Boban Marković (Serbian Cyrillic: Бобан Марковић) is a Serbian Romani trumpet player and brass ensemble leader from Vladičin Han, frequently recognized as the greatest trumpet player to emerge from the Balkans. He and his brass band have received world acclaim and won numerous awards.
The Boban Marković Orchestra has been one of the leading Balkan Brass Band in Serbia over the last 17 years. They are from Vladičin Han, Southern Serbia, which can be heard clearly in their music. They have won several of the most important prizes ("Golden Trumpet", "First Trumpet" and "The Best Orchestra") at the Guča trumpet festival, called "Dragačevski Sabor", which has been held every August in Central Serbia's town of Guča, since 1961. Every year "Sabor" gathers 20 of the best bands from all parts of Serbia, as well as some 300,000 people in the audience. Winning there means more jobs for the bands, but also is so prestigious, that no one misses the festival and all the bands play for free.
Boban Marković Orchestra won the "Best Orchestra" prize at 40th "Sabor" in Guča, August 2000. They won the "Best concert 2000" prize for their concert with Lajko Felix. In Guča, at “Dragačevski Sabor 2001” Boban Marković won “The First Trumpet”, which is officially the best and most coveted prize of the festival. It was the first time ever that any musician received all five “10” scores from every jury member. Since winning, he has decided to stop competing.
Boban Marković Brass Band also contributed a song to "Unblocked (Music from the Eastern Europe"), a compilation on Elipsis Arts in USA. The Orchestra is featured on two tracks on "Srbija: Sounds Global," a series of compilations released in 2000 by Radio B92, and on the opening track of “Srbija: Sounds Global 2,” which was released November 2002 by B92.
They performed music for one of Emir Kusturica's movies: "Underground" as well as others in Balkan cinema. They are the main characters of the award winning documentary film "Competition" and featured further in "Guča", a documentary about the Serbian trumpet festival. Marko Marković also played the role of Romeo in the music film Gucha - Distant Trumpet by Dušan Milić.
They have played festivals and concerts in Portugal, Greece, Switzerland, Belgium, USA, Canada, Romania, the Netherlands, Hungary, Great Britain, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Poland, Italy, Austria, Monaco, Germany, France, Denmark, Israel, Spain, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Turkey and many wedding parties everywhere.
In 2000 at the Sziget Festival in Hungary, they played at "World Music stage" in front of a 15,000-strong crowd. The British Britpop group Oasis was supposed to start at the same time, but as a good portion of the audience was at the Boban Marković Orchestra concert, Oasis waited 30 minutes for the band to finish. At the same time Network Records, released the double CD “Golden Brass Summit” – Anthology of 40 years in Guča, for which Boban Marković Orchestra opens the album with 4 tracks.
The regular brass band sound is improved with another 2 percussionists. Since October 1999 they have also been performing with the young violin player Lajko Felix a programme arranged by Lajko Felix and Boban Marković. Lately, the band have opened up to more collaborations, one with Austrian duet Attwenger and the other with Frank London's Klezmer Brass All Stars Di Shikere Kapelye. Together they formed the Brotherhood of Brass.
Marko and Boban Marković
Boban Marković's son, Marko, has played with the band since 2002. Marko was said to practice ten hours a day before joining with the band. During the two years he spent touring with the band, 17 year old Marko became the main soloist and arranger of the band. Both Boban and Marko are featured in the movie “Usti Opre”, a documentary with other famous Gypsy musicians, and also in Guča, a documentary about the Serbian Trumpet festival. "Usti Opre" was premiered at the festival in August 2005.