Divanhana deemed Best Group by Songlines

We are proud to announce that Divanhana, supported by MOST’s Balkan Music Export scheme, received the Best Group Award for their album ‘Zavrzlama ‘ by one of world music’s most prestigious voices, Songlines Magazine.

The award marks a milestone of a 3-year process of Divanhana’s journey within MOST, a journey that saw concerts at MOST partner BOZAR’s famed stage as well as EXIT’s Womba, WOMEX and last year’s gig at Budapest Ritmo. And of course, the musical genius of the band finding a contemporary expression for Bosnian heritage.

Zavrzlama represents our lives in Bosnia and Herzegovina which are so tangled and influenced by different traditions, religion and culture… with instruments brought from east and west [and] lyrics with a pinch of love, a pinch of joke and a pinch of tragedy,’ – the band profess.

Divanhana at last year’s Ritmo – photo by Lili Chripkó

Divanhana formed in 2009, from students at the Sarajevo Music Academy and led by pianist Neven Tunjić. Zavrzlama is their 6th album to date, extending the reach of sevdah, or Balkan Blues to a growing audience. Songlines, one of the most authoritatve voices in world music today, included Divanhana in their 2020 compilation of The Bridge for Balkan Music. The Best Group Award may pave the way for further conquest and send a clear sign for bookers and festivalgoers: Divanhana is ready to be picked up by curious crowds hungry for authentic Balkan sounds.

To quote from Songline’s accolade:

“Adding a supple jazz-pop sensibility to the music’s Sephardic, Balkan and Turkish roots, their sixth album Zavrzlama combines epic melancholia, passionate ballads and dynamic dance numbers, mixing originals with traditional sevdalinka, all superbly arranged and sung with a dark passion by vocalist Šejla Grgić.”

Our heartfelt congratulations to the young sevdalinka masters from the MOST family!

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