Category Archives: History of Guca

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Contacts Guca Official

CONTACTS GUCA OFFICIAL
Guca Trumpet Festival
Official Accommodation site
Kneza Milosa bb
32320 Guca
guca@booking-hotels.biz
tourism2serbia@gmail.com
http://guca.booking-hotels.biz
https://www.facebook.com/guca.festival
+381 (61) 6154768
+381 (64) 5558581

Guca Trumpet Festival History

The traditional Dragacevo trumpet – its cult kept alive for nearly two centuries regardless of political and social considerations – has with time become world-renowned. It is owing to the trumpet that the name of Serbia has resounded worldwide, in all the continents. Some orchestras, when they appear on stage, whether for official competition national dress, the authentic and indigenous dances and other folk inspired elements, coupled with music, have become an integral part of national gathering.

The virtuoso music performers, the trumpet players to the paradox and make the story more authentic – are for the most part fully self-taught. They play by ear and quite spontaneously, relying on their musical memory; they play from the heart and soul, and their music reaches out to listeners precisely for this quality. The Gucha Assembly of Trumpet Players continues to grow year after year: today, this musical feast of recognizable national skills is more popular, more diverse and bigger than ever before.

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

The first Dragacevo Assembly of Trumpet Players was held on October 16, 1961 in the yard of the Church of Sts. Michael and Gabriel in Gucha. Initially, it was a very modest Assembly – almost subversive for the prevailing political circumstances of that time. However, the Assembly gradually grew and expanded its, one might say, magical influence, and over the past ten or so years has become the folk remained its key symbol and raison detre, it is no longer held solely for the trumpet players. It grew into an Assembly of toastmasters, painters, song “Sa Ovcara I Kablara“, marks the beginning of the festival each year. Some church music festivals notwithstanding, the Assembly of Trumpet Players is the best know event of this kind extending uninterruptedly for 43 years and attracting guests and musicians alike from every continent. Trumpet players and folk song and dance groups from around the world deem it a great honor to be invited to the Assembly, and the number of v visitors increases with each coming year. The record was set in 2002, when Gucha hosted in excess of 300.000 visitors.

With considerable experience in organizing Assemblies, today the traditionally hospitable Gucha has earned its place on the map of world music festivals, inviting high interest from ethno music lovers, and deservedly so. As an internationally recognized trumpet capital, and a singular corner of positive energy, a place with accumulated joy, gaiety and spontaneity, coupled with the piercing yet gentle sound of the trumpet, Gucha is a place of catharsis of the heart and soul while the festival lasts. All this is more than enough to attract visitors to Gucha each Mexico , Spain , Greece , Denmark , China and many other close or distant countries. The names of Boban Markovic, Milan Mladenovic, Ekrem Sajdic, Elvis Ajdinovic, Fejat and Zoran Sejdic have carried the glory of the Serbian trumpet across the world. Some 600,000 visitors are expected at the next, and 50th Assembly. That would be very impressive indeed, would it not?

Guca – The Best Serbian festival

Guca – The Best Serbian festival
Every year in August the sleepy town of Guca turns into a big party, the air is filled with the sound of trumpets and smell of grilled meat, streets with dancing and drinking people… More than 600,000 visitors make their way to the town of 2,000 people, both from Serbia and abroad. This is the best Serbian festival considering that Exit festival visit about 150.000 people and Guca Trumpet Festival in 2012 visit 600.000 people, and in 2013 about 450.000 people.



Elimination heats earlier in the year mean only a few dozen bands get to compete. Guca’s official festival is split into three parts. Friday’s opening concert, Saturday night celebrations and Sunday’s competition. Friday’s concerts are held at the entrance to the official Guca Festival building. This event features previous winners, each band getting to play three tunes while folk dancers, all kitted out in bright knitting patterns, dance kolos and oros in front of a hyped-up audience.

 An English party site, www.ThisIsTheLife.com, has named Guca the best festival in the world.

 Forget Glastonbury, Reading, Burning Man and Coachella: “The wildest music festival on earth is a cacophonic and crazy brass band festival that takes place every summer in the tiny Serbian town of Guča in the western region of Dragacevo”.


Dejan Petrovic Trumpet Master

Dejan Petrovic, the son and successor of the most famous Serbian trumpet player Mica Petrovic, was born in 1985 in the village of Duboko, near Uzice.

Dejan and his brother Darko belong to the fourth generation of trumpet players in their family of music manufacturers.The first one to start playing the trumpet was Dejan’s great grandfather Tanasije and since then the skill has been passed down from father to son. Tanasije’s successor was Danilo and then his son Mica, who deserves credit for the world fame of this instrument.

It is certain that he was a man ahead of his time – a visionary or an artist who knew how to use the God’s gift and who could touch the soul of any man just by a simple sound of the trumpet. He gave good guidance to his sons Dejan and Darko, who showed interest for music from an early age.

At the age of six, Dejan played for the first time in front of an audience and, instead of spending his childhood playing with his friends; he spent time with his father and his orchestra, learning the secrets and the beauty of music until he recognized them within his very soul.

By the age of twelve he had already had his own, junior orchestra. Unfortunately, four years later he lost his father and, a great burden which was not easy to carry, fell upon him. Nevertheless, he did not surrender. Strong-minded, he followed his father’s footsteps to the point when he had to go further and choose his own path. With a lot of hard work and efforts put in, with the help and support of his brother Darko and other members of the band, Dejan, a young trumpet player, won prestigious awards as well as hearts of the audience wherever he performed. Success followed success until finally he surpassed the achievements of his father at the competition in Guca in 2006, winning the “Master’s Letter”, the most prominent award at the competition. And so the twenty-year-old from the village of Duboko went down in history as the youngest Master of the Trumpet and as an artist with a potential to win the world in the same manner.

