NEW RELEASES BY OUR ARTISTS

2018 has been a highly productive year for our artists:

Italian melodeon maestro Riccardo Tesi and his Banditaliana celebrate their  25 years band anniversary with Argento. Albanian-Swiss vocalist Elina Duni releases her first solo album Partir and sings in nine (!) languages about the pain of separation and the courage to seek new beginnings. Amira Medunjanin, the cool Sevdah queen from Sarajavo, commemorates her 15 year stage anniversary with a special retrospective project: Ascending was recorded with the renowned Norvegian Trondheim Solistene in the even more renowned Abbey Road Studios in London. And Danças Ocultas will present dentro desse mar at the end of October, recorded in Rio de Janeiro and produced by Brazilian cellist and producer Jaques Morelenbaum. Congratulations!

Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana, Argento, Visage Music / Galileo MC
Elina Duni, Partir, ECM
Amira Medunjanin & Tronheim Solistene, Ascending, Town Hill Colony / Croatia Records
Danças Ocultas, dentro desse mar, Sony / Galileo MC

AMIRA MEDUNJANIN ON TOUR IN GERMANY, AUSTRIA, SWITZERLAND

Bosnian Billie Holiday – Sevdah Meets Jazz

Amira Medunjanin, acclaimed singer, humanitarian and worldwide ambassador for the culture and music of her native Bosnia-Herzegovina and the wider Balkan region, presents her new album DAMAR. As in all her previous productions she draws deep from the wellspring of Sevdah, the “beating heart” of Bosnian music, with revivifying ancestral Bosnian songs, whilst for the first time introducing new compositions to her artistic palette. A particular emphasis on acoustic guitar brings a subtle Iberian piquancy to DAMAR, and once again the great Serbian pianist Bojan Z  bestows his musical and production skills upon the endeavour.  With a quintet that suggests everything from flamenco to contemporary jazz – a flourish of guitar here, a provocative piano solo there – Amira transforms tradition into a powerful emotional statement, one that suggests her homeland but is not limited to it.

“Bosnian Billie Holiday” (Gart Cartwright) was born in Sarajevo at the time when the popularity of traditional music in former Yugoslavia was at high tide, and Sevdah held a special place for her. The Sevdalinke (sevdah songs) she learned from her mother were the most beautiful of songs. Her fascination with the oral tradition of Bosnia and Herzegovina led her to devote herself to creating a unique voice within Sevdah to explore its expressive capacity to the full.

In 2017 Amira Medunjanin was selected into the Top Ten of World Music Divas by the British magazine Songlines.

UPCOMING LIVE DATES
28-04-17 München (DE), Gasteig • 29-04-17 Wien (AT), SIMM City • 05-05-17 Stuttgart (DE), Liederhalle • 06-05-17 Frankfurt (DE), Saalbau Volkshaus Sossenheim • 07-05-17 Düsseldorf (DE), Capitol Theater • 23-05-17 Baden (AT), Cinema Paradiso • 24-05-17 La Chaux de Fonds (CH), L’Heure Bleue • 26-05-17 Genève (CH), Le Temple de St. Gervais • 28-05-17 Ettiswil (CH), Stimmenfestival • 18-08-17 St. Gallen (CH), Schutzengelkapelle • 19-08-17 Rorschach (CH), Carmen Würth Saal • 24-08-17 Innsbruck (AT), Treibhaus • 26-08-17 Saaldfelden (AT), Internationales Jazzfestival • 17-09-17 Berlin (DE), Admiralspalast

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 Medunjanin they intend to show the variety of Balkan music and to give due respect to the finest and uncompromised authors of genuine Gypsy music.

The style of the band has changed since its early days, along with many of its members. Guitar and piano have joined violin and accordion as lead instruments, while a younger generation of singers has taken over as vocalists, but the music remains fluid, thoughtful, and an effective reminder that there is more to Balkan music than the high-octane brass bands and drunken stomping of popular imagination.

After their acclaimed 2013 concept album „Tales From a Forgotten City“, entirely dedicated to beautiful and troubled Mostar and her poets and singers, they now come back with something different, in line with the tradition of discovering and presenting forgotten and new talent. “The Balkan Autumn” (2018) features one of the best kept musical secrets of the region: Milutin Sretenovic Sreta is an incredible 70 years old crooner from Serbia who mixes Sinatra-like jazzy vocals with Spanish flamenco and Oriental maqams. Another new voice at Sreta’s side will be only 25 year old Antonija Batinic, the latest star of Sevdah music whose vocal abilities seem to be without limits. „The Balkan Autumn“ promises an exciting mix of experience and youth, energy and virtuosity.


