The most famous Folk Festival in Serbia
"I didn't know you could play trumpet that way"
Miles Davis, a Guca Festival visitor.
The village of Guča (pronounced Gucha) in the Dragačevo district is a peaceful, scenic and colorful part of western Serbia. It has gained world fame owing to its Assembly of Trumpet Players, the largest trumpet and brass band event on the planet.
The love of the people of Dragacevo for music, especially for the trumpet, began in the rule of Prince Miloš Obrenović who ordered the formation of the first military band in 1831. From then until now the trumpet has reigned here uninterrupted while woodwind instruments, in keeping with the customs, warm the soul of its population.
The sound of the trumpet traditionally accompanies every major event in Serbia's rural and small-town life: births, baptisms, weddings, Slava (family patron saint day), farewell parties for those joining military service, state and church festivals, harvesting, reaping, and also departing this world. Appropriate music is played on these occasions, thus preserving the spirit of the existing tradition.
The music is very diverse: from indigenous melodies via the kolo (a fast-rhythm chain dance), marches and characteristic southern Serbia čoček (pron. chochek) dances, all the way to tunes that have emerged more recently, always taking care to honour the traditional harmony.
This music has won over the hearts of not only the local population, but has also warmed the hearts of outsiders and foreigners. In the several days of the Gucha festival, hardly anyone can resist giving themselves to the adrenalin-rushing rhythms and melodies that simply force one to jump to ones feet and dance."