Jozo Penava, born on 26 May 1909 in Palež near Kiseljak, was a music producer, composer, arranger, vocal and instrumental interpreter.
He had an enormous part in qualitative folk songs, especially the Sevdalinka and the so-called “newly composed folk songs”, which he made with elements of the folkloristic heritage of the Middle Balkans.
He is undoubtedly one of the most important and productive Bosnian-Herzegovinian composers.
As a young man, he learned the bakery trade, but his passion for music was stronger. After his military service in Sombor in 1939 he wrote his first songs: “Sa prozora” and “U baštici, kraj bijele ružice”. He enrolled in the music school.
He is one of the founders of “Radio Sarajevo” after the Second World War. Penava presided over the Tambura Orchestra of Radio Sarajevo for more than 20 years.
Some of the greatest folk music singers of all time sang songs of Penava, including:
Safet Isović, Zaim Imamović, Nada Mamula, Nedžad Salković, Vida Pavlović, Silvana Armenulić, Meho Puzić, Beba Selimović, Nedeljko Bilkić, Zehra Deović, Himzo Polovina, Zora Dubljević, and many others to whom he was also a répétiteur.
Jozo Penava was also a music teacher. In his fifty-year career as a composer, he wrote about 300 songs. He left behind an impressive number of instrumental compositions and dance music pieces. He sang about Sarajevo from all sides, sang about all Bosnia-Herzegovina, its rivers, forests, springs, customs.
The first song for Safet Isović “Sjetuje me majka” was by Penava. Penava was also the author of the legendary song “Bosno moja poharana”, which he wrote in 1946. Safet Isović added the fourth verse to it in 1994 and the song became even more popular than when it was written.
He is the winner of the highest state and artistic awards: The award of the Entertainment Industry of Bosnia, three gold memorial plaques of the RTS, Order of Work with Silver Wreath, Diploma of Creative and Active Work of the Composers Association SRBiH, Order of Work with Gold Wreath, Award of the Entertainment Industry of Yugoslavia, Monument Plaque of the City of Sarajevo and others.
He died on 17 January 1987 in Sarajevo.
Famous songs Penava’s:
„Sjetuje me majka“
„Cvati ružo moja“
“Sarajevo, behara ti tvoga”
“Gledala sam sa prozora”
“Na mezaru majka plače i nišane ljubi”
“Pokraj kuće male”
“Ismihana dušo moja”
“Mene moja zaklinjala majka”