An all-ages audience packed Town Hall on a late fall evening to hear Balkan artists perform An Evening of Sevdah: Love Songs of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sevdah is Arabic, meaning love in its many shades and, especially, longing.
Sevdah Institute North America presented the first annual concert to celebrate North American Day of Sevdah, part of a nationwide effort to preserve and promote a type of song that originated in Bosnian and Herzegovinan urban centers. Pairing traditional and popular music, the singer's voice is the most critical element of sevdah, which is sometimes compared to Portuguese fado, American blues and Greek rembetika. In preserving the cultural treasure of sevdah, the performance provided an outlet for underrepresented artists and offered a source of emotional healing for the refugee community from Bosnia and Herzegovina.