Mostar Sevdah Reunion have already put itself on the map of World Music at the end of 90’s .Their primary task was to promote the Bosnian traditional music- Sevdah.
“Sevdah is a traditional style of Bosnian music that goes back some 300 years or more. The name, from Arabic, means love, desire or ecstasy. “Mostar is sevdah – the greatest poets of sevdah were born in Mostar,” says Dragi Šestic (the founder and producer of the band) “it is deep within our town”.
Soon, after the big success of their first album, they started to perfume on the big scene: in 2000, Mostar Sevdah Reunion performed at the Amsterdam Roots Festival and Belgium’s Sfinks Festival and in 2001 in Stimmen-Lorach, Germany and the famous Nice Jazz Festival. On that special evening entitled "Blues around the World - B.B. King and Friends"; Mostar Sevdah Reunion brought the Balkan Blues to the roots of American Blues in front of 50,000 people- they performed alongside some of the greatest Blues artists: B.B.King, Van Morrison, Dr. John, Bill Wyman, Keb Mo, and Marva Wright.
Few years later they started the famous collaboration with the greatest Gypsy stars : Ljiljana Buttler (The Mother of Gypsy Soul), Saban Bajramovic and Esma Redzepova - as well as with Boban Markovic, Naat Veliov,….They are releasing the anthological albums with those artists and slowly becoming the main stone of the Balkan’s musical expression.
In following years they performed at the most prestigious festivals, concert halls, thaters, clubs like the Barbican Centre- London; Concertgebouw-Amsterdam, North Sea Jazz Festival/Netherlands ; The Newsgate- Newcastle; International Gypsy Festival- Tilburg/The Netherlands; International Jazz Festival Moers, Dusseldorf; World Music Festival Almeria/Spain; Sodra Teatern-Stockholm; World Music Festival Oslo ; Film Festival Cannes, Film Festival Berlin,….. – standing ovations followed each performance. One of the greatest TV stations of the World, BBC made 1 hour documentary for the series about the greatest World Music bands. MSR is one to represent the Balkans and their music.
Their latest CD “Café Sevdah” released in 2007 by Snail Records , brought to the spotlight big discovery of Bosnian music –singer Nermin Alukic Cerkez. His deep, emotional way of singing brought to Sevdah an extra dimension. His unique guitar style became the trade mark as same as one of Miso Petrovic- lead guitarist, which virtuosity conquered the World Music scene in all those years.
The power, the energy and the improvisation skills of the band are just so impressive that nobody can stay cool on their performance!
Clive Davis, the Sunday Times, November 2007
“What would happen if you parachuted Van Morrison into deepest Bosnia? It might seem a silly question, but the collision of cultures on this latest release from one of the great Balkan institutions really does conjure up fleeting thoughts of the gloomy one in full swing. It's not hard to detect a melancholic hint of the blues in the Bosnian folk style of sevdah, and the unabashedly jazzy flavour of some of these pieces underscores the connection. The band is on a roll at the moment, and this roughhewn recording is every bit as varied and full-blooded as previous collaborations with the likes of Ljiljana Buttler.“