Burgemeester van der werffstraat
2581SK Den Haag
Bosnian blues (Sevdalinka) with a 'high-energy' mixture of groovy beats, exuberant Balkan horns and screaming rock guitar!
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- WOMEX 2017
- WOMEX 2015
- WOMEX 2014
- WOMEX 2013
company descriptionProjekt Rakija
A music group around the Bosnian guitar player Igor Sekulovic, who try to bring new life into the Sevdalinka by combining this ancient Bosnian blues with a 'high-energy' mixture of groovy beats, exuberant Balkan horns and screaming rock guitar.
A community of creatives, young talents and old hands, who provide their skills to let the good times roll, because there's always a good reason to party, make music, enjoy food and drinks (and hopefully make some money as well).
In his youth in Banja Luka (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Igor loved to listen when his mother and aunts sang those beautiful, melancholic songs of the past. The songs had very poetical lyrics and handled mostly about love, the longing for love or the absence of love. Some were sad, other funny with tongue-in-cheeck. The songs were called Sevdalinka and dated from sometime after the arrival of the Ottoman in medieval Balkans.
The word Sevdalinka derives from the Turkish word Sevdah which means love or carressing and this is exactly what this words means today in the Bosnian language. The combination of Oriental, European and Sephardic elements make these songs stand out among other types of Balkan music.
Many years after, when Igor was graduating from the Rock Academie in Tilburg (The Netherlands), he searched for a way to combine the music from his homeland with western rock music. He came through at a colorful bunch of musicians with very different musical backgrounds and from all around Europe.
At their first appearance at the International Gipsy Festival in Tilburg they astonished friends and foe by winning both the audience as the jury award of the Dutch Balkan Blues Contest 2012. They were praised for their unbridled energy, surprising instrumentation, musical virtuosity and passionate presentation.
In the hands of Projekt Rakija the old Sevdah's evolved into psychedelic balkan rock. Listening to the music you'll find influences of Himzo Polovina, Mostar Sevdah Reunion and Goran Bregovic, but also from Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.
The core of the band is formed by Igor Sekulovic (guitars and vocals) and Harm Timmermans (lead vocals) assisted by Marcel Cuypers (clarinet, wurlitzer piano and vocals), Rick Henkelman (double bass, trombone, tuba and vocals) and Dmitri Tsvetskov (drums). A free role is played by Demis Iossifidis (bouzouki) and/or Stanislav Jusufovic (accordion). The Rakija horns consist of Ron Antens (trombone and basstuba), Gon Mevis (trumpet) and Robert de Kok (saxophone). And last but not least there are our beautiful background singers Anne Simkens and Josefien Terburg. Depending on the nature of the concert the band consist from 6 to 12 people.
Beside the musicians Projekt Rakija has an entourage of creative friends who are closely linked to the band and are considered part of it. A cartoonist, a butcher, designer, webdeveloper, a D.J., photographers and even a hairstylist.
We embrace the philosophy of D.I.Y. Projekt Rakija is one big, happy family in which every member does what he's good at. It isn't about money, but about sharing, because if you can't share, you can't multiply. Above all, Projekt Rakija is a group of friends, who enjoy spending time together and who want to celebrate life the only way they know, with good music, food and drinks. Let's call it the Balkan way.