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Guca DVDs

A good way to warm up to the notorious Guca brass festival is to watch some of the DVDs featuring – in one way or another – the Serbian brass music.

For those strictly interested in the music and the different orchestras, three Serbian releases are available, recordings of the midnight concert from 2004, 2006 and 2008;

Guca. Ponocni Koncert 2004
Here we experience the orchestras of Dejan Lazarevic and Veljko Ostojic at the beginning of their carriers, Elvis Ajdinovic and Dejan Petrovic probably at the height of theirs, while the orchestra of Milovan Babic is at the end of its career.
The DVD concludes with Slobodan Salijevic Orkestar playing the hits Mesecina and Kalashnikov, albeit with severe sound problems with the vocal microphone.

Buy the DVD at

Guca. Ponocni Koncert 2006
Three hours of midnight concert with good, uplifting performance from Dejan Lazarevic, decent performances by Dejan Petrovic, and Bojan Ristic and Demiran Cerimovic blowing like their lifes depended on it. Elvis Ajdonic’ orchestra is dressed in identical Hugo Boss suits, for the visual impression. While the orchestra of Nenad Mladenovic is not so tight all way through, the young Ekrem Mamutovic takes the lead in the song "Ekremov Tamarski Vez", and clearly shows the rising star he is – not surprisingly, in 2007 he fronted his own orchestra and won the first trumpet! The midnight concert 2006 is not 'opa!' all way through though, and regarding a couple of the kolo orchestras I wonder how they made it to the final…
Nevertheless, good value for money in this DVD.

Buy the DVD at

Guca. Ponocni Koncert 2008
I haven't received the DVD yet, as it has just been released, but I was there, and know that there was plenty of good performances – not least by Dejan Lazarevic, who managed to win both the first trumpet and the golden trumpet. Also Gvozden Rosic played some exciting kolos at this concert, as can be heard on the Guca 2008 page. The concert of Boban Markovic Orchestra is also featured on this release.

Buy the DVD at

Documentaries about the Guca festival;

Dir: Milivoj Ilic
71 minutes

The Serbian director Milivoj Ilic lets us glimpse into the madness of the annual brass festival in the small Serbian town, Guca. In this movie we get all round, up and down, and if this makes you dizzy – well, then you just got a fine idea about what the festival’s like! Nevertheless, the film manages to portray the chaos of Guca without getting chaotic itself. Milivoj Ilic lets the music form the leitmotif through this turbulent madness of a brass competition. Especially we follow the two band leaders Dejan Petrovic and Veljko Ostijic and their preparations for the competition in 2005. And several shots of the orchestras are so hot that I’d buy the movie just for them! The movie also shows a thing I’ve always found funny about Guca; On the one side: the ‘officials’ of the festival – a management so dry that it squeaks, the long-drawn-out bureaucratic speeches before the musicians play and the professor-like judges, who evaluate whether or not the orchestras play 'traditionally' enough. On the other side: the extreme, heavily soaked party atmosphere that penetrates the festival… where is the connection!? We also get a talk with the Boban Markovic Orkestar, walking down the main road with a heavy VIP attitude… And Marko Markovic, chatting on the cell phone, wearing bimbo shades. What a sight! Hustlers, tricksters, good folks, bad folks, traditionalists, nationalists, expat Serbs, country dwellers – the gallery of characters is just as multicoloured as the festival is bizarre. As one Guca visitor aptly put it; "Guca is the world's biggest psychiatric clinic" – go watch the movie and join in for an hour!
As a bonus, the DVD has three full length performances with Petrovic, Lazarevic and Ostojic from the final competition in 2005. Visually, the movie is well made, with nice shots, good photographic quality and warm colours.

Watch trailers at the Myspace page of the movie:

buy at:

'Trumpet’s Republic'
Dir: Stefano Missio

Director Stefano Missio's documentary about Serbia is pretty much about Guca too, and it features a glimpse into the life of farmer and trumpeter Gvozden Rosic, winner of the golden trumpet in 2001. Govzden introduces his hometown like this: "Here we are in the village of Rti. Rti is more beautiful than Beverly Hills!". Apart from Rosic, performances of several other orchestras is featured in 'Trumpet's Republic'.
The movie doesn't have a traditional development or storyline, but rather becomes a kind of patchwork of many impressions from post-war Serbia, political, culinary, personal and of course musical. While both sounds and visuals are quite 'rough', the team behind this movie shows an extraordinary talent for capturing very close and unique moments, with a potential to touch the heart of the viewer.

The movie hasn't yet been released on DVD, but is screened in festivals around the world, check the calendar at the website:

'Guca – Prestonica Trube'
Dir: Dragan Kovacevic
82 minutes

The only of the documentaries that features old. historic recordings of the orchestras of Slobodan Salijevic, Svetozar Lazovic, Milovan Babic, Boban Markovic and others, with the oldest seemingly from 1994. That alone makes this DVD a must have!
Unfortunately, the names of the participating orchestras are often not mentioned, which makes it hard to know who’s who for the novice in Serbian brass business. This DVD has its focus on the history of the festival and the surrounding region, and mainly in a musical context. The historical recordings – otherwise inaccessible – make this a highly valuable release.

Buy the DVD at

Feature films about Guca:

Dir: Dusan Milic

A "Romeo & Juliet" type love story with Marko Markovic, son of Boban Markovic, playing the main role. I haven’t seen the whole movie yet, but it seems like a funny, not-too-serious movie worth watching especially if one is obsessed with Guca.

The story:

JULIET (Juliana), a white girl, falls in love with a dark-skinned ROMEO, a divine trumpet player from a Roma orchestra. Her father Sacmo, a leader of the rival white band is disgusted with Romeo's skin color. At the upcoming Festival of trumpeters Romeo must prove to him that, due to his talent, he is the right man for his daughter. Sacmo's willing to overcome his belief and give up his daughter to the Roma only if Romeo proves to be better than him.

Romeo and Juliet:
Marko Markovic & Aleksandra Manasijevic

A trailer from the film, featuring the song "tigar rumba".

The "ending battle"...

Buy the DVD at

















A site about roma culture that features an internet radio with great roma artists like Romica Puceanu, Kalman Balogh, Kocani Orkestar etc.

Official website of the Guca Festival.

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