Dusan Gojkovic is a international jazz trumpeter, composer and arranger.
Aka Dusko Gojkovic, Dusko Goykovich, Dusan Gojkovic, Dusan Goykovic, Dusan Goykovich, Dusan Goykovitch, Dusco Gaykovich, Dusco Goykovic, Dusco Goykovich, Dusko Goikovich, Dusko Gojkovich, Dusko Gojkowic, Dusko Goykovic, Dušan Gojković, Duško Gojkovic, Duško Gojković…
During his career Dusko Gojkovic built his own style recognizable for the preciseness, brilliance of his technique and warm sound in playing as well as melodic tunes in composing. His colourful life is like a mirror of a half a century of jazz history. He caused stylistic developments. Gojkovic set technical standards, played with all the greats of the genre and finally became one of them. Since 1955 he has been a formative influence not only on the German jazz scene, performing and recording with such as Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Lee Konitz, Chet Baker, Woody Herman, Johnny Griffin, Mal Waldron, Phil Woods, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Clarke or Kenny Barron and many more and is highly admired in the USA and Japan. He is best known for his unmistakably melodic phrasing and his high-class ballad renditions on the trumpet, muted trumpet, and flugelhorn.
Gojkovic was born in Jajce, former Yugoslavia, now Bosnia and Herzegovina. He studied at the Belgrade Music Academy from 1948 to 1953. He played trumpet in a number of jazz Dixieland bands and, though only 18 years of age, joined Big Band of Radio Belgrade. After five years spent there he grew into a seasoned musician and decided to continue his career in West Germany. In 1956 he recorded his first LP as a member of Frankfurt All Stars band. Next four years he spent as a member of Kurt Edelhagen’s orchestra as a first trumpet. In these years he played with notable jazzmen such as Chet Baker, Stan Getz and Oscar Pettiford. In 1958 he performed at Newport Jazz Festival and drew much attention on both sides of the Ocean. In 1961 he was offered a scholarship for the studies of composing and arranging in Berklee. He took the offer and finished the studies.
After the studies he was invited by Canadian band leader Maynard Ferguson to join his band. Gojkovic performed as a second trumpet until the break of the band in 1964. His work with Ferguson boosted his reputation as an excellent big band musician and an outstanding soloist. Next he returned to Europe, formed his sextet and in 1966 recorded his first album Swinging Macedonia, produced by Eckart Rahn, with music he originally composed inspired by the music of Balkans. The album is generally considered to be the cornerstone of Balkan Jazz. In the years to follow he played with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Pettiford, Gerry Mulligan, Sonny Rollins, Duke Jordan, Slide Hampton etc. In 1966 he continued his career in The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band. In 1968 he settled in Munich and formed his own big band with artists such as Rolf Ericsson that lasted until 1976.
In 1986 he managed to form another orchestra with which he performs to this day. His much awaited comeback came with the 1994 Soul Connection album that won him a broad acclaim. This was followed with album Bebop City. In 1996 he recorded the Soul Collection album again but this time with his own big band. Another great album came in 1997 – Balkan Blue, a double CD: first one a quintet with Italian sax player Gianni Basso while the second one features orchestra of the North German Radio (NDR) accompanied by the jazz rhythm section and Gojković as a soloist. His next album was In My Dreams (2001) recorded with his quartet.
In 2003 Gojkovic opened a new chapter in his career with his album Samba do Mar, in which he composes for the first time inspired by Brazilian music. In 2004 he performed on the 200th anniversary of modern Serbian statehood, the opportunity he used to gather in Belgrade international All Star Big Bend with whom he recorded A Handful of Soul CD. His last album Samba Tzigane came out in 2006. Gojkovic celebrated his 75th birthday with a grand concert in Belgrade.