŽEN BUHIN – BUHA (1965 – 2012)


Main founder of the Croatian Blues Forces, Mr. Dražen Buhin – Buha died on Saturday, February 11th after intense disease. He was spiritus movens and main organizer of blues activities and the hardest working man in Croatian Blues Forces.
Rest In Peace!

Genuine founder of „Croatian Blues Forces“, a great man, an honest friend and a true man of music, passed away on Saturday 11th of February 2012 in Zagreb. Severe desease unfortunatelly collected its toll.

Drazen Buhin was a founder, general secretary, spiritus movens and main organizer of all „Croatian Blues Forces“ activities. Also he was the executive secretary of the „Croatian Musicians Union“.

All of us, the blues people, called him Buha. Whatever part of the day it was, morning, evening or night, Buha was ready to jump in and help with solving any problem we might have. He was an endless source of ideas. When he had realized that nobody was capable of realizing his ideas, he did all the work. The rest of us just couldn’t keep up with his pace. He was always simply one step ahead. Unfortunatelly, this great man left too soon. Everyone who knew Buha, especially those involved with music, are familiar with his diversity. He was equally good in music, painting, publishing, editing, production…you name it! He established the croatian „Status“ award and organized a line of humanitarian concerts.

„Croatian Blues Forces“ was Drazen’s true love up to his very last moments. Even in hospital, he loved to hear all the news from the branch and stories that go around. He wanted to know if CBF is moving ahead or backing up. During the hard hospital period he never stopped thinking about the ways to improve the complete scene and how to help the musicians.

I have personally met Drazen back in September 2006 at Zagreb Music Fair. However, our story of CBF stared in 2008 when he invited me for a cup of coffee to one Zagreb bistro. I remember it was hot, humid and „sticky“ day, but we didn’t get distracted with it. He told me he found out about the 1st European Blues Conference which was about to take place in Parma, Italy. Obviously, he did the homework before we had that coffee. Actually, he was looking for someone who is willing to take part at the conference, and represent Croatian Blues Forces. I was thrilled with the idea and went there, eventually our „Parma mission“ was a success. This was actually Croatia’s first official international appearance among blues musicians. After the Parma conference, Drazen took the initiative to establish a blues section within the „Croatian Musicians Union“. This idea came true on 22nd of September 2008. Soon after the registration, Croatia’s first appearance in blues homeland, Memphis, Tennessee, USA took place. It was the 25th International Blues Challenge, the world’s biggest blues competition which is anually organized by the „Blues Foundation“, the international home of blues music. Drazen’s idea lives on, therefore, every year from 2009 and on, Croatia has a blues representative at International Blues Challenge. Today, American hosts of the event address the audience with „Dobra vecer“, which is Croatian for „Good evening“.

After the USA, there was the 2nd European Blues Conference in Norway 2009, the 3rd in Spain, 2010 and the 4th in Gemany last year. Each of the Conferences had the Croatian representative, thanks to one special man – Drazen Buhin – Buha.

Except the abroad presentations of Croatian artists, Drazen was very active in domestic field as well. Let me name just few: two seasons of blues concerts at Zagreb Sax! club, several seasons in other clubs, two international blues festivals in Zagreb, educational project „Blues at School“, several CD’s of the blues evenings where most of the artists had their first record, national TV and radio show „Blues at Bajsic“ and finally Croatian Blues Challenge, which proved to be an open invitation ticket for Croatian artists to perform in Memphis.

Drazen’s true intentions and efforts were also recognized by the „Croatian Music Institute“. At Drazen’s suggestion, in 2010, Institute added the blues  category to the „Porin“ award, the highest Croatia discography award (croatian version of Grammy).

It is very difficult to sum up Drazen’s personality, efforts, humanity, dedication to music and work, his positive vision and put it all in just a few lines. The above text refers to only few past years of his work, especially his involvments in blues.

In behalf of all Croatia Blues Forces members I wish to express my true grief and sorrow, now that our initiator, founder and general secretary has gone. Gone to some better place, I hope.

Untill we meet again, my dear Buha, Rest In Peace.

Zabok, 11th of February 2012
Tomislav Goluban
Croatian Blues Forces, President