Samir Nurkić
© Saša Zinaja

Watch: accordion player holds online concert for those at home

Written by
Time Out contributors

With people being advised to limit their social contact, there are a lot of folks staying at home these days. On Monday, popular Croatian news portal Index came up with a novel way to stop the house bound climbing the four walls from boredom. They invited accordion player Samir Nurkić into their office studio for a free concert which they broadcast live online. Widely watched, the hour's long performance lifted spirits across the land.

Originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, accordionist Samir Nurkić now lives in Zagreb. The Croatian public became acquainted with his excellent skills on the accordion after he appeared on a TV talent show, progressing through several rounds and winning hearts with his impassioned playing and warm personality. Videos of him playing at home or by the beach have since been posted online and have proved extremely popular across social media.

Beginning his set with a humorous song about Coronavirus, Samir quickly got serious with Darko Rundek's poetic masterpiece 'Apokalipso' and then Bijelo Dugme's late-era anthem 'Lipe Cvatu'. In keeping with the general sense of unity and togetherness shown by the public at this time, he ignored national boundaries and played music from several countries of the former Yugoslav republic, including Serbia, Croatia and his native Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Late '80s hit 'Za sve ove godine' by Sarajevo-based pop rock band Crvena Jabuka followed as did 'Tko te ima taj te nema' by traditional singer Zvonko Bogdan. Slavonian favourite 'Sve je ona meni' whisked us to the flatlands of eastern Croatia before the evergreen 'Ali pamtim još' by Hanka Paldum took us back in time. Omnipresent Romani anthem 'Đurđevdan', which was popularised further in the late '80s by Yugoslav rock giants Bijelo Dugme, came up before Nurkić unleashed an impassioned take on Sinan Sakić's 'Ej, od kad sam se rodio'.

Nurkić took live requests from his viewing audience throughout the performance and the last segment perhaps coincided with the end of siesta time, as some Dalmatian songs started to appear. 'Večeras je naša fešta' by Zadar singer Tomislav Ivčić was one. Another was 'Dalmatinac sam' by Mladen Grdović, the airing of which often signifies you've stayed at the party a little too long and sees most non-Dalmatians have one eye on the door in preparation for an impending departure.

Wonderfully entertaining, regardless of whether or not you can understand the Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian language, you can watch the lively performance below.

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