CULTURE

Celebrated brass band at the Half Note this week

The outrageously festive, brass-led soundtrack of Emir Kusturica’s film «Underground» remains a memorable piece of work for many listeners. The more melancholy – by comparison – score that backed another Kusturica film, «Arizona Dream,» also made lasting impact. Both soundtracks, penned mostly by Goran Bregovic, starred one of the Balkan region’s most exciting brass bands, the Boban I Marko Markovic Orkestar. The band is currently performing at the Half Note Jazz Club in Athens through Thursday. The Boban I Marko Markovic Orkestar has been a domestic favorite in the regions of the former Yugoslavia for decades, long before it started gaining fame abroad, through a combination of its exhilarating material, the overwhelming success of Kusturica’s films and its breakthrough onto the world music circuit which brought international musical attention to these previously neglected regions. From as far back as 1961, the Boban I Marko Markovic Orkestar has ranked as one of the major highlights at the Guca Festival, an annual brass-band event held in provincial Serbia, which, in more recent years, has begun attracting numerous foreign visitors. The orchestra, whose work is based on the Roma musical tradition from central Europe and the Balkan peninsula, is – today – double-fronted by the father-and-son team of Boban and Marko Markovic. Their work, which blends jazz, folk and other regional styles, all amounts to frenetic-sounding music for celebration. The upcoming performances at the Half Note Jazz Club are sure to stir a frenzy. The Half Note Jazz Club is situated at 17 Trivonianou, Mets (tel 210.921.3360).