The Bosnian sevdah is a genre that lends itself all too easily to sentimental torment, but this is not what singer Damir Imamović has in mind. He doesn’t fall prey to any kind of unnecessary effect. His ability to speak to the soul of his audience with minimal means is the result of a lengthy journey of learning that involved playing with many masters, not only in his own country but also in Turkey, Iran and India. Imamović is also one of the most important innovators in the centuries-old Bosnian song tradition. Moreover, he does not add influences from other genres, but instead digs into historical sources in order to penetrate to the core of the tradition, renewing it from within. Even when he was still accompanying himself on guitar, Damir clearly revealed the Turkish roots of the sevdah. The thin sound of the kemenche – played in this quartet by grandmaster Derya Türkan – emphasizes this eastern dimension all the more. The band consists of the famous American double bass player Greg Cohen, also known for his collaboration with Tom Waits, John Zorn and others.
Damir Imamović – singing, tambur
Derya Türkan – kemenche
Greg Cohen – contrabass