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Goran Bregović & His Wedding and Funeral Orchestra (BIH)

Goran Bregović is the definite mega star of the Balkan region, a songwriter and musician from Bosnia-Herzegovina with a career that has lasted for 40 years now. Probably everyone who has ever visited the festivals of Central Europe is familiar with the boomboxes in the camping area and Bregovićís hits that blare from them, such as Gas Gas Gas or Kalasnjikov. But Bregović has also written loads of film scores, the most famous of them perhaps being the bittersweet soundtrack of Emir Kusturica's film Arizona Dream.

Wedding and Funeral Orchestra is Bregović's main band that has toured all over Europe since the late 1990s. In this band, Bregović is joined by the most leather-lunged brass players and vocalists of Eastern Europe, and as the name implies, what comes out is background music for life's jolliest joys and most mournful miseries. The band is like an overjoyed circus ready to explode and a melancholic drunkard in the gutter, both at once. It's quite likely that at some point of the show, the Wedding and Funeral Orchestra helpfully informs the audience that they are too expensive for funerals, but offer to play at weddings for half the price. Come, come, can you hear the boom of Balkan horns calling?

Goran Bregović