"I grew up in a neighbourhood in Sarajevo where time was measured by the bells of the catholic church nearby, by those of the orthodox church and by the muezzin’s prayer invocations.
Since then all my life and all my music have been marked by the wealth of these different chants.
My wish is that this privilege be a natural right for all children. May these three letters be my invocation for peace, and may it be heard."

Goran Bregović


Located in the heart of Europe, Sarajevo has been part of many empires: Byzantine, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian... In the 16th Century, the Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain joined Catholics, Orthodox, Muslims and all rubbed shoulders in this small «Jerusalem of the Balkans».
It is the history of Sarajevo with its multiple beliefs, identity, mixtures and complex paradoxes that inspired Goran Bregović’s new album "Three Letters from Sarajevo".
For this new recording Goran Bregović unites, on the allegorical level, the three religions, using the violin as a metaphoric instrument. Oriental, klezmer and classical styles coexist in three instrumental pieces performed by unique soloists from Israel, the Balkans and Maghreb.

For this new recording Goran Bregović unites, on the allegorical level, the three religions, using the violin as a metaphoric instrument. Oriental, klezmer and classical styles coexist in three instrumental pieces performed by unique soloists from Israel, the Balkans and Maghreb.

Recorded with his traditional Wedding and Funeral Orchestra, the album comprises also amazing and detonating vocal tracks by Bebe, Riff Cohen, Rachid Taha, Asaf Avidan, Sifet and Mehmed, performed in Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic, English and Serbo-Croatian.

Very few musicians have managed to develop an art of such amplitude that coherently mixes such a great variety of styles and techniques without losing its identity. A Bregović piece can be recognized on the very first hearing and seems to address the whole Earth with no distinction of race, sex, age or religion.

With the album "Three Letters from Sarajevo", Goran Bregović recognizes and celebrates this diversity of origins and heritage on cultural, religious and national levels.

Quite a few musicians would be content with only a fragment of Goran Bregović’ s career. Contemporary composer, traditional musician or rock star, he did not have to choose – he took it all to invent a music that is both universal and unmistakably his own.

Goran Bregovic’s musical adventures began in the sixties at a music school in Sarajevo. There he started learning to play violin and got acquainted with the counterpoint and harmony, but this just didn’t seem fun enough…

Even in Tito’s Yugoslavia, rock n' roll music set the sixties on fire, blowing the wind of change. The answers to adolescent revolt that this genre offered lit the way for Goran. While studying philosophy and sociology, he created a rock group "Bijelo Dugme" ("White Button"), the band that marked the history of Yugoslavia.
Son of a Serbian mother and a Croatian father, living in Muslim Sarajevo, Goran Bregović became everyone’s hero as the songwriter/producer of Bjelo Dugme.
Their first album was an immediate success that continued to grow steadily across the whole of Eastern Europe until the end of the eighties. In 14 years, having recorded 12 albums with 3 different singers, the group sold millions of albums and brought together thousands of people each time they performed live.
In 1989, noticing the rise of a fanatical nationalistic fever that took hold of the audience in his concerts, Goran Bregović decided to disband Bijelo Dugme.
Nevertheless, even now once in a while, Bijelo Dugme reunite to celebrate their 40th Anniversary in huge shows across the world.

By the end of the eighties, the film¬maker Emir Kusturica, a fan of Goran's work, convinced Bregović to take part in his next film project. Writing music for «The Time of the Gypsies» allowed Goran to sharpen his sense of musical dramaturgy and to work around Gypsy music that fascinated him. The combination of Kusturica’s images and Bregović’s music sublimated a poignant story that left a strong imprint.

For «Arizona dream» the duo travelled to the US where Kusturica directed Faye Dunaway, Jerry Lewis and Johnny Depp, and Bregović invited the Godfather of punk rock, Iggy Pop, to perform a few songs for the film soundtrack.
In 1994 in Patrice Chereau’s cult film «Queen Margot », Bregović’s music lights a sparkle in the eye of the French actress Isabelle Adjani, but also echoes the ongoing Sarajevo siege. The following year, while the war ravages their country, Bregović and Kusturica collaborate one last time for the controversial and acclaimed « Underground », awarded the Golden Palm at Cannes Festival in 1995.
Bregović then goes back to live concerts.

With his Wedding and Funeral Orchestra he mixes Gypsy brass musicians with percussions, Bulgarian polyphonies with a choir of male vocalists, a string section with electronic programming … Dressed in white, seated between his amplifier and his computer, an electric guitar in his hand, Goran conducts each night his motley crew that varies in size (9 to 19 musicians and up to 60 on special occasions)
For more than twenty years Goran Bregović and his Wedding and Funeral Orchestra have roamed all continents of the known world on a never-ending tour that totals over 3000 shows so far.

When not on stage, Bregovic composes an oratorio «My Heart has become Tolerant» around the three monotheistic religions, or, with a wink to Bizet, proposes the first Gypsy opera «Karmen with a Happy End»…

His acute capacity to understand and assimilate vastly varied musical cultures allows him to incorporate into his music traditional Corsican, Georgian or Bulgarian chants, as well as elements of electronic music. His boundless talent attracts first class artists like the emblematic crooner from Greece Dalaras, the Polish star Kayah, the Turkish icon Sezen Aksu, the cult singer Scott Walker, the barefoot diva Cesaria Evora, or recently Gypsy Kings.

Goran’s previous album “Champagne for Gypsies” was a reaction to the extreme pressure that Gypsies (Roma) have been experiencing lately across Europe (expelled from France, Italy - houses burned in Hungary...). For Bregović "It seems unfair to cover real problems with invented problems – Gypsies are not a problem of this world, they are talent of this world. Everyone is impressed by gypsies – be they unknown gypsy on your street corner, or be they called Charlie Chaplin, Mother Teresa, Elvis Presley or Django Reinhardt, who left a trace in popular culture around the world”.

For this album, Goran Bregović invited various Gypsy artists: Gogol Bordello from Ukraine, Florin Salam from Rumania, Stephan Eicher from Switzerland and The Gipsy Kings from France.

OST for Emir Kusturica films: Time of the Gypsies -1989;
Arizona Dream – 1993;
Underground -1995;
OST for Patrice Chéreau film: La Reine Margot - 1994
Goran Bregović albums with his Wedding and Funeral Orchestra:
Kayah & Bregovic – 2000;
Tales and songs from Weddings and Funerals – 2002 ;
Karmen with a Happy End – 2007;
Alkohol - Sljivovica – 2009;
Champagne for Gypsies – 2013;
Three Letters From Sarajevo – 2017;
Welcome to Goran Bregović - 2017.