From humble beginnings in his Macedonian village of Strumica to packing out festival dance floors across Europe as the leader of his Aguševi Orchestra, trumpet prodigy Džambo the “Funky Tiger of Macedonia” has arrived with his new album “Brasses For The Masses”. Džambo has risen to become the most widely celebrated Macedonian musician since the late Esma Redžepova. Born in Northern Macedonia in 1987, his family had been musicians for generations and his father, Džemal, worked in local orchestras.
In the mid 1990s little Džambo became seriously interested in playing trumpet. Every day he insisted on accompanying his father to rehearsals where he would observe and listen. He dreamed of owning a trumpet, but his family had been reluctant to give him one knowing how tough a musician’s life can be. Yet the conductor of Džemal’s orchestra took pity on the little boy who studied the musicians with such intensity and gifted Džambo his first trumpet.
From then on there was no stopping him – with his eyes on the prize, the boy from Strumica set off about becoming the greatest trumpeter in the Balkans! Džambo’s sound developed as a result of his varied musical taste. While his initial musical interest was deeply rooted in the brass band genre of the southern Balkans, young Džambo kept his ears open, listening to music from both West and East – appropriate for a Macedonian youth in the former Yugoslav republic – a historical meeting point (and melting pot) for Ottoman and Orthodox cultures.
Džambo listened to Jazz and Turkish, Funk and Soul music, movie soundtracks and classical, all the time using his Gypsy heritage as the roots from which he developed his own distinctive trumpet style and sound. Heralding the future of the Balkan brass sound, “Brasses For The Masses” is a reflection of Džambo’s vision of Balkan brass music. Across the albums twelve track journey Džambo pays respect to the regional roots of the genera, whilst combining hard grooves and uplifting melodies, bringing the music to the dancefloor of a younger generation.