ZG Etno Stage

Mostar Sevdah Reunion
© Mostar Sevdah Reunion

Time Out says

The Balkan region has arguably the richest and most unique range of folk musics in the whole of Europe; nowhere other than here can you hear musics, scales and rhythms from the near east (and far east) infiltrate into authentic, local European folk music. Lisinski hold this two-day showcase of regional folk musics in celebration of this richness and diversity. Mojmir Novaković's Kries band combine Balkan folk musics with all manner of contemporary sounds, from electronica and minimalist soundtracks to rock and post-punk and the band features multiple singers, percussionists and a range of traditional instruments. The emotionally-charged Sevdalinka or Sevdah music is a traditional folk music from Bosnia. At a push, it could be described as the blues or soul music of the Balkans. Since emerging with their debut album in 1999, Mostar Sevdah Reunion (pictured) have placed the music on the world stage. They have played at Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Barbican Center in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Kremlin State Theater in Moscow, the Art Palace in Budapest, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Nice Jazz Festival and the WOMAD Festival and have had several documentaries made about them. The word Sevdah comes from the Turkish word sevda which, in turn, derives from the Arabic word sawda, a word often associated with a pining heart or unrequited love. Updating their line-up with fresh talent and new musical possibilities, the band's current lead vocalists are Milutin Sretenović and Antonija Batinić, the former enabling the band to explore a classic catalogue of Romani songs alongside their jazz-inflected sevdah songs.


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