Discography

2018 Mostar Sevdah Reunion Presents Sreta, The Balkan Autumn
2017 Kings of Sevdah, Live Album, Digital Release
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


Films

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


Press

“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

 

Amira Medunjanin (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Sevdah meets Jazz: Bosnian Billie Holiday

It is not easy to find a single word in English that can stand for the Bosnian concept of Sevdah, although yearning perhaps comes closest. Like the Spanish Duende, or Portuguese Fado, it carries multiple meanings – love, hopeless love, endless love, a desire that chills and fevers the lover like malaria, and like malaria can never be shaken off – but in the end, it’s a way of life, and a narrative that tells the story of itself.

In her native Bosnia, Amira Medunjanin is adored as the new diva of Sevdalinke (Bosnian love songs). She was born in Sarajevo at the time when the popularity of traditional music in former Yugoslavia was at high tide, and Sevdah held a special place for her. The sevdalinke (sevdah songs) she learned from her mother were the most beautiful of songs. Her fascination with the oral tradition of Bosnia and Herzegovina led her to devote herself to creating a unique voice within Sevdah to explore its expressive capacity to the full. She had spent years searching to find people who shared her ideas about Sevdah, and for the best way to present it.

On her latest album Damar (2016), as in all her previous productions, Amira draws deep from the wellspring of Sevdah, the “beating heart” of Bosnian music, with revivifying ancestral Bosnian songs, whilst for the first time introducing new compositions to her artistic palette. A particular emphasis on acoustic guitar brings a subtle Iberian piquancy to Damar, and once again the great Serbian pianist Bojan Z  bestows his musical and production skills upon the endeavour.  With a quintet that suggests everything from flamenco to contemporary jazz – a flourish of guitar here, a provocative piano solo there – Amira Medunjanin transforms tradition into a powerful emotional statement, one that suggests her homeland but is not limited to it.

During the past few years Amira has been increasingly collaborating with classical Croatian orchestras (Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, Zagreb Soloists and Zagreb Philharmonics),  thus placing traditional music from the Balkans into a slightly new context. In 2017 she started working with the internationally renowned Norvegian chamber orchestra Trondheim Solistene, recording and performing together at the Arena di Pula in Istria/Croatia in August 2018. Shortly after this grandiose, sold out  event she releases Ascending, recorded in Trondheim and the Abbey Road Studios in London and produced by Amira herself with her long time musical companions Ante Gelo und Bojan Z. With this special, retrospective album the Bosnian diva celebrates her 15th stage anniversary and opens a new chapter in her musical career.

Dubbed “Bosnia’s Billie Holiday” by music journalist and author Garth Cartwright, the comparison reflects the way in which Amira turns Sevdah inside out, finding new contexts and forms within a tradition that is hundreds of years old. Amira Medunjanin was ranked among the Top Ten World Music Divas by the British magazine Songlines in 2017.


Current Projects

DUO Amira Medunjanin & Bojan Z (piano)
DUO Amira Medunjanin & Boško Jovic (guit)
TRIO Amira Medunjanin & Bojan Z (piano) & Zvonimir Šestak (double bass)
QUARTET Amira Medunjanin & Ante Gelo (guit) & Bosko Jovic (guit) & Zvonimir Šestak (double bass)
SEXTET  Amira Medunjanin & Bojan Z (piano) & Zvonimir Šestak (double bass) & Yurdal Osman Tokcan (oud) & Hakan Güngör (kanun) & Bosko Jovic (guit)
Amira Medunjanin & orchestra


Discography

2018 Ascending (Croatia Records/Town Hill Colony)
2016 Damar (Harmonia Mundi/World Village)
2014 Silk&Stone (Harmonia Mundi/World Village)
2011 Amulette (Harmonia Mundi / World Village)
2010 Zumra (Harmonia Mundi / World Village)
2009 Live from Jazz Fest Sarajevo (Gramofon)
2005 Rosa (Snail Records)
2003 A Secret Gate (Snail Records)


Press

“…powerful and passionate…“
The Guardian (UK) on Damar, 2016

“An exquisite album that affirms her status as Eastern Europe’s most potent contemporary voice.”
Nigel Williamson on Silk&Stone, Uncut, UK, 2015

“With Amulette, Medunjanin succeeds in doing what many of today’s artists have not: to incorporate Sevdah in the 21st century, adding new contemporary elements whiule retianing its originality; avoiding frustration for the older audience of traditional music while, at the same time, engaging a new one. Together, with her team of musicians, she has showed that tradition, in a new setting, can and must be appreciated and taken car of.”
All About Jazz, 2012

“The home of the soul is silence; from this silence beautiful music emerges. Amira’s voice touches that silence on one end of its range; on the other, it reaches transcendent emotional purity. Her voice is good news for those of us who need music to live.”
Aleksandar Hemon