The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia (UBC) welcomes the boisterous cheer of Balkan composer and bandleader Goran Bregović and his Wedding and Funeral Band on October 21, 2018, at 7pm in the Chan Shun Concert Hall. Drawing on the traditional Balkan rhythms and soulful Romani folk tunes of his homeland, Bregović makes his Chan Centre debut in this exclusive, sold-out evening with a program of all-time favourites and new songs from his latest album, Three Letters from Sarajevo.
The charismatic artist is has collaborated with such greats as Iggy Pop, Cesária Évora, and Asaf Avidan. Bregović’s musical adventures began in the 1960s when he studied music in his hometown of Sarajevo. While there he learned to play the violin, but found himself underwhelmed and yearning for more. The rebellious spirit of the 1960s and rock ‘n’ roll sparked something inside Bregović and influenced him to form the rock band Bijelo Dugme (White Button). Their first album was an immediate success and over the next 14 years, the group released 12 albums — selling millions and touring internationally.
Throughout his career, Bregović has remained unmistakably Balkan with his uplifting and eclectic melodies. His adoration for the pulsating vitality of a live crowd and passion for the heartfelt harmonies of Romani folk musicians enticed him to start a haphazard, but tightly knit touring group in the mid-1990s. For almost 20 years, Bregović and his Wedding and Funeral Band, which varies in size from nine to 19 depending on the occasion, have been on a never-ending world tour that so far has included more than 1,000 shows. Demonstrating the unique tone and multicultural influences in his work, Bregović’s concerts are known for being triumphant affairs that emphasize a love of music that is undeniably intoxicating.
Performing for the first time at the Chan Centre, Bregović and his Wedding and Funeral Band will play a selection of all-time favourites, such as Bella Ciao and Presidente, alongside new songs like Baila Leila and Pero from Three Letters from Sarajevo. A meeting place for Muslims, Christians, and Jews before the Balkan Wars, the city of Sarajevo has influenced Bregović’s music throughout his career. In this new album, Bregović celebrates his birthplace and its cultural history with a mixture of foot-stomping percussion and haunting Bulgarian, Georgian, and Corsican chants for a night of jubilant sounds and lively entertainment.
Chan Centre Connects Events (chancentre.com/connects)
A series of ancillary events programmed in conjunction with Chan Centre performances, exploring the role of arts and artists in society.
• Pre-Show Talk with Marija Rakovic — Sunday, October 21, 6:15pm in the Royal Bank Cinema at the Chan Centre. Marija Rakovic is a UBC Ethnomusicology graduate student currently researching vocal music in the western Balkans. Her talk will give context to the work Three Letters From Sarajevo by exploring the inspiration and meanings behind Bregović’s music.
Chan Centre Presents Goran Bregović and His Wedding and Funeral Band
Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 7pm
Ticket Prices: From $54 (SOLD OUT)
Address: Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
University of British Columbia
6265 Crescent Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Box Office: 604-822-2697 / chancentre.com
In person at the Chan Centre ticket office
Open Tue–Sat, 12pm–5pm
Photo by Fabian Mattiazzi