Mariška Holoubek Funjak

Feb 2, 1904 - Mar 3, 1993(89)

Koprivnica rock star

Mariška loved music so much that it was by no means a source of income for her, but a skill that deserves to be passed on to new generations...

Born in 1904 in Hungary, Mariška Holoubek Funjak was a famous Croatian musician, a member of the iconic Koprivnica band "Mariška Band".

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Mariška comes from a large musical family that moved to Koprivnica at the beginning of the 20th century. She was the first of eight children. As a five-year-old, she started playing the accordion and the piano. Thanks to her father, a military musician who played in the military orchestra, she soon mastered the violin.

She graduated from high school in Zagreb with an emphasis on violin. Mariška is remembered by everyone for the fact that, throughout Koprivnica, she taught her students numerous instruments out of love. Mariška loved music so much that it was by no means a source of income for her, but a skill that deserves to be passed on to younger generations who share the same passion!

In 1960, Mariška started playing with the then very popular band from Koprivnica "Kanarinci". Thanks to the engagement, she became widely known! On the wave of fame, Mariška, now better known as "Big Mama", founded her "Mariška Band" in 1981. The band was so popular that in 1986, Petar Krelja, the popular director of RTZ, made a thirty-minute documentary about it called "Mariška band".

In its seven years of existence, the band performed at more than 50 concerts throughout Zagreb, Varaždin, Čakovec, Bjelovar, Križevci...

And the real reason for such popularity was the wacky Mariška who, without even trying, conquered the audience with her charisma. The brightest moment of her career was a performance in Zagreb's Kulušić, a concert club where she literally set the stage on fire!

Of all the band members – Zorko Marković, curator of the Museum of the City of Koprivnica, Milivoj Brozović, translator from the English language and Zoran-Car, Mariška was the main boss! However, she liked to joke that she leaves most of the work to her colleagues, while she relaxes.

Zorko Marković in "Podravski Zbornik" said about Mariška: "She especially loved children and young people." She always carried candies with her in the pockets of her distinctive coat and offered them to young people, even the youngest ones she came across ("Do you want pepper?"). And at rehearsals and performances, she used to shout: - Love each other, children! It's the most beautiful thing in the world, just love each other because life will pass quickly! –"

During one of the last interviews with Mariška, the journalist described her impression of this exceptional woman - a small but strong grandmother says how she is resilient to her mother, recounting her failed marriages and meager pension, but all with a smile on her face!

When you are having a hard time in your youth and you think that your burden is insurmountable, remember the words of the grandmother of the rock star, who recalls with a smile: - First, I have healthy nerves, and second, I am always polite. Everyone knows me as such. I was never pitiful or jealous, and that's important! I understand youth, I don't hold anything against them. After all, youth has the right to use their time. Why should we prevent her from doing so? –

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