Since 1961, the small town of Guca in Central Serbia has been the venue for the annual "Festival of Brass Music", a competition to determine the best Brass musicians on Earth, attracting over 300.000 people every year. The Boban Markovic Orkestar used to be among the winners every time, receiving the "best orchestra" award in 2000 as well as "best trumpet" for the maestro himself in 2001 - his 5th personal win. Since then, Boban decided not to compete any more, but simply performs as an honoured guest. He's the undisputed King of Balkan Brass music Now he is honoured even further afield, reaching an international audience through his musical contributions to films by Emir Kusturica, and taking his frenetic and funky blend of Balkan and Gypsy roots touring around the globe, a guaranteed sensation at any wedding, open-air-festival, music academy, classical concert or impromptu street-party of your choice.
According to tradition, Boban officially handed over the Orkestar to his son and successor Marko, on his 18th birthday in 2006. Marko was given a trumpet as a toddler and started to receive lessons from Boban's father when he was 9. At 13 he was in the studio for the first time, at 14 he joined Boban's Orkestar. At 16 he became lead soloist and started arranging for the band. Now he is the featured soloist on Boban's latest CD "The Promise". In 2006, Marko also appeared as the leading actor in the film "Gucha Distant Trumpet", directed by Dusan Milic & produced by Emir Kusturica. Marko plays a young Romeo who falls in love with a Serbian Juliana as music and racial tensions intertwine in this dramatic Balkan epic.
"The Boban I Marko Markovic Orkestar (9 brass brutes, 4 percussion) has been redefining sex appeal through juicy, frenetic decibels, fresh-spun cobwebs of orchestral technicality, and of course, matching striped polo shirts since the early 1980s." - James Henwood for Flaunt Magazine, LA
"Few Eastern European brass bands can match the vitality and innovation of Serbian band Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar, which is led by trumpet master Boban Markovic and his son Marko. Two generations of a legendary Gypsy family join forces to provide a powerhouse of brass virtuosity and infectious energy that has jumped from village celebrations to the dancefloors of the hippest Central European clubs." - World Music Central, 11 November 09
"Imgagine the rowdiest, fastest rendition of 'Hava Nagila' you've ever heard, zip it up with wild brass playing that would make a New Orleans marching band stop and stare, and throw in percussion so thunderous it shakes a hall, and then you've got an idea why the Orkestar gets a crowd into a frenzy." -Boston Herald, 09/2004
"Boban Markovic Orkestar is many things, perhaps most proudly one of the world's killer wedding bands." -San Francisco Chronicle, 09/2004
"With nods to klezmer, jazz, Latin and deep-fried funk injected into the mix, the Boban Markovic Orkestar know where their music's been but they're hell-bent on sling-shotting it straight into the future." -Global Rhythm
"...a stunning blast of exuberance & virtuosity." -New York Times
"Supremely rich, varied & inventiven Serbian brass from a true musical thinker. File under stone cold classic." -Songlines