In the Shadow of the Jasmine: Bosnian Love Songs

Beba Selimović, Emina Zečaj, Vesna Hadžić

Sevdalinka, above all a love song, is the most important and most variegated form of folk music in Bosnian urban centres. In its original form it was a chamber song, an intimate form of expression. It was only in this century that singers, and later on female singers, began to perform it with orchestral accompaniment, with the accordion as the principal instrument. It was at this time that women broke with tradition and began performing in public. At first they did not perform as professional singers, since this would have been considered shameful in that period and culture. Sofka Nikolić, Lela Karlović, Rejhana Osmančević, Zumra Mulalić and some others were the first professional singers of sevdalinka, appearing just after the Second World War. The period of the so called ‘radio’ singers followed. Like Nada Mamula, they were members of the Radio Sarajevo Orchestra, with which they also performed.
Our guests are two eminent divas of Bosnian love song, Beba Selimović and Emina Zečaj. Each continues the tradition in her own way, but at the same time they also try to modernise it. Beba Selimović is a real dame of the sevdalinka and has been its contemporary interpreter for years; her repertoire includes songs, written in the sevdalinka tradition by various composers and poets. Emina Zečaj is something of a Celia Cruz of the sevdalinka, since she performs only traditional songs. She has performed with an orchestra, accompanied by Čamil Metiljević, a sazu player. Hers is an old style of interpretation which has made a successful comeback in the last few years. Vesna Hadžić is a young colleague of Beba Selimović and Emina Zečaj who shows that the tradition of women sevdalinka singers in Bosnia-Herzegovina has continued in the best possible way. The five-member orchestra is lead by accordion player, composer, arranger, musicologist and collector of sevdalinka, Prof. Omer Pobrić.

Accompanied by: the Orkestar Omera Pobrića
(Omer Pobrić: harmonika; Samir Burić: basovska kitara; Mirza Trbonja: kitara; Huso Pajić: bobni; Enes Mujanović: violina) & Čamil Metiljević: saz

Sponzor: Fructal  Supported by, Open Society Institute- Slovenia, Open Society Fund- Bosnia & Herzegovina; Slovenian National Commission For UNESCO, In Collaboration With: Cankarjev dom Ljubljana


Date and time of event: 
Oct 19th 20:30
Place of event: 
Cankarjev dom