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Gjurmët in 1985
Gjurmët in 1985
Background information
Years active1980 – 1986
(Reunions: 1988, 2015, 2019)
Past membersArmando Gjini
Bekim Dyla
Migjen Kelmendi
Petrit Riza
Tomor Kurshumliu

Gjurmët (trans. The Traces) was a Yugoslav new wave band formed in Pristina. The band is notable for being one of the first Yugoslav rock bands formed by Kosovo Albanians and the first new wave band from SAP Kosovo.

Gjurmët was formed and led by Migjen Kelmendi (vocals, rhythm guitar). The band released only one self-titled album before disbanding in 1986. The band made three one-off reunions, in 1988, 2015 and 2019.


1980 – 1986, 1988 reunion[edit]

The band's logo

The band was formed in 1980 by Migjen Kelmendi (vocals, rhythm guitar), the son of the writer and journalist Ramiz Kelmendi,[1] inspired by the expansion of the Yugoslav new wave scene.[2] The lineup also included Armando Gjini (piano, synthesizer), Tomor Kurshumliu (vocals, bass guitar), Gazmend Hasbahta (lead guitar), Petrit Riza (drums) and Bekim Dyla (lead guitar).[3] During the same year, the band recorded their first song, being the first new wave song recorded in SAP Kosovo.[4]

In 1982 the band recorded the song "Karrigat" ("Chair"), which Radio Television of Pristina refused to play due to its political-related lyrics. Afterwards the band recorded "Mikrofoni" ("Microphones"), which also had political lyrics but was accepted by Radio Television of Pristina. In 1984 Armando Gjini joins the band as the keyboardist. During the same year, the band recorded the material for their debut album, which was released the following year as a self-titled album.[5] The reason for the delay was the controversial album cover, which featured dancers performing the traditional Albanian "eagle dance", making the shape of a double-headed eagle with their posture.[5] Eventually, the album was released by Radio Television of Pristina, on compact cassette only, featuring the band's photo on the front cover; in the image, Kelmendi is looking at his wrist watch as a comment on the release delay.[5] The album featured a combination of new wave, post-punk, reggae rock and folk music.[6]

In 1986, the band disbanded due to Migjen Kelmendi having been called for his mandatory service in the Yugoslav army.[7]

In 1988 the members of the band got back together, only to record one more song as a nod to their home city, "Heroi i Qytetit Pa Lum" ("Hero of the City without a River").


Gjurmët LP, second album of the band Gjurmët released in 2002.
Front cover of the 2002 compilation album LP

Kelmendi became a journalist and was head of editing for the program Contacto on Radio Television of Pristina (1988-1990), executive producer of Victoria Television of New York (1996) and of the Programme Albanian Satellite (1997-1999), and director of television of Radio Television of Kosovo (2000-2001).[8] He was also the founder of the weekly magazine Epoca (1991) and of the literary magazine MM (1996), and is currently editor of the weekly newspaper Java, which he founded in 2001.[8] He has written four books, including To Change The World: A Short History of The Traces, about his musical career.[8] Tomor was a economist and after the group dissolved he worked as a counselor in the Executive Council of Kosovo, he is fired from his job in 1989 after the reduction of autonomy of Kosovo in 1989. He afterwards moved to London. Petrit was a Jurist, after the breakup of Gjurmët he still continued with music. He today is a drummer for the band Haliband. Bekim was an Architect, after the rise of Slobodan Milosevic, he goes to Switzerland, now he lives in Geneva and is a designer. Armando was a composer, after Slobodan Milosevic came to power, he goes to Croatia.

In 2002, a compilation album LP, featuring a collection of material the band had recorded in the course of the 1980s, was released.[9] The album upon release also featured Migjen Kelmendi's book, "Gjurmët LP".

Due to the unavailability of the "Gjurmët LP" CD in stores and online music streaming services, Gjurmët LP is archived in the Internet Archive.[10]

2015 reunion[edit]

The band reunited in 2015 to perform a concert in Palace of Congresses in Tirana, Albania, on December 29. The concert featured several guest singers from Albania and Kosovo,[11] including the rapper MC Kresha, who, the day before the concert, released the song "Era", recorded in collaboration with Gjurmët.[12]

2019 reunion[edit]

After the 2015 reunion, Gjurmët reunited once again in 2019 and made a concert in the Palace of Youth and Sports in Pristina, on June 12.[13] The money from the concert went to the Prenk Jakova School of Music in honor of its 70th anniversary.[13] Gjurmët also received the Key of Pristina for the concert by the mayor of the city, Shpend Ahmeti.[14]


  • Migjen Kelmendi – vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Armando Gjini – piano, synthesizer
  • Tomor Kurshumliu – vocals, bass guitar
  • Gazmend Hasbahta - lead guitar
  • Petrit Riza – drums
  • Bekim Dyla – lead guitar


Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hudelist, Darko. Kosovo - Bitka bez iluzija (in Croatian) (Biblioteka "Dnevnik" ed.). University of Michigan: Centar za informacije i publicitet, 1989. p. 112. ISBN 9788671250290.
  2. ^ http://www.esiweb.org/index.php?lang=en&id=280&portrait_ID=7"
  3. ^ "Gjurmët - LP (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  4. ^ Hudelist, Darko, Kosovo - Bitka bez iluzija, page 120
  5. ^ a b c Hudelist, Darko, Kosovo - Bitka bez iluzija, page 124
  6. ^ Hudelist, Darko, Kosovo - Bitka bez iluzija, page 121
  7. ^ "Gjurmet - CV". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  8. ^ a b c "Kosmopolis - Migjen Kelmendi". Cccb.org. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  9. ^ "Gjurmët - LP (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
  10. ^ Gjurmët [Migjen Kelmendi(Za, Ritëm Gitarë) (2002), Gjurmët - LP, retrieved 2022-09-11
  11. ^ "NIN: 30 vjet pa Gjurmët (VIDEO)". December 7, 2015.
  12. ^ "MC Kresha sot në koncertin e "Gjurmët", do ta performojë këngën e re". Lajmi.net - Lajme të Kosovës nga politika, zgjedhjet, ekonomia, sporti, showbiz, lifestyle, arti dhe teknologjia. 2015-12-29. Retrieved 2022-07-27.
  13. ^ a b "Gjurmët me koncert në Prishtinë, paratë e biletave për shkollën e muzikës "Prenk Jakova"". KultPlus (in Albanian). 2019-06-04. Retrieved 2022-05-21.
  14. ^ "Shpend Ahmeti i dha çelësin me tender vokalistit të grupit "Gjurmët", Migjen Kelmendit". Lajmi.net - Lajme të Kosovës nga politika, zgjedhjet, ekonomia, sporti, showbiz, lifestyle, arti dhe teknologjia. 2019-06-13. Retrieved 2022-05-21.

External links[edit]