He always loved to “play” with music: to put together the disparate, to perform the unseen, to achieve the impossible; always following modern trends, but never losing touch with his origin, tradition and music that made him.

The name Dejan Petrovic became a synonym for traditional Serbian music everywhere in the world, often combined with modern elements and adjusted for everybody’s ear.

He is not called The Ambassador of the Serbian Trumpet for no reason!

For fifteen years now, one could hear the name Dejan Petrovic Orchestra in the finals of every trumpet orchestra competition in the country, but also abroad. This is the best proof of the quality and a driving force to go further, to wish, to work and to achieve even more.

Dejan Petrovic Orchestra exists since 1996 and its founder and mentor Mica Petrovic, was a master trumpet player and a legend of the Serbian trumpet playing. A group of beardless boys, led by Dejan Petrovic, since their very first competition participation, have been winning one award after another and hasn’t stopped yet on their way to the top. Always leaving their audience open-mouthed in amazement and exhilaration, they let everyone know that, behind this image of cute little boys, lies tremendous work and dedication to their call. The hearts of the audience were captured.

It took them five years to reach their maturity, to stop with the junior orchestra competitions and get to grips with much older and more experienced rivals. As it happens, quality prevailed. Unique and matchless, of a distinguished sound and image, Dejan Petrovic Orchestra stands firmly on the top of the Serbian trumpet scene. Having won everything there was to win, in 2010 Dejan and his orchestra decided to stop competing at the Guca festival, to give space to new, young orchestras and to move on.

It is no surprise that many influential people in the music and film industry have chosen this orchestra as their co-workers, Emir Kusturica being one of the most important one, who they have been working with for seven years now. They have made music for a number of his films and not a single Kustendorf festival took place without Dejan and his orchestra.

Guca Trumpet Festival History

Serbian History Trumpet tradition
Dragacevo, which used to be a rural region, experienced strong economic and general educational and cultural development after 1950, and mostly in the first decade of the 21st century, first of all thanks to the Trumpeters Festival.

The capital of modern trumpeting – Guca, is relatively small, and the trumpet was first played as far ago as 1831. Before nearly two centuries Milos Obrenović ordered the establishment of a “Principle’s Serbian band” in Kragujevac, and that the first brass band be led by Josip Slezinger (1794-1870), a man from Sombor, who in those times was the first musically literate expert in Serbia. “Oberlautar” Mustafa, a man who played the violin and “zurle” (zurna), was until then amusing the Serb ruler and his entourage “and was amusing also even foreigners who did not have much understanding for Turkish music”. Immediately upon his arrival in Kragujevac he started to organize the band. Since he lacked in skilled musicians, he asked the Principle to arrange that young man from among the population be found, who have talent and will to do this job. Milos promptly ordered that each county delegates five young men. And, so it started. Although it did not always run smoothly, they learned to play the new “golden” instruments, by playing the round-dances and songs which they knew and were familiar with them, but learning also everything that maestro J. Slezinger was teaching them in the then Serbian capital Kragujevac.

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

Almost two centuries passed by, there were many outstanding military brass bands and band leaders from the regiments and divisions. However, only in the mid 19th century were the foreign musical and cultural influence getting stronger; they can be identified at the beginning of the new era in the folk music of Dragacevo and were particularly strong in regard to trumpet music and homophonic multi-part singing , i.e. in singing “na bas”. How the brass bands were emerging we heard from spontaneous statements of modern Dragacevo musicians. It is known in Dljina that their oldest trumpeter “was a guy named Cebic who was playing before World War I… And he himself inherited it from the past times. “In Goracici the first orchestra was founded by the Davidovic brothers from Dragacica “probably sometimes about the times of World War I, and this band included only four musicians”. Also, the story goes that “in Rti the band leader and first trumpet was Milisav Kostic–Tralja, and his today’s heirs are trumpeters playing in the Srecko Obradovic orchestra”. And so we come also to the trumpeter Desimir Perisic from Goracići and the winning orchestra at the First Festival in Guca in 1961.

The songs are usually based of two-bar motives and melodies, mainly of two part structure consisting of 4 to 5 tones.

All around the globe, at all meridians, on all continents, most probably also on the Antarctica, it is known that Guca and Dragacevo are famous for trumpet music. The trumpet can be heard, loudly and gently, also in the biggest cities of the world and recordings of the trumpeters’ music have reached the outer space, where the cosmonauts were amusing themselves.

Trumpet Museum

Trumpet Museum

With all the other flags, the Dragacevo Trumpeters Festival’s flag has been flying since 2000 also on the highest mountain peak of the world, Mount Everest, on the Himalayas (8,848 m). It was placed there by the first Serb – a man from Dragacevo, Dragan Jacimovic from Puhovo.

To say it in modern language, Dragacevo Trumpeters festival is one of the most famous Serbian brands. And trumpet music took for the world from the villages of Dragacevo, via Guca. Via Dragacevo Trumpeters Festival at which, for full five decades, the blessed musicians – the golden Serbian trumpeters – gathered in flocks.

Dragacevo, which used to be a rural region, experienced strong economic and general educational and cultural development after 1950, and mostly in the first decade of the 21st century, first of all thanks to the Trumpeters Festival.

