The group's leader is Naat Veliov, a trumpeter, composer, and arranger born in 1957 to a family of trumpet players in Kocani. The father, grandfather, and son (a bandmember) all play trumpet, and Veliov is a strong believer of keeping the band membership open to family members and friendly neighbors.
In their native land, the group plays for a variety of social celebrations, and there tends to be one for each step of life. The Kocani Orkestar might begin a day by playing a gig outside a hospital to welcome a newborn baby; a week or so later the same child may be the source of another gig, this time a naming ceremony with the local community shelling out the fee. If the child is Muslim, a third gig might be in the offing when the circumcision ceremony takes place. The group is also on call for all manner of wedding events, funeral processions, burials, and special banquets and intimate coffeehouse, or kafic, gigs. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi