Legendary Director Emir Kusturica & His Band Perform At London Jazz Festival

21. October, 2011 Culture No comments

The London Jazz Festival will have audiences rocking in the aisles when legendary Serb film director Emir Kusturica and The No Smoking Orchestra hit town for a mind-blowing concertof gypsy punk mayhem. In a coup for the Festival, Kusturica and his troupe of musical rebels will bring the house down with a rare one-off performance at the Royal Festival Hall on Saturday, 19 November.

Emir Kusturica is best known as the acclaimed director of a catalogue of (often farcical) Balkan classic movies: Underground, Do You Remember Dolly Bell, When Father Was Away On Business, Life Is A MiracleBlack Cat, White Cat, as well as the US film Arizona DreamSince joining The No Smoking Orchestra of irrepressible musicians in 1998, Kusturicahas taken their raucous performances to new extremes.

Across four albums and worldwide sell-out tours, The No Smoking Orchestrahas carved its reputation as one of the Balkan region’s most popular wedding and funeral bands. Visitors to the London show will experience this euphoria for themselves, as Kusturica takes to the Southbank Centre stage with his ten-piece band of no-holds-barred musicians.

Music is integral to many of these, with gypsy brass bands, wild weddings and funeral parties, often conveying their story in a way that dialogue cannot. His films vehemently divide opinion, though, with critics slamming their colourful portrayal of the Balkan lifestyle as a caricature of madmen, criminals and oafs. On the other hand, his particular brand of cinematic joie de vivre has scooped up some of the most prestigious awardsand nominations, and Kusturica is one of only a pair of directors to walk away from the Cannes Film Festival with the Palme d’Or on two occasions (1985 and 1995). The other is Francis Ford Coppola.

This rare London performance by The No Smoking Orchestra is likely to set new standards in gypsy brass and hybrid rock. Expect the unexpected, that is all I will say. Gabby Young and Other Animals have pulled the lucky ticket to perform to the baying crowd in advance of The No Smoking Orchestra.

Since 1992, the London Jazz Festival has been bringing together an eclectic mix of international and British artists to celebrate the place that jazz holds in a city that thrives on its rich cultural diversity. The London Jazz Festival is produced by Serious in association with BBC Radio 3. Serious are one of the UK’s leading producers and curators of live jazz, international and new music.

For tickets, priced £35, £25 and £10 plus booking fee: 0844 875 0073 or Southbank Centre.

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