The capital of modern trumpeting, Guca, is relatively small, and the trumpet was first played as far ago as 1831. Before nearly two centuries Milos Obrenovic ordered the establishment of a “Principle’s Serbian band” in Kragujevac, and that the first brass band be led by Josip Slezinger (1794-1870), a man from Sombor, who in those times was the first musically literate expert in Serbia. “Oberlautar” Mustafa, a man who played the violin and “zurle” (zurna), was until then amusing the Serb ruler and his entourage “and was amusing also even foreigners who did not have much understanding for Turkish music”. Immediately upon his arrival in Kragujevac he started to organize the band. Since he lacked in skilled musicians, he asked the Principle to arrange that young man from among the population be found, who have talent and will to do this job. Milos promptly ordered that each county delegates five young men. And, so it started. Although it did not always run smoothly, they learned to play the new “golden” instruments, by playing the round-dances and songs which they knew and were familiar with them, but learning also everything that maestro J. Slezinger was teaching them in the then Serbian capital Kragujevac

Almost two centuries passed by, there were many outstanding military brass bands and band leaders from the regiments and divisions. However, only in the mid 19th century were the foreign musical and cultural influence getting stronger; they can be identified at the beginning of the new era in the folk music of Dragacevo and were particularly strong in regard to trumpet music and homophonic multi-part singing , i.e. in singing “na bas”. How the brass bands were emerging we heard from spontaneous statements of modern Dragacevo musicians. It is known in Dljina that their oldest trumpeter “was a guy named Cebic who was playing before World War I… And he himself inherited it from the past times. “In Goracići the first orchestra was founded by the Davidovic brothers from Dragacica “probably sometimes about the times of World War I, and this band included only four musicians”. Also, the story goes that “in Rti the band leader and first trumpet was Milisav Kostić–Tralja, and his today’s heirs are trumpeters playing in the Srecko Obradovic orchestra”. And so we come also to the trumpeter Desimir Perisic from Goracići and the winning orchestra at the First Festival in Guca in 1961.

The songs are usually based of two-bar motives and melodies, mainly of two part structure consisting of 4 to 5 tones.
The vigorous folk round-dances from the western regions are characterized by occasional pauses of the leading trumpets, with the basses taking over the leading tune of the leading trumpets, highlighting the basic harmonies. Also, we will notice that southern folk dances are usually characterized by oriental music, in the so-called “aksak” rhythm. This is especially emphasized with the “performance” of the drummer, who expertly combines larger “cukan” (right hand) strokes with those of the thinner stick (left hand, on the edge of the drum, skillfully stressing the changes of double and triple meter in the specific rhythmical formulas and combinations (8/8; 7/8; 9/8 etc.), especially in the characteristic dances – songs called “chochek”. Then, spontaneously and ravishingly, genuinely enjoying in the music, dance only those who truly know how to do it. In the eastern region a big number of folk dances of the “Batrna” (ancient dance) type and “Stara Vlajna”, i.e. “Timocka Rumenka” or “Svrljiski laskavac”, are preserving the genetic features of the Vallah or Serb Hora dancing, when the dancers are crossing their hands and holding each other by the belt. And all Serbian songs and dances have up to five tones, while Vallah melodies are more diversified and with an occasional alternation of the slow parts with the usually faster refrain. Singing with trumpet accompaniment is gaining in popularity nowadays here with us. Like the first folk trumpeters from the times of Milos, contemporary ones are also mainly autodidacts having keen hearing, and are playing a huge repertoire of songs and dances by heart, and by the ear, improvising their interpretation spontaneously and from their soles and hearts. With the first orchestras, their members evolved as musicians and their number was invreasing. At the beginning the orchestras had five musicians, and the contemporary orchestras usually have up to ten musicians (three to four ”B” trumpets, three bass flugelhorns, one bass trumpet – helicon or euphonium, and, finally, snare drum and large drum with cymbals. Three regions clearly identified themselves by the style of their music, and are today three famous centers with the best trumpeters in Serbia today. Although the trumpet is not as deeply rooted in our people like the vocal music tradition, the fact is that those active in the field of culture have four decades ago broke the ground for trumpet music in tiny Guca. Since then, like awakening from a dream, trumpet music grew very quickly in those areas of western, eastern and southern Serbia in which the trumpet seed probably had already been thrown and did exist, and it also woke up during so many decades in the center of sumadija, where its seed was for the first time thrown in the far away year 1831.

Guca Festivals Posters trough History

Guca Festival Posters trough History

Gucha Plakat 52. Sabor Trubaca Guca Festivals Posters Guca Festivals Posters 31.Guca Festivals Posters Guca Festivals Posters28.Guca Festivals Posters 27.Guca Festivals Posters 26.Guca Festivals Posters 21.Guca Festivals Posters phoca_thumb_l_plakati 019 17.Guca Festivals Posters 15.Guca Festivals Posters phoca_thumb_l_plakati 015 Guca Festivals Posters 1968 Guca Festivals Posters 1967 Guca Festivals Posters

History of Guca Festival

The traditional Dragacevo trumpet – its cult kept alive for nearly two centuries regardless of political and social considerations – has with time become world-renowned. It is owing to the trumpet that the name of Serbia has resounded worldwide, in all the continents. Some orchestras, when they appear on stage, whether for official competition national dress, the authentic and indigenous dances and other folk inspired elements, coupled with music, have become an integral part of national gathering.

The virtuoso music performers, the trumpet players to the paradox and make the story more authentic – are for the most part fully self-taught. They play by ear and quite spontaneously, relying on their musical memory; they play from the heart and soul, and their music reaches out to listeners precisely for this quality. The Gucha Assembly of Trumpet Players continues to grow year after year: today, this musical feast of recognizable national skills is more popular, more diverse and bigger than ever before.

