The Tamburitzans were created in 1937 by Dr. A. Lester Pierce, who brought his "Slavonic Tamburitza Orchestra" from St. Edward's University of Austin, Texas to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the group was well received by the region's diverse ethnic communities. Dr. Pierce negotiated an arrangement with Duquesne University, involving a work scholarship program, and the tradition of the Duquesne Tamburitzans began. Over the years, the Tamburitzans have recorded albums and have toured extensively (sometimes internationally) performing music and dance mainly from Eastern Europe and its neighboring folk cultures. The Tamburitzans are affectionately known as "the Tammies" in some circles.
The Tamburitzans headquarters at 1801 Boulevard of the Allies was originally built as the Warner Bros. film exchange building in the 1920s and served the studio until the 1960s.
In September 2014, Duquesne University announced that the Tamburitzans would become an independent nonprofit over the following two to three years.