By Liljana Meshaj – Sarajevo
The fourth edition of Sarajevo Sevdah Fest began last night with the performance of Džambo Aguševi Orchestra from FYR Macedonia and the Sarajevo band Divanhana at the DomMladihCenter in Skenderija, Sarajevo.
Sarajevo Sevdah Fest is a promotion of Bosnian cultural heritage and this festival is already a tradition in Sarajevo, which gathers many performers and fans of sevdah songs. Sarajevo Sevdah fest aims to preserve and promote sevdah songs, especially among young people, as a cultural and historical tradition of this country. This year’s edition started last night on 29 May and will continue tonight, to end on Saturday 31 May 2014.
Sevdah is a shortcut from sevdalinka. Sevdalinka is a type of Bosnian folk song, which is popular in other countries of the region as well, such as in Serbia, Montenegro and FYR Macedonia. One cannot determine the exact time of its creation, but it is assumed to have started during the Ottoman conquest of medieval Bosnia. In terms of music, sevdalinka is characterized by a slow and light tempo, charged with emotions, traditionally performed with a lot of passion and spirituality, which leaves the listeners with a sense of melancholy.
Many young and successful musicians of sevdah will have the chance to perform in this edition along with the prominent ones. In addition to B&H musicians of sevdah, performers of sevdah from other countries have always been guests of this festival. The guests of this year’s festival are musicians of sevdah from FYR Macedona, such as of Džambo Aguševi Orchestra, Vasil Hadžimanov and Esma Redžepova.
The founder and the Director of this Festival Vlado Kabrera said to Fena agency that “we are very satisfied with the last night’s concert, especially because we managed to organize this festival regardless of the situation of natural disaster that hit B&H. We decided that this festival should take place even in this situation because it promotes the cultural heritage of B&H. We had very interesting guests last night and the hall was full of people”.
Vasil Hadžimanov and Mostar Sevdah Reunion are part of tonight’s program and more people are expected to come in the premises of Dom Mladih Skenderija. The last night of the festival, May 31 is reserved for Esma Redžepova, Kenan Mačković and Mirza Redžepagić.
Kabrera stated that “the aim of all this is to not compete but to work on the promotion of the cultural heritage of B&H. It is important to show to people what brings us in a good mood and to stimulate interest so that more musicians engage in this musical genre. In the last few years, more young people are engaged in this genre because they have understood that there is a huge interest for this kind of music in the market and above all they have shown that they love their traditional music”.
The organizers have decided that 10% from the tickets sale will be donated for the people of the areas affected by the floods.