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Goran Bregović
Birth Date
March 22, 1950
Birth Place
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Goran Bregović  Biography

Goran Bregović (born 22 March 1950) is a Bosnian recording artist. He is one of the most internationally known modern musicians and composers of the Balkans.

Bregović has composed for such varied artists as Iggy Pop and Cesária Évora. He rose to fame playing guitar with his rock band Bijelo Dugme. Among his better known scores are three of Emir Kusturica’s films (Time of the Gypsies, Arizona Dream, and Underground).

Born in Sarajevo, PR Bosnia-Herzegovina, FPR Yugoslavia to a Croat father Franjo Bregović and Serb mother Borka Perišić, Goran grew up with an younger sister Dajana and younger brother Predrag. Their father was from Croatian Zagorje, specifically Sveti Petar Čvrstec village near Križevci, while their mother was born in Virovitica to parents that had shortly before her birth arrived in the nearby village of Čemernica, settling there from the village of Kazanci near Gacko in eastern Herzegovina. Her father, Goran’s maternal grandfather, fought in the Royal Serbian Army at the Salonica Front during World War I and as a reward received land in Slavonia where he soon moved his family.

Goran’s parents met shortly after World War II in Virovitica where his mother Borka lived and his father Franjo (who fought on the Partisan side during the war) attended a Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) military school. Franjo Bregović soon got his first job, teaching ballistics at a military school in Sarajevo, so the couple that at the time moved there. Goran, their first child, was born in 1950 in Sarajevo.

Goran was 10 years old when his parents divorced. In later interviews, he mentioned his father’s alcoholism as the reason for the breakdown of their marriage. Soon after the split, his father moved to Livno, taking Goran’s younger brother Predrag with him while Goran remained living with his mother in Sarajevo, visiting his father and brother every summer in Livno. Their father soon retired and eventually moved back to his home village in Zagorje while Goran’s brother Predrag later moved back to Sarajevo for university studies.

Goran played violin in a music school. However, deemed untalented, he was thrown out during second grade. His musical education was thus reduced to what his friend taught him until Goran’s mother bought him his first guitar in his early teens. Bregović wanted to enroll in a fine arts high school, but his aunt told his mother that it was supposedly full of homosexuals, which precipitated his mother’s decision to send him to a technical (traffic) school. As a compromise for not getting his way, she allowed him to grow his hair long.

Upon entering high school, Goran joined the school band Izohipse where he began on bass guitar. Soon, however, he was kicked out of that school too (this time for misbehavior – he crashed into a school-owned Mercedes-Benz). Bregović then entered grammar school and its school band Beštije (again as a bass guitar player). When he was 16, his mother left him and moved to the coast, meaning that other than having a few relatives to rely on, he mostly had to take care of himself. He did that by playing folk music in a kafana in Konjic, working on construction sites, and selling newspapers.

Spotting him at a Beštije gig in 1969, Željko Bebek invited 18-year-old Bregović to play bass guitar in his band Kodeksi, which Goran gladly accepted.

Eventually, Kodeksi shifted setup so Bregović moved from bass to lead guitar, resulting in Kodeksi having the following line-up during summer 1970: Goran Bregović, Željko Bebek, Zoran Redžić and Milić Vukašinović. All of them would eventually become members of Bijelo Dugme at some point in the future. At the time, they were largely influenced by Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. During the fall of 1970, this resulted in the departure of Željko Bebek, who (both as rhythm guitar player and singer) got phased out of the band. At the end of the year, Goran’s mother and Zoran’s brother arrived in Naples and took them back to Sarajevo.

Then, in the autumn of 1971, Goran enrolled at the University of Sarajevo’s Faculty of Philosophy, studying philosophy and sociology. He soon quit, however. At the same time, Milić Vukašinović left for London, so Bregović formed a band with Nuno Arnautalić called Jutro (Morning), which Redžić soon joined as well. Over the next few years, the band changed lineups frequently, and on 1 January 1974 modified its name to Bijelo Dugme (“White Button”).

From 1974 until 1989, Bregović played lead guitar and was the main creative force behind Bijelo Dugme (White Button). For years they stood as one of the most popular bands in SFR Yugoslavia.

At the time Bijelo Dugme was falling apart, Goran entered the world of film music. His first project was Emir Kusturica’s Time of the Gypsies (1989). This turned out to be a great success (both the film and the soundtrack). Goran and Emir’s collaboration continued, and Goran composed music (which was performed by Iggy Pop) for Emir’s next film Arizona Dream (1993). During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Goran lived in Paris, but he also lived in Belgrade. His next major project, music for Patrice Chéreau’s Queen Margot was a great success as well, and as a result, the film won two awards on the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. The next year’s Golden Palm award went to Underground, for which Goran Bregović composed the music.