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

The first Dragacevo Assembly of Trumpet Players was held on October 16, 1961 in the yard of the Church of Sts. Michael and Gabriel in Gucha. Initially, it was a very modest Assembly – almost subversive for the prevailing political circumstances of that time. However, the Assembly gradually grew and expanded its, one might say, magical influence, and over the past ten or so years has become the folk remained its key symbol and raison detre, it is no longer held solely for the trumpet players. It grew into an Assembly of toastmasters, painters, song “Sa Ovcara I Kablara“, marks the beginning of the festival each year. Some church music festivals notwithstanding, the Assembly of Trumpet Players is the best know event of this kind extending uninterruptedly for 43 years and attracting guests and musicians alike from every continent. Trumpet players and folk song and dance groups from around the world deem it a great honor to be invited to the Assembly, and the number of v visitors increases with each coming year. The record was set in 2002, when Gucha hosted in excess of 300.000 visitors.

With considerable experience in organizing Assemblies, today the traditionally hospitable Gucha has earned its place on the map of world music festivals, inviting high interest from ethno music lovers, and deservedly so. As an internationally recognized trumpet capital, and a singular corner of positive energy, a place with accumulated joy, gaiety and spontaneity, coupled with the piercing yet gentle sound of the trumpet, Gucha is a place of catharsis of the heart and soul while the festival lasts. All this is more than enough to attract visitors to Gucha each Mexico , Spain , Greece , Denmark , China and many other close or distant countries. The names of Boban Markovic, Milan Mladenovic, Ekrem Sajdic, Elvis Ajdinovic, Fejat and Zoran Sejdic have carried the glory of the Serbian trumpet across the world. Some 600,000 visitors are expected at the next, and 50th Assembly. That would be very impressive indeed, would it not?

Guca – The Best Serbian festival

Guca – The Best Serbian festival
Every year in August the sleepy town of Guca turns into a big party, the air is filled with the sound of trumpets and smell of grilled meat, streets with dancing and drinking people… More than 600,000 visitors make their way to the town of 2,000 people, both from Serbia and abroad. This is the best Serbian festival considering that Exit festival visit about 150.000 people and Guca Trumpet Festival in 2012 visit 600.000 people., and in 2013 about 450.000 people.



Elimination heats earlier in the year mean only a few dozen bands get to compete. Guca’s official festival is split into three parts. Friday’s opening concert, Saturday night celebrations and Sunday’s competition. Friday’s concerts are held at the entrance to the official Guca Festival building. This event features previous winners, each band getting to play three tunes while folk dancers, all kitted out in bright knitting patterns, dance kolos and oros in front of a hyped-up audience.

 An English party site, www.ThisIsTheLife.com, has named Guca the best festival in the world.

 Forget Glastonbury, Reading, Burning Man and Coachella: “The wildest music festival on earth is a cacophonic and crazy brass band festival that takes place every summer in the tiny Serbian town of Guča in the western region of Dragacevo”.


Saban Bajramovic

Saban Bajramovic is the most prolific and the most celebrated Roma singer, composer and poet in the Balkans. Among thousands of articles and studies written throughout the world about this author, there is not a single one which does not link his name with the expression “The King of Roma music”.

Saban Bajramovic was born on April 16, 1936 in Nis (Serbia). He almost did not attend the school while picking up musical education, alike many of his people, on street.

 

 

When he was nineteen, he deserted the army because of love, and later was sentenced to three years imprisonment at the Goli Otok isolation facility on an island in the Adriatic sea. However, as he told the military court that there was no sentence long enough for him to serve it, the sentence was extended to five and a half years.

However, while serving his sentence at the Goli Otok facility, Šaban Bajramović founded a prison band which played, among other music, jazz, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra songs, as well as Spanish and Mexican melodies. Nowadays, he says that Goli Otok was his life-university, where he formed the way he thinks. He made his first record in 1964, and nowadays, his discography consists of some twenty albums and more then fifty singles. He wrote and composed, as he said, about seven hundred songs. For more than twenty years, he has led “Crna Mamba” (Black Mamba), touring half of the world with the band. Upon invitation of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, he visited India, where he was named for The King of the Gypsy World Music.

Serbian History Trumpet Tradition

Serbian History Trumpet tradition
Dragacevo, which used to be a rural region, experienced strong economic and general educational and cultural development after 1950, and mostly in the first decade of the 21st century, first of all thanks to the Trumpeters Festival.

The capital of modern trumpeting – Guca, is relatively small, and the trumpet was first played as far ago as 1831. Before nearly two centuries Milos Obrenović ordered the establishment of a “Principle’s Serbian band” in Kragujevac, and that the first brass band be led by Josip Slezinger (1794-1870), a man from Sombor, who in those times was the first musically literate expert in Serbia. “Oberlautar” Mustafa, a man who played the violin and “zurle” (zurna), was until then amusing the Serb ruler and his entourage “and was amusing also even foreigners who did not have much understanding for Turkish music”. Immediately upon his arrival in Kragujevac he started to organize the band. Since he lacked in skilled musicians, he asked the Principle to arrange that young man from among the population be found, who have talent and will to do this job. Milos promptly ordered that each county delegates five young men. And, so it started. Although it did not always run smoothly, they learned to play the new “golden” instruments, by playing the round-dances and songs which they knew and were familiar with them, but learning also everything that maestro J. Slezinger was teaching them in the then Serbian capital Kragujevac.

