The Balkans’ Woodstock
The largest Balkan trumpet festival is held every August in Guča, a small village in western Serbia. The village is surrounded by a small river that creates the feeling of a moat with the outside world. A large bronze statue dominates in the center of the village, depicting a trumpeter playing with his trumpet facing the sky, as a call to all lovers of Balkan brass music.
Exuberant bands with all kinds of brass, trumpets, trombones, tubas, saxophones and clarinets, accompanied by the rhythm of tambourines and drums, play non-stop traditional Serbian songs, while crowds of people have fun drinking and dancing in the streets. Sometimes, however, the traditional melodies of Serbian trombones give way to an improvised jazz sound, offering a unique experience to the visitors of this specific festival. Miles Davis himself, when he visited Guča, had stated that he couldn’t have fantasized how one could play the trumpet in this way.
The program of the festival includes concerts, traditional dances of different countries, brass bands invited from different parts of the former Yugoslavia. The songs of Goran Bregovic and Boban Marcovic are inseparable musical pieces in the menu. Throughout the day, multi-member gypsy bands, dressed uniformly, move from company to company and from table to table, satisfying all the musical tastes of the visitors and enticing them to a frantic dance delirium. Even the most demanding visitor can't help but be captivated by the atmosphere that clearly evokes Emir Kusturica's films ("Underground", "Time of the Gypsies", "Black Cat, White Cat").