In 1997, he worked with Turkish singer Sezen Aksu on her album Düğün ve Cenaze (Wedding and Funeral). After that album, he continued making composite albums with other musicians that were based on his music and singers’ lyrics.

He made an album with George Dalaras in 1999 named Thessaloniki – Yannena with Two Canvas Shoes. In the same year, Bregović recorded an album called Kayah i Bregović (Kayah and Bregović) with popular Polish singer Kayah which sold over 700,000 copies in Poland (seven times platinum record).

In 2001, he recorded another album with another Polish singer, Krzysztof Krawczyk, titled “Daj mi drugie życie” (“Give Me Second Life”).

In 2005, Bregović took part in three large farewell concerts of Bijelo Dugme.

A number of works created by Bregović can be heard on the soundtrack to the 2006 film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, most notably “Đurđevdan.” The film itself actually features more Bregović samples than the soundtrack. Two musical numbers by Bregović, “Ne Siam Kurve Tuke Sijam Prostitutke,” and “Gas, Gas” were featured in the soundtrack of the 2012 Brazilian novela, Salve Jorge, on the television network Rede Globo.

For many years Bregović performed with a large ensemble of musicians: a brass band, bagpipes, a string ensemble, a tuxedo-clad all-male choir from Belgrade, women wearing traditional Bulgarian costumes, and Roma singers make up his 40-piece band and orchestra.

Since 1998, and until about 2012, Bregović has been performing his music mainly in the form of concerts all over the world with his Weddings and Funerals Orchestra. This consists of 10 people (in the small version) or 37 (in the large version, although, in some instances, this number varies, depending on participants from the host country).

Since 2012 the orchestra consists of 9 people (in the small version) or 19 (in the large version), as it played in New York at the Lincoln Center on 15 July and 16 July 2016.[5]

The small orchestra consists of Muharem-Muki Redzepi (vocals, drums), Bokan Stanković (first trumpet), Dragić Velićović (second trumpet), Stojan Dimov (sax, clarinet), Aleksandar Rajković (first trombone, glockenspiel), Miloš Mihajlović (second trombone), female vocals Bulgarian singers Daniela Radkova-Aleksandrova, and Ludmila Radkova-Traikova, and Goran himself. The large orchestra includes also string quartet: Ivana Mateijć (first violin), Bojana Jovanović-Jotić (second violin), Saša Mirković (viola), and Tatjana Jovanović-Mirković, as well as sextet of male voices: Dejan Pesić (first tenor), Milan Panić and Ranko Jović (second tenors), Aleksandar Novaković (baritone), Dusan Ljubinković and Siniša Dutina (basses).

In previous years, in the orchestra the following musicians have performed: Ogi Radivojević and Alen Ademović (vocals, drums), Dalibor Lukić (second trumpet), Dejan Manigodić (tuba), Vaska Jankovska (vocals).

In 2013, as part of his Asia-Pacific tour (including Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong), Bregović performed with a string quartet, a male choir, Bulgarian singers and half of a brass band. The other part of the brass band – including bass and percussions – were being played from his computer. In 2017, he was a guest artist on Puerto Rican rapper Residente’s album Residente on the song “El Futuro Es Nuestro” (Spanish for “The Future is Ours”).

During the Eurovision 2008 final in Belgrade Arena, Serbia, he had a small concert.[6] He also composed the Serbian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010; ‘Ovo Je Balkan’ sung by Milan Stanković.

Bregović’s compositions, extending Balkan musical inspirations to innovative extremes, draw upon European classicism and Balkan rhythms.[7]

Bregović’s music carries Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek, Romani, Romanian, Serbian, Albanian, Italian and Turkish themes and is a fusion of popular music with traditional polyphonic music from the Balkans, tango, and brass bands.

1 Songs Composed by Goran Bregović

 1 Tracks Composed
  • Der Bubamara

4 thoughts on “Kaminos”

  1. Jim Borman says:

    Was Nicholas related to Alexander Saslavsky who married Celeste Izolee Todd?

  2. Mark Goldman says:

    Anyone have a contact email for Yair Klinger or link to score for Ha-Bayta?

  3. allan wolinsky says:

    wish to have homeland concert video played on the big screen throughout North America.

    can organize here in Santa Barbara California.

    contacts for this needed and any ideas or suggestions welcomed.

  4. Orien McKee says:

    Nat farber is my great grandpa 😊

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