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

Almost two centuries passed by, there were many outstanding military brass bands and band leaders from the regiments and divisions. However, only in the mid 19th century were the foreign musical and cultural influence getting stronger; they can be identified at the beginning of the new era in the folk music of Dragacevo and were particularly strong in regard to trumpet music and homophonic multi-part singing , i.e. in singing “na bas”. How the brass bands were emerging we heard from spontaneous statements of modern Dragacevo musicians. It is known in Dljina that their oldest trumpeter “was a guy named Cebic who was playing before World War I… And he himself inherited it from the past times. “In Goracici the first orchestra was founded by the Davidovic brothers from Dragacica “probably sometimes about the times of World War I, and this band included only four musicians”. Also, the story goes that “in Rti the band leader and first trumpet was Milisav Kostic–Tralja, and his today’s heirs are trumpeters playing in the Srecko Obradovic orchestra”. And so we come also to the trumpeter Desimir Perisic from Goracići and the winning orchestra at the First Festival in Guca in 1961.

The songs are usually based of two-bar motives and melodies, mainly of two part structure consisting of 4 to 5 tones.

All around the globe, at all meridians, on all continents, most probably also on the Antarctica, it is known that Guca and Dragacevo are famous for trumpet music. The trumpet can be heard, loudly and gently, also in the biggest cities of the world and recordings of the trumpeters’ music have reached the outer space, where the cosmonauts were amusing themselves.

With all the other flags, the Dragacevo Trumpeters Festival’s flag has been flying since 2000 also on the highest mountain peak of the world, Mount Everest, on the Himalayas (8,848 m). It was placed there by the first Serb – a man from Dragacevo, Dragan Jacimovic from Puhovo.

To say it in modern language, Dragacevo Trumpeters festival is one of the most famous Serbian brands. And… trumpet music took for the world from the villages of Dragacevo, via Guca. Via Dragacevo Trumpeters Festival at which, for full five decades, the blessed musicians – the golden Serbian trumpeters – gathered in flocks.

Dragacevo, which used to be a rural region, experienced strong economic and general educational and cultural development after 1950, and mostly in the first decade of the 21st century, first of all thanks to the Trumpeters Festival.

The capital of modern trumpeting, Guca, is relatively small, and the trumpet was first played as far ago as 1831. Before nearly two centuries Milos Obrenovic ordered the establishment of a “Principle’s Serbian band” in Kragujevac, and that the first brass band be led by Josip Slezinger (1794-1870), a man from Sombor, who in those times was the first musically literate expert in Serbia. “Oberlautar” Mustafa, a man who played the violin and “zurle” (zurna), was until then amusing the Serb ruler and his entourage “and was amusing also even foreigners who did not have much understanding for Turkish music”. Immediately upon his arrival in Kragujevac he started to organize the band. Since he lacked in skilled musicians, he asked the Principle to arrange that young man from among the population be found, who have talent and will to do this job. Milos promptly ordered that each county delegates five young men. And, so it started. Although it did not always run smoothly, they learned to play the new “golden” instruments, by playing the round-dances and songs which they knew and were familiar with them, but learning also everything that maestro J. Slezinger was teaching them in the then Serbian capital Kragujevac

Almost two centuries passed by, there were many outstanding military brass bands and band leaders from the regiments and divisions. However, only in the mid 19th century were the foreign musical and cultural influence getting stronger; they can be identified at the beginning of the new era in the folk music of Dragacevo and were particularly strong in regard to trumpet music and homophonic multi-part singing , i.e. in singing “na bas”. How the brass bands were emerging we heard from spontaneous statements of modern Dragacevo musicians. It is known in Dljina that their oldest trumpeter “was a guy named Cebic who was playing before World War I… And he himself inherited it from the past times. “In Goracići the first orchestra was founded by the Davidovic brothers from Dragacica “probably sometimes about the times of World War I, and this band included only four musicians”. Also, the story goes that “in Rti the band leader and first trumpet was Milisav Kostić–Tralja, and his today’s heirs are trumpeters playing in the Srecko Obradovic orchestra”. And so we come also to the trumpeter Desimir Perisic from Goracići and the winning orchestra at the First Festival in Guca in 1961.

The songs are usually based of two-bar motives and melodies, mainly of two part structure consisting of 4 to 5 tones.
The vigorous folk round-dances from the western regions are characterized by occasional pauses of the leading trumpets, with the basses taking over the leading tune of the leading trumpets, highlighting the basic harmonies. Also, we will notice that southern folk dances are usually characterized by oriental music, in the so-called “aksak” rhythm. This is especially emphasized with the “performance” of the drummer, who expertly combines larger “cukan” (right hand) strokes with those of the thinner stick (left hand, on the edge of the drum, skillfully stressing the changes of double and triple meter in the specific rhythmical formulas and combinations (8/8; 7/8; 9/8 etc.), especially in the characteristic dances – songs called “chochek”. Then, spontaneously and ravishingly, genuinely enjoying in the music, dance only those who truly know how to do it. In the eastern region a big number of folk dances of the “Batrna” (ancient dance) type and “Stara Vlajna”, i.e. “Timocka Rumenka” or “Svrljiski laskavac”, are preserving the genetic features of the Vallah or Serb Hora dancing, when the dancers are crossing their hands and holding each other by the belt. And all Serbian songs and dances have up to five tones, while Vallah melodies are more diversified and with an occasional alternation of the slow parts with the usually faster refrain. Singing with trumpet accompaniment is gaining in popularity nowadays here with us. Like the first folk trumpeters from the times of Milos, contemporary ones are also mainly autodidacts having keen hearing, and are playing a huge repertoire of songs and dances by heart, and by the ear, improvising their interpretation spontaneously and from their soles and hearts. With the first orchestras, their members evolved as musicians and their number was invreasing. At the beginning the orchestras had five musicians, and the contemporary orchestras usually have up to ten musicians (three to four ”B” trumpets, three bass flugelhorns, one bass trumpet – helicon or euphonium, and, finally, snare drum and large drum with cymbals. Three regions clearly identified themselves by the style of their music, and are today three famous centers with the best trumpeters in Serbia today. Although the trumpet is not as deeply rooted in our people like the vocal music tradition, the fact is that those active in the field of culture have four decades ago broke the ground for trumpet music in tiny Guca. Since then, like awakening from a dream, trumpet music grew very quickly in those areas of western, eastern and southern Serbia in which the trumpet seed probably had already been thrown and did exist, and it also woke up during so many decades in the center of sumadija, where its seed was for the first time thrown in the far away year 1831.

