Damir Imamović

Damir Imamović (DI) was born in 1978 in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Although he showed interest in music since childhood, he devoted himself to it only after studying philosophy.

In 2004 he worked with Farah Tahirbegović on a monography of his grandfather and one of the most influential sevdah singers – Zaim Imamović. That book introduced him to the world of sevdah and the world of professional music. Soon he started developing his own repertoire while performing in Bosnia and abroad. More important among first performances are: concert in Turkish cultural center in Sarajevo (March 2005), performance at the Center Pompidou in Paris (2005), recording with Vlatko Stefanovski for a CD compilation «Bentbaša – Bosnian Love Song» (Goethe/Yaman, 2008), as well as a series of «Sevdah Ripablik» concerts in Sarajevo’s «Karabit» (buybook, Art gallery of B-H).

In 2006 he put together the «Damir Imamović Trio» (with Vanja Radoja on violin and Edvin Hadžić on double bass) with which he recorded «DI3 Plays Standards» (buybook, 2006). After a series of successful performances in Bosnia and the region, as well as in Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Italy, etc., DI3 records their first live CD at Youth Cultural Center «Abrašević» in Mostar (B-H) in November 2007. «Abrašević Live» is soon to become one of the most listened to CDs of the «new sevdah» movement in former Yugoslavia and to bring DI3 numerous performances at venues such as «CRR» in Istambul (Turkey, 2008), Sarajevo’s «BKC» (B-H, 2008), «Dom omladine» in Belgrade (Serbia, 2009), etc.

April of 2009 brings a concert premiere of an international quartet with Eric Vloeimans/Damir Imamović/Bojan Zulfikarpašić/Bachar Khalife in Sarajevo’s «BKC», during the Xenophonia music happening.

The quartet continues working together in August of the same year with two concerts at Umbria Jazz Fest Balcanic Windows in Belgrade and Novi Sad (Serbia). In January 2011 Quartet played Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; a tour of Netherlands follows.

The first DI solo CD is released in April 2010 by Gramofon, Sarajevo. It crowns a successful series of solo performances and suggests Imamović’s new step towards the oldest of all the sevdah forms – solo performance. Damir builds the solo repertory constantly performing on the international scene: Sarajevo’s «BKC», Belgrade’s «Kolarac», Washington’s «Kennedy Centre», Chicago’s «The Old Town School of Folk Music», etc.

The second DI Solo CD is called “Svrzina kuća”/”The house of Svrzo” (iTM, 2011). It was recorded in July 2011 during four concerts held in the “Svrzina kuća” museum in Sarajevo.

Since 2012 Damir performs the most with critically acclaimed “Damir Imamović Sevdah Takht”, together with Ivan Mihajlović (el. bass) and Nenad Kovačić (percussions). In October 2012 they released their first CD together and started a tour in Europe.

In 2015 Damir’s band becomes a quartet with the arrival of Ivana Djuric, an extraordinary violinist from Sarajevo. The band was selected for a showcase concert at Womex 2015 in Budapest.

Damir signed with The Glitterbeat Records for his new album and “Dvojka” has been internationally released with excellent reviews on April 29th, 2016. That year and the following saw Damir on tour in former Yugoslavia, Europe, USA and China.

Damir Imamović’s sevdah is based on a passionate research of traditional music of B-H. While meeting sevdah masters, musicians, singers and authors of this art form, he constantly expands his repertory and creates a special style of contemporary sevdah.
Director Marina Andree made a documentary «Sevdah» (www.sevdahfilm.com), inspired by an emotional part of this process. The film won the Audience award at Sarajevo Film Festival (2009). On an artisan part of the project, «SevdahLab» project was born – a travelling interactive laboratory of sevdah in which Damir explores history and aesthetics of this traditional art. SevdahLab lectures and workshops were held in different universities and institutes for music and art in Europe and USA.

In November 2015 Damir opened a big multimedia exhibition on sevdah music in Sarajevo. Soon after that his book “Sevdah” appeared (Vrijeme, 2016) and has been translated into English in 2017. It is the first book on this traditional genre written by its performer and an author. Apart from performance and research Damir actively pursued theatre work. He has been internationally awarded for music in theatre and worked with Dino Mustafić, Selma Spahić, Aleš Kurt and Stevan Bodroža. He also wrote music for the film “Sarajevo” by Mustafa Mustafić and an animated film “Aždaja” (The Dragon) by Ivan Ramadan. Damir is a recipient of the award “Grgo Martić” for the promotion of Bosnian music in 2015 (awarded by AMUS, the society of authors in BIH).



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