Mostar Sevdah Reunion (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

The Pioneers of Modern Sevdah

Mostar Sevdah Reunion is an exquisite group of artists sharing the same passion. Some might say that they live for Sevdah and that could be the only cause of their existence. To decode and to represent this over 400 year old traditional music from Bosnia and Herzegovina is a difficult task to cope with. Despite all obstacles, MSR kept going.
The story begins in 1993 when Dragi Sestic, producer and former of the band, recorded an audiocassette with a couple of tracks that was distributed in limited edition among their friends. Those were the times of war in the Balkans and the reason for recording was just a getaway episode to forget for one single moment all the atrocities and suffering. Then, they gave the promise that “the whole world will know about Sevdah” – one day when war would come to an end. They fulfilled the promise and recorded their first album “Mostar Sevdah Reunion“ in 1998. Since that day they have been fascinating their audiences wherever they go.
Diversity in musical backgrounds and individual virtuosity in a collective that never performed two identical gigs in a row make them unique on the World Music scene. Working and recording with Saban Bajramovic “A Gypsy Legend” , Ljiljana Buttler “The Mother of Gypsy Soul”, Esma Redzepova “The Queen of Gypsies”, Boban Markovic , Naat Veliov and Amira they intend to show the variety of Balkan music an to give due respect to the finest and uncompromised authors of genuine Gypsy music.

Since 2007 the cult band has been touring with Café Sevdah, a younger line up, new program and CD, centered around the brilliant vocals of Nermin Alukic and the dazzling guitar solos of veteran members Milic Petrovic and Sandi Durakovic. Six years later they are back with something entirely different: Tales From A Forgotten City is a world music concept album revealing the rich, long and mysterious tradition of songs unique to Mostar, the sound of the hedonistc, humorous and very southern city of great poets and sevdah singers. Turkish terms and words blend with Sevdah harmonies and a distinct Austro-Hungarian influence. Its singular refinement and delicacy makes this album a love song, a dediaction to beautiful and troubled Mostar, their no longer forgotten town.


2013 Mostar Sevdah Reunion, Tales From A Forgotten City,  SR-66021
2007 Mostar Sevdah Reunion, Café Sevdah, LC-12490
2005 Ljiljana Buttler & Mostar Sevdah Reunion, The Legends of Life, SR-66006
2003 Mostar Sevdah Reunion, A Secret Gate, SR-66002
2002 Liljana Buttler & Mostar Sevdah Reunion, The Mother of Gypsy Soul, SR-66001


2013 Tales From A Forgotten City von Amir Grabus
2005 Sevdah – The Bridge of Bosnian Blues, BBC documentary


“Deeply sad and beautiful.”
Hessischer Rundfunk, D, 2013

“This Balkan answer to the blues is transformed and updated by being matched against contemporary blues and jazz influences… …A subtle and intriguing band.”
The Guardian, UK, 2007

“…Ljiljana Buttler’s debut CD is delicious: Ljiljana’s deep, almost masculine, voice picks out words and tosses them into the air with effortless grace. And the instrumental backing by Mostar Sevdah Reunion and legendary trumpet virtuoso Boban Markovic is inspired: the musicians spoon out the notes with a tangible, almost erotic, delicacy while Ljiljana sails above them, her voice caressing the listener.”
FRoots Magazine, UK 2003

“…a master piece in every aspect.”
Roots Town Music, Belgium