Composer Goran Bregovic is mega-star in Guca

Composer Goran Bregovic is mega-star in all Guca Trumpet Festivals
Goran Bregović describes himself simply as contemporary composer. Why then does his “contemporary” sound different from music of other contemporary composers? Because Goran is from the Balkans. And in the Balkans “contemporary” is different.

What does his orchestra for Weddings and Funerals composed of a gypsy brass band, traditional Bulgarian polyphonies, an electric guitar, traditional percussion, strings and Orthodox Church male singers, read on Bregovic’s score sheets? Echoes from Jewish and Gypsy weddings, chants from Orthodox and Catholic Church, Muslim invocations. His music comes from that terrible frontier where for centuries Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Muslims made war and lived together. Music that our soul recognises instinctively and the body greets with an irresistible urge to dance.

Born in Sarajevo of a Serbian mother and a Croatian father. After a few years of (very unenthusiastic) music studies at the conservatory (violin), Goran forms his first group “The White Button” at the age of sixteen. Composer and guitar player (“I chose the guitar because guitar players always have most success with girls”), he admits his immoderate love for rock n’roll. “In those times, Rock had a capital role in our lives. It was the only way we could make our voice heard, and publicly express our discontent without risking jail (or just about)…”

Studies of philosophy and sociology would most certainly have landed him teacher of Marxist thought, had the gigantic success of his first record not decided otherwise. Follow fifteen years with his group “The White Button“, marked by marathon-tours and endless sessions of autographing in which Goran plays youth idol in Eastern countries until he’s sick and tired of it.

At the end of the eighties BREGOVIC takes time away from this permanent hustle-bustle to compose music for Kusturica’s “Times of the Gypsies”, and to make his childhood dream come true: to live in a small house on an island in the Adriatic. The War in Yugoslavia shatters this, and many other dreams, and Goran has to abandon everything to find exile in Paris… starting point for roaming the world with his music that made him a honorary citizen of Buenos Aires, Tirana and Athens and honorary Doctor of Music from Sheffield University, UK.

MUSIC FOR MOVIES

Coming from the same background, the same generation, survivors of the same experiences, Goran BREGOVIC and Emir KUSTURICA formed a tandem which didn’t need words to communicate. After “Times of the Gypsies” Goran had a free hand to compose the original soundtrack for “Arizona Dream“. The music lives up to the film – poetical, original and incredibly enhancing. “One of the great things about Emir’s movies is that they show life exactly as it is – full of holes, hesitations and unexpected events. It’s this imperfect, unorganised side that I wanted to preserve above all. Even the songs recorded with Iggy are very under-produced. There’s just his voice and behind it a gypsy-orchestra blowing into old pre-war trumpets and cow’s horns. It’s really very simple.”

“Silence of the Balkans” was a very ambitious multimedia project performed in 1997 in Thessaloniki, under the direction of Slovenian Tomaz PANDUR with video images by Boris MILJKOVIC. Then a collaboration with Teatro Stabile from Trieste for whom he wrote the stage music for a very unusual “Hamlet”, and Goran Bregovic starts enjoying writing for the theatre. Follows a collaboration with one of the most “fashionnable” Italian directors, Marco BAILANI for whom, commissioned by the Festival NOVECENTO in Palermo, he writes the music for “The Children’s Crusade” (created November 1999). Recently Bregovic wrote music for a stage setting of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” (conceived as a triptych, of which the first part Inferno was premiered at the THALIA THEATRE in Hamburg in January 2001, followed in February 2002 by Purgatory and Paradise). The director is Goran’s long time work complice, Tomaz PANDUR from Slovenia.

For over ten years, since he abandoned pure rock in 1985, the music of BREGOVIC had never been performed live. This all changes in 1995 when, with a band of ten traditional musicians, a choir of fifty singers and a symphony orchestra, he undertakes a series of mega-concerts in Greece and Sweden followed by the concert given October 26th at the Forest National of Brussels for an audience of 7500. Very few concert performances in 1996 as the idea of a hundred and twenty performers on stage scared even the most enthusiastic promoters.

Like a happy grown up child, Goran is honoured by collaborations with tallented performers from diverse cultures – people he would have asked for an autograph not so long ago: Iggy Pop, whom he totally reinvents (Arizona Dream 1993), Ofra Haza (La Reine Margot,1994), Cesaria Evora (Underground 1995), Scot WALKER in UK, Setzen Aksu in Turkey, George Dalaras in Greece, Kayah in Poland.

