Singer of Tales feat. Derya Türkan, Ivana Đurić, Greg Cohen
Damir Imamović is known as the "the king of sevdah music" - a visionary who tirelessly continues to find new ways to connect sevdah’s rich past with an invigorated future. Born into a famous Sarajevo family of musicians, the sounds and words of sevdalinka (sevdah songs) were omnipresent.
The Arabic word sevdah means literally ‘black bile’, and has been appropriated from Portugal (saudade) to Turkey (sevda) to express longing and love. The musical form can be traced back to the 15th century and evolved in the cafes of 19th century Sarajevo and Mostar. Sevdah finally risked turning into an unfashionable relic of the Tito era, but during the Bosnian war, it took on a new meaning for the young generation, including Damir Imamović: “When the time came for me, I hurried to meet the last remaining masters and hunted for old tape reels.”
For his new project "Singer of Tales" (April 2020), Damir Imamović assembled an all-star team to explore the centuries-old links between sevdah and Ottoman music: Turkish kemenche master Derya Türkan, renowned US bassist Greg Cohen and violin virtuoso Ivana Đurić. Together with Damir Imamović's powerful tenor voice and the unusual mix of different stringed instruments they create a seductive and original acoustic sound - a deeply moving homage to the art of storytelling.
Damir Imamović - vocals, tambur*
Ivana Đurić – violin
Derya Türkan – kemenche
Greg Cohen - double-bass
*self-designed instrument, combination of guitar and saz