Divanhana is a Bosnian sevdah band which performs traditional music in new arrangements created under the influence of jazz, pop and the 20th century classical music. Divanhana’s intention is to cherish and present the urban traditional music not only from Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also the traditional music from the whole Balkan region, with a particular accent to Sevdalinka.
The band was founded in early 2009 by a group of young students from the Sarajevo Music Academy.
The band recorded its debut CD “Dert” in February 2011 at the Fattoria Musica studio in Osnabruck (Germany) in cooperation with the performer of traditional music Vanja Muhović. The album was produced by Walter Quintus, one of the most acknowledged world music producers. It was released in May 2011 as a result of a two-year ethnomusicologist research reflected by the fact that some of the songs on the CD were never recorded or published before.
After the successful and inspiring experience with the debut album, the band continued to cherish the Balkan traditional music. In September 2011, they began to work with a new singer, young Lejla Ćatić. Shortly after, Divanhana developed their concert activities by taking part in prestigious festivals such as “12 Points” in Porto and Womex in Thessaloniki. Besides that, Divanhana dedicates to creative work, and recording of new songs. At the beginning of 2013, Divanhana had held very successful concerts in Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic and Turkey, and later on by the end of the same year they released their new album “Bilješke iz šestice”, which crowned the two years touring, travelling and creative work of the band. They had proudly performed at 70 successful concerts in 13 different countries. “Bilješke iz šestice” was published at the end of 2013, by RSG Radio from Sarajevo for the market of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and by Multimedia Music from Belgrade for the market of the Balkan region.
After the second CD release, the band had intensified their concert activities, and realized over 60 successful concerts all around Europe.
During the February of 2015, the members of the band, including the sound engineer and the producer Borjan Milošević, took a short break from the packed up concert schedule, and started recording new music in a warm atmosphere of Fattoria Musica Studio in Osnabruck. At the recording session, among many collaborators, the band also cooperated with a young and talented sevdah performer Naida Čatić, who became a new member of the band shortly after their album was released. All of the creative work that they have made during the year of 2015, was united and symbolically named “Zukva”. The new album was published by Belgrade’s Multimedia Music, for the territory of ex Yugoslavia, and by ARC Music from Great Britain for the rest of the world.
After the releasing of the new album, Divanhana began their new concert tour named “Zukva”. During the three years long tour, the band had 150 concerts all around the Balkans and Europe, and took part at many eminent world music festivals. The tour brought some new very successful projects such as: first live release “Live in Mostar” and “Zukva” documentary, which was covered by television network Al Jazeera Balkans.
By the end of 2017, Divanhana performed their concert in Istanbul, where the popular Turkish actress and singer Suzan Kardeş appeared as a special guest star.
Not long after the concert in February of 2018, Divanhana and Suzan met in Sarajevo, and through the friendship and creative work they had recorded a new audio material, which they published on their new studio album named “Kardes”.
The new album “Kardes” was made of ten songs that originate from B&H’s and Turkish music tradition, that have travelled and communicated for centuries, kissed and hugged, created new love, happiness and sadness spreading the musical brotherhood and sisterhood.
“Kardeş” was published in April of 2018. by Kalan Muzik, one of the most acknowledged world music publishing houses in Turkey, which gets Divanhana its first publish for that territory.
After releasing their album, Divanhana and Suzan began their promotive concert tour with sold out concerts in Sarajevo, Tuzla and Zenica (B&H), and Belgrade (Serbia) on “Todo Mundo” festival. Among the concerts with Suzan, the band performed their own concerts all around Europe, and did the first project with The Embassy of the USA in Bosnia & Herzegovina in which they managed to connect Broadway and sevdah for the first time. By connecting the Broadway and sevdah, the band made a collaboration with the acknowledged American Broadway singer, Bradley Dean, and released the single “Vino piju nane age Sarajlije”.
By the beginning of September of 2018 they continued with the realization of the project with The Embassy of the USA in B&H, this time with Broadway musical “Spelling Bee” where they collaborated with a young artist Šejla Grgić.They presented the musical to the audience in seven cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo, Mostar, Bijeljina, Tuzla, Zenica, Jajce and Banja Luka.
Shortly after the premiere of the musical, Šejla Grgić became a new band member.