Le Temps de Gitans” (Polygram/Universal)
Arizona Dream” (Polygram/Universal)
Toxic Affair” (Polygram/Universal)
La Reine Margot” (Polygram/Universal)
Underground” (Polygram/Universal)
“Ederlezi” compilation” (Polygram/Universal)
Bregovic and Kayah” (BMG Poland)
Songbook” (Polygram/Universal)
Music for Films” (Polygram/Universal)
Tales from Weddings and Funerals” (Polygram/Universal)
Goran Bregovic‘s Karmen…” (Mercury/Universal)
Alkohol” (Mercury/Decca)

Giovanni FERETTI of the legendary Italian group CSI, art director of Bologna 2000″, asked Goran BREGOVIC to be the ambassador of music from the orthodox countries for a night-long fiesta on June 27. Goran called it “Hot Balkan Roots” and invited three brass bands (one from Bulgaria, one from Romania and another one from Serbia) and a group of Russian female voices. A joint concert of BREGOVIC and CSI topped it all and the party was repeated on June 29 at the prestigious NUOVO AUDITORIUM DI ROMA.

2006 was marked by a project entitled “Forgive me, is this the way to the Future?” – concerto for violin and two orchestras – Three letters, commissioned by ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation) for a tour of ten concerts in major European concert halls* in April 2007, interpreted by Goran’s Wedding and Funeral Band plus Kristjan JÒVI’s ABSOLUTE ENSEMBLE from New York – all under the direction of Kristjan JÒVI.

After tours across Europe and South America during the whole of 2002 and four triumphant concerts in Paris in November (two in the underground “Bataclan” and two in the temple of classical music “Th꡴re des Champs Elys”), in 2003 Bregovic toured Scandinavia, France, Rumania, Spain. In June 2003 a rendering of “Tolerant Heart” at the Festival of Sacred Music in Fez, Morocco and at the Guggenheim Foundation in Bilbao, and then two incredible sold out concerts in the legendary LUNA PARK Stadium in Buenos Aires. Then Summer Festivals across Europe.Very little touring in Autumn/Winter 2003-2004 (only a short series of concerts in Switzerland in March 2004), as time was dedicated to “Goran Bregovic‘s Karmen with a Happy End”. Since then, over a hundred and fifty performances: a “Karmen” from St. Petersburg to Jerusalem, from Buenos Aires to Seoul. A tour in Italy in April, concerts in France, Germany, Bergen Festival in Norway in May 2004… then yet more concerts in Italy, Germany and France in the Summer season… In the Fall three concerts in Belgium, then the Baltic countries, Vienna and the Chech Republic (plus one concert in Bratislava in Slovakia). In November Argentina again with three concerts in Buenos Aires and one in Cordoba, and then in December 2004 five concerts of “Karmen” at the Piccolo Teatro Festival Season in Milan, some more in Cagliari (Sardegna) and (yet another) short tour of Italy….

“Margot, Diary of a Queen“, format of the Goran Bregovic Weddings and Funerals Orchestra (brass, Bulgarian voices, voice/percussion plus a male vocal sextet and a string quartet) plus an actress specifically chosen to say the text in the language of each country where “Margot… ” is presented will be premiered at the Festival de Saint Denis, France on June 7 and 8 2010.

Patrice Chereau entrusts him with the music for “La Reine Margot“, Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1994. Goran delivers a majestic piece with rock accents.

The music for Emir Kusturica‘s “Underground“, Palme d’Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, was also signed by Goran. But not the following film. A three year collaboration on “Underground” has worn everyone out and Emir has to find a whole new team for his next film.

Recently Goran composed spicy music with a “kletzmer” aroma for the “Train de Vie” of Radu MIHAELANU acclaimed by the critics in Venice, Sao Paulo, Berlin and by the public everywhere it was shown.

He has since devoted himself to the interpretation of his own music and lent himself to a second stage-career. Without completely abandoning the movies, however: Nana Djordjaze “1001 Recipes of a Cook in Love”, “27 Missing Kisses” in 2001, Unni STRAUME Music for Weddings and Funerals” (original music and the main male role) in 2002, Venice Film Festival official selection. In 2004 Bregovic repeats the same adventure: he composes music and plays the main role in an Italian film entitled “Giorni dell’Abandono” (“The days of Abandon”) premiered in Autumn 2005, Venice Film Festival official selection.

MUSIC FOR THEATRE
In 2007 the Serbian National Theater commissioned music and staged a ballet based on Duma’s novel “Queen Margot”.
MUSIC FOR CONCERTS:
In June 1997, the group is reduced to fifty musicians for a two hour concert with the music he composed for films. And it’s one success after another. Bregovic undertakes a triumphal tour throughout Europe with his Wedding and Funeral Band presenting live his most beautiful pieces from the famous “Ederlezi” (Time of the Gypsies) to the “In the Death Car” (Arizona Dream) and the energetic “Kalasnikov” (Underground) taking off as delirious audience echoes the with the powerful “Juris” (Charge!!). The number of entries – between 3,500 and 10,000 per concert – and the concert given May 1st at the Piazza St. Giovanni in Rome in front of 500.000 people confirm beyond any doubt that his music now has a real impact on an international level.
 
Goran BREGOVIC continues his career, and the young local rock mega-star of the 70s and the 80s asserts his authority as a mature, successful, international composer.
 
MUSICAL COLLABORATIONS
 
SELECTED RECORDINGS:
Some critics have called Tales and Songs from Weddings and Funerals his neo-classical album. In it he presents a range of musicians portraying the many influences – from tango and reggae to Gypsy brass band music.
 
