Bosnian musician Damir Imamović has established himself as a leading voice in contemporary sevdah and continues to forge innovative approaches to the venerable tradition. Born into a family of sevdah musicians in Sarajevo, he has become a well-known representative of the new generation of traditional musicians in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the region.
Taking its name from ‘sevda’, the Turkish word for love, derived in turn from the Arabic ‘sawda’ (melancholy), sevdah has been played in the Balkans in one form or another since at least the 15th century. Often referred to as the ‘Bosnian blues’, its lyrical and musical preoccupations with love, longing and loss provide a bridge to other European traditions, such as Portuguese fado or Greek rembetika.
The quartet’s repertoire is based on Damir’s new album and his decade-long musical journey. It will include a wealth of original material from his acclaimed catalogue but will also revisit the sevdah classics. The combination of his powerful and agile singing and the unusual, rich blend of the four stringed instruments create a seductive and original acoustic sound.