Imagine shining brass instruments blasting away, led by trumpets as rapturous as they are melancholic, and the Balkanic fusion of the love of life with its inescapable sadness: this is the thirteen-piece Boban and Marko Markovic Orchestra from Serbia. Their music has its roots firmly entrenched in the Roma tradition of high-octane gypsy brass, but has enough magpie tendencies to give it wide international appeal. On September 27th, Sunfesters can join an unbeatable Balkan dance party fueled by a wild and exuberant sound shaped by the cultural clashes thrown up in the lands where Europe meets Asia. It’s an indigenous Balkan blues given beautiful symmetry by the genius of Gypsy musicians.
Boban and his Orchestra have repeatedly won all the most prestigious accolades available to players in Serbia: ‘Trumpet Maestro’ (2 times), ‘Golden Trumpet’, ‘First Trumpet’, ‘The Best Orchestra’, ‘ The Best Concert’. Most of the band members have performed at the renowned “Dragacevski Sabor” in Guca, Southern Serbia – a festival noted for attracting fierce competitions among both the players and audiences of up to 600,000 people. In the 1980s, Miles Davis heard a recording of the young Boban and remarked, “I didn’t know they could make a trumpet sound like that!”
Dubbed “the master blaster of funky Gypsy jazz,” Boban Markovic has been sharing the stage with his son Marko since the latter turned 14 in 2002, and more recently the two have been sharing band leading, writing, arranging and soloing duties as well. But Marko’s most important gift has been that of modernization, which has kept his bandmates relevant and steered them towards working with dance producers and incorporating newer rhythms.
Boban is signed to Piranha Records (Berlin) where he has released a string of acclaimed albums, including his latest, 2013’s Gipsy Manifesto. In addition, Boban has contributed to the soundtracks of (and appeared in) Emir Kusturica’s award winning films Underground and Arizona Dream.