SPECIAL PROJECTS
To start off his Italian tour in Summer 2000, Goran concocted a “Big Wedding in Palermo” for the Santa Rosalia Celebration on July 14, for which he shared artistic direction with the famous musicologist and composer from Naples, Roberto de SIMONE. For just one very special night, Goran a assembled artists from countries that he calls his musical feeding-ground” – between Budapest and Istanbul. To Goran’s music and to images of video director from Belgrade, Boris MILJKOVIC, Slovenian and Greek dancers danced under direction of a gifted Romanian choreographer , Edward CLUG. And once again he called on the brass bands (a wedding with no brass band is no wedding) to lead 80 brides and bridegrooms each from opposite parts of the beautiful town of Palermo to the central square where, around three in the morning, they met with Clug’s professional dancers and Goran’s Weddings and Funerals Band for a long final wedding dance.
 
In June 2002, Goran BREGOVIC united in the St. Denis Basilica (near Paris) three star singers from three religions with the Moscow orthodox choir, a string section from Tetouan in Morocco, and his Weddings and Funerals Orchestra, for a special project called “My Heart has become Tolerant” on the theme of reconciliation, commissioned by Festival of Sacred Music of St. Denis (that year entitled “From Bach to Bregovic”). Luciano Berio invited the same project to his Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome in July, another concert on the Esplanade of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Festival of Sacred Arts in Fez… and it can be said that another side of “contemporary music” composer has been added to Goran’s career.
 

In 2004 Goran BREGOVIC composed his first opera entitled “Bregovic’s Karmen with a Happy End”, the first Carmen with a K and a Balkan accent. A combination of naive theatre and opera, “Karmen” was premiered in Italy on April 17 2004 and has since been performed over one hundred times. Written, composed and directed by Goran Bregovic (only a few quotes from Bizet’s “Carmen”), this gypsy opera is interpreted by the musicians of his Wedding and Funeral Band. Since recent publication of the album, a web-site has been created with music, scores for free use and information: http://karmen.artistes.universalmusic.fr/index_valid.php

*Megaron – Athens, Accademia di Santa Cecilia – Rome, Konserthuset – Stockholm, Salle Grande Duchesse Jos诨ine-Charlotte – Luxembourg, Theatre Des Champs Elys – Paris, Philharmonie – Cologne, Concertgebouw – Amsterdam, Bozar – Brussels, Symphony Hall – Birmingham, Konzerthaus – Vienna.
 
TOURS:
2005 brought more tours in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Israel. Also an opening of the Asian continent – a tour including Taipei, Singapore and Seoul in June 2005, then Summer Festivals in Italy, Spain, France. After Bremen in Germany, St. Petersburg and Moscow and a French tour in November, “Goran Bregovic‘s Karmen with a Happy End” played all December in Paris in “Le Cabaret Sauvage”.
 
In June 2005, Bregovic’s old legendary group “White Button” (Bjelo Dugme) came back together for a sold-out reunion tour of the capitals of three former Yugoslav republics. An audience of 70.000 in Sarajevo and Zagreb, and 200.000 in Belgrade proved him right in the hope that people separated by wars could at least share and enjoy a common musical heritage.
 
2006 After a tour of France, some concerts in Spain and Italy, July 2006 offered a first opening of North American territories for Bregovic’s music: an extraordinary concert in a square in Montreal, closing the Montreal Jazz Festival for an audience of 150-200.000, one concert in Chicago’s magnificent Millennium Park (4.000 seated and 7.000 standing) and one concert in the Avery Fisher Hall within the Lincoln Center Festival in New York. Montreal and Chicago were free concerts offered respectively by the Festival and the City of Chicago, and the 2.800 seats of the Avery Fisher Hall were entirely sold out two weeks before the concert.
 
After a Summer tour of festivals in France, Hungary, Italy and Greece, a return to Korea: Seong Nam – a concert of “Tales and Songs for Weddings and Funerals” with local musicians and Bregovic’s Wedding and Funeral Band on August 31st, and “Goran Bregovic‘s Karmen with a Happy End” in Seoul on September 2. Little touring in Europe then work on the new projects and the CD of “Karmen…”
2007 More tours in Italy, France and Spain in January-February. A first visit to Australia and more sun on Canary Islands and Ile de la R贮ion in March. Then colder places – Oslo, Island in May… Then the usual Summer tours with a come-back to Poland after a long absence. Mexico in September, Russia in November… Gypsy life full to the brim continues for this eclectic composer figure.

2008 A first visit to Chile (in January), a second visit to Mexico (in April), two sold out concerts in the New York Avery Fisher Hall (Lincoln Center Festival in July) and Australia (October). A concert in the Kremlin in Moscow and a tour in Siberia (November) plus Scandinavia and the Baltic countries and the habitual visits to France and Italy marked by two concerts of “Three Letters” with Kristjan JÒVI’s ABSOLUTE ENSEMBLE within MI-TO Festival in Milano and Torino.

2009 Guca is a small town in Serbia of maybe 20.000 inhabitants that holds an annual contest of brass bands in August and swells to 150.000 people who, shaded by tents in scorching heat, drink, eat grilled meat and sour-kraut the Serbian way and drink and listen to the music and drink again for three days…. which explains the title of the new CD “Alkohol” recorded live there in the Summer of 2007. The first part ‘Sljivovica‘ came out in France in January (with three sold out concerts in Le Grand Rex in Paris) – other countries followed in April. An American tour in June, a new piece for “Bang on a Can” Marching Band with a premiere in the Lincoln Center in August, more tours in Europe and ‘Champaign’, the second part of “Alkohol” to come out at the end of the year.

2010 Two new projects on the way – both with a working title at this stage:
“ORFEO di Bregovic” – an opera involving Goran Bregovic Weddings and Funerals small Band (brass, Bulgarian singers, voice/percussion) and an opera singers, choir and orchestra will be premiered in Spring or Autumn (dates still in negotiation) of 2010.
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