msr picAs the name says, Mostar Sevdah Reunion are a folk music ensemble from Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also easy to guess, the Mostar Sevdah Reunion (MSR) play Sevdalinka, a folk music genre from Bosnia. They were formed by Dragi Sestic in 1998 and are among the most well-known and influential contemporary bands of this genre. His intention was to form a group that would overcome the deep political and religious rifts in Bosnian society. In the years shortly after the Bosnian civil war, many saw that as being virtually impossible.
Their debut album “Mostar Sevdah Reunion” appeared in 1999. The album is a milestone of contemporary Sevdah music and unites a number of the best musicians from the Bosnian Sevdah scene. The overwhelming vocals of Ilijaz Delic and the dark clarinet and accordion sounds of Mustafa Santic have particularly left their mark on this album, making it a timeless masterpiece.
This was followed by extensive touring throughout Europe and the production of other albums. Since MSR were formed, there have been a number of changes in the group. In 2013, Ilijaz Delic passed away. His distinctive and very expressive vocals were featured on many of the albums produced.
In addition to its regular members, Mostar Sevdah Reunion have worked time and again with a number of young unknowns as well as famous musicians from the Balkan region. They produced the first album of the then unknown Sevdah singer Amira, thus helping to make her international breakthrough. There were also two albums featuring legendary Serbian Roma singer Šaban Bajramović and three other albums with Roma singer Ljiljana Buttler, who came from Bosnia.
After the release of her first, highly acclaimed album, the album "A Secret Gate" was released in 2003, on which Amira Medujanin was heard for the first time by a larger audience. This was followed in 2007 by the album "Cafe Sevdah". Again a lot of young musicians from the local Bosnian Sevdah scene were introduced. Then in 2013 "Tales from a forgotten City" was released and in 2016 the live album "Kings of Sevdah", which was released exclusively as a digital release, was released.

In 2018 the band released another collaboration with the 70 year old Serbian singer Milutin "Sreta" Sretenović. The album is called "The Balkan Autumn" and combines in the usual Mostar Sevdah reunion manner Milutin Sretenović rough and expressive vocals with jazz, flamenco and oriental maqams.


1999 Mostar Sevdah Reunion (World Connection)
2001 Mostar Sevdah Reunion presents Šaban Bajramović: "A Gypsy legend" (World Connection)
2002 Mostar Sevdah Reunion and Ljiljana Buttler: "The Mother of Gypsy Soul" (Snail Records)
2003 A Secret Gate (Snail Records)
2005 Mostar Sevdah Reunion and Ljiljana Buttler: "The legends of life" (Snail Records)
2006 Mostar Sevdah Reunion: "Saban" (Snail Records)
2007 Cafe Sevdah (Snail Records)
2001 Mostar Sevdah Reunion and Ljiljana Buttler "Frozen Roses" (Snail Records 2010)
2013 Tales From A Forgotten City (Snail Records)
2016 Kings Of Sevdah (Digital Release, Snail Records)
2018 Mostar Sevdah Reunion presents Sreta "The Balkan Autumn" (Snail Records)










Text: Robert Lippuner / Global Music Network

Translation: Jamie Davies





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