Wednesday 2. 10.
19:30, Big Hall
temporarily not available


Romanian brass band and one of the most famous and legendary Romani bands returns to Prague!

The world's fastest brass band has played more than 3,000 concerts around the world and released a number of highly acclaimed albums in its quarter-century career. One of today's finest live bands comes from a remote village in eastern Romania. It is easy to distinguish it from other Balkan brass bands: it plays with a punkish commitment and jazz virtuosity. The band originated near the Moldovan border, in the village of Zece Prajini, home to 80 Roma families who have devoted generations to their fields and music. During the totalitarian era, this was a region cut off from civilisation, thanks to which music has been preserved here, which otherwise disappeared in other parts of Romania. The roots of this music go back to the Ottoman Empire and draw on the style of Turkish military bands.

The dominant instrument of these "Turkish musics" was originally the zurna, an oboe-like flute whose sharp sound penetrated even the loudest battle. In the 18th century, military bands replaced the existing oriental instruments with European ones, but retained the original Turkish way of playing. The band was discovered in 1996 by German music enthusiast and later impresario Henry Ernst – and when he brought it to London, the Times described its music as "a hell of a blast". Fanfare Ciocărlia recorded ten albums, many of which topped the charts and inspired filmmakers – the renowned Turkish documentary filmmaker Fatih Akin captured their triumphant concerts in Berlin clubs. Eastern European music expert Garth Cartwright wrote enthusiastically about the band in his book Princes Among Men, film enfant terrible Sacha Baron Cohen commissioned them to score the film Borat, and their songs have been remixed and adapted by dozens of DJs and bands.

On later albums, the band included radical arrangements of Western evergreens – including the James Bond film theme and Duke Ellingtons Caravan – that prove how insignificant the boundaries between musical genres are. The band also excels in unique stage projects – Gypsy Queens & Kings is a showcase of the greatest Roma personalities, and Balkan Brass Battle is a dramatic duel between Fanfare Ciocărlia and the musically related Serbian brass band known from the films of Emir Kusturica.