Damir Imamović, vocals, tambura, guitar; Ivana Đurić, violin; Derya Türkan, kemenche; Greg Cohen, double bass
The rumours about Damir Imamović’s big new project swept the city of Ljubljana as early as in autumn 2018, when Saz'iso, an ensemble of virtuoso Albanian musicians, was playing our venue. Its producer, the legendary Joey Boyd (Nick Drake, R.E.M, Fairport Convention...), spoke enthusiastically about the new album from the sevdah maestro, showcasing a new ensemble comprising music giants, Turkish kemenche master Derya Türkan and renowned American bassist Greg Cohen (John Zorn Masada, Dave Douglas...), in addition to violin virtuoso Ivana Đurič. Imamović himself confirmed the rumours when performing a 2018 New Year’s Eve concert at the CD Club. The all-star team, complemented by producer Joe Boyd, co-producer Andrea Goertler and Grammy-winning engineer Jerry Boys (Buena Vista Social Club, Ali Farka Touré), assembled in Berlin. The album was released to rave reviews and has recently won a German Grammy (German Association of Music Critics) for best traditional music album. Singer of Tales fulfils Damir Imamović‘s artistic and professional aspirations first envisaged a decade ago.
The appreciative Slovenian audiences have been loyally keeping abreast of Imamović’s career, his projects and different takes on sevdalinka, a genre that has been enjoying a major revival with performers that include Amira, Božo Vrećo and Mostar Sevdah Reunion, as well as older artists. A proficient instrumentalist, Imamović has stepped it up a notch, daringly plunging into deep waters. Damir’s passion and skill worked their magic, and the project – a deeply moving homage to the art of storytelling – came through with flying colours. He can now sing his tales with complete abandon, playing and narrating for each and every one of us. Again, but as never before. Still youthful, but with music that has emerged in its full splendour and a new level of maturity.