Rounding out a banner year that includes new releases spanning rural China to the Appalachian Mountains, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has announced that Bosnian traditional musician and composer Damir Imamović will release a new album for the label in 2023. The Sarajevo–based singer and guitar player was the 2021 recipient of Songlines’ coveted “Best of Europe” distinction in the magazine’s Music Awards among many other distinctions, and has been profiled by The Huffington Post, The Guardian, the BBC and more. Imamović has been steeped in sevdah, the traditional music of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from a young age, his grandfather Zaim being one of the most recognizable Balkan folk musicians of the mid-20th century. Imamović has dedicated his career to performing the music of his homeland and sharing its rich, enchanting melodies and stories with audiences worldwide and educating listeners on its vibrant history.
Imamović will release new music on Smithsonian Folkways in 2023 as a part of a genre-spanning collaboration with Bosnian-American author Aleksandar Hemon, who will publish The World and All That It Holds via MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux in January, 2023, an epic novel of love and loss that spans decades and continents in which sevdah and the music of Sarajevo play a key role. “I am honored that my next album will come out on Smithsonian Folkways,” says Imamović. “The last album of Bosnianmusic that appeared on the label was in the early nineties as the country was going through the war, and it consisted of archival recordings. This time, I am happy to present my contemporary take on the Bosnian traditional music.”
More news about this release and thematic tie-ins with Hemon’s novel will come in early 2023.