Emina Zečaj

Emina Zečaj was born on March 17, 1931, in the old part of Sarajevo.
She grew up in the patriarchal family of Avdija and Melća Ahmedadžić. She finished Secondary Textile School and Medresa school. She is a mother of two children. According to the opinion of the music critics, she is the best living interpreter of Bosnian traditional song-sevdalinka. Emina Zečaj was discovered in the sixties by Prof. Cvjetko Rihtman, an ethnomusicologist and after an audition with famous professors Zvonimir Nevžel and Belušić Jungić, she started her career. She spent many years collecting the traditional songs, enriching the radio archive of BiH as well as the repertoire of her close associates.
The role of Emina Zečaj in preserving the original traditional song is enormous. Her interpretation and the way of performing are also the subjects of study of many Bosnian and foreign critics and ethnomusicologists.

Many reports, TV and radio shows about Emine Zečaj’s life, work and success have been recorded. Even Bulgaria’s RTV filmed a documentary film: Bosanska sevdalinka with Emina Zečaj. There are numerous scientific works of the ethnomusicologists, including scientific papers by prof.dr. Ankica Petrović, and by the graduate students of the generation of Azra Pašić and many others who have made our traditional Sevdalinka even more famous and honored.
She has presented traditional Bosnian music from Bosnia and Herzegovina all over the world. She made 5 singles 4 LP’s of 4 CDs and recorded a large number of songs for the Sarajevo Radio archive, with numerous performances on RTV throughout BiH and the former Yugoslavia. She recorded songs for the film “Gori Vatra” by Pjer Žalica and for “Remake” by Dino Mustafić in cooperation with Adi Lukovac, in which the singing by Emina Zečaj is the backdrop of the film itself. She has received many awards and praises for many years, both from abroad and Bosnia Country.

She died on 19 April 2020 in Sarajevo.

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