Divanhana was formed at the beginning of 2009 by a group of students from Music Academy in Sarajevo. The band performs traditional music from Balkan in their new recognizable arrangements influenced by Jazz, Pop and Classical music. They especially focus on nurturing and presenting sevdah, the urban traditional music of Bosnia & Herzegovina. In addition to a very dedicated and exploring approach to tradition, Divanhana enriches their creative opus with originally written music inspired by traditional songs.
The band recorded its debut album Dert in February 2011 at the Fattoria Musica studio in Osnabruck 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 album 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 Leila Ćatić.
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 Kardeş. The new album Kardeş was made of ten songs that originate from Bosnian 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 publisher 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 (BiH), and Belgrade (Serbia). 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 and 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 Bosnia and Herzegovina, this time with Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County 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.
At the beginning of 2019 Divanhana had started a new chapter marked by work on original music, which is the result of ten years of ethnomusicological research. Thus, they have published their first originally written songs Zova and Voće rodilo in collaboration with a young performer of traditional music Danica Krstić. The year was marked by many concert activities on festivals all over Europe, the first overseas tour of the band in Canada, including work on original music and writing of the last compositions and arrangements for the new fourth studio album.
At the beginning of 2020, the band met a recognized Slovenian producer Janes Križaj with whom they traveled to studio MC Pavarotti in Mostar on demo recording. By the beginning of the next month they finished their new album at METRO studio in Ljubljana. On their return from Ljubljana on February 29 the band had a concert at the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall in Zagreb, which was their last concert before the Coronavirus pandemic started. Being kept from performing, traveling and even rehearsing in their studio in Sarajevo, the band members, thanks to modern technology play music from separate locations from the comfort of their homes and exchange audio materials which they turn into Quarantine EP by the end of the year and release it on the music platform BandCamp.
At the beginning of 2021, in collaboration with the band’s long-term associate Borjan Milošević, the band finished the mix of the new album, which, due to all circumstances under which it was completed, they symbolically named Zavrzlama.
“Zavrzlama represents our lives in Bosnia and Herzegovina which are so tangled and influenced by different traditions, religion and culture. It represents our rivers, their tributaries, and streams which thigh our mountains that reach so high from where we can see the whole planet. Zavrzlama is also our sevdah tangled with instruments brought from east and west, rhythm structure from different ends of the world, lyrics with a pinch of love, a pinch of joke and a pinch of tragedy. In the end Zavrzlama is the music of this album.” said the members of the band about their new album.
On January 28, 2022 CPL Music from Germany released the new Zavrzlama album for the worldwide market and Belgrade’s Multimedia Music for the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Zavrzlama received extremely positive reviews and criticism from eminent European and World media. For two months Zavrzlama was the leader of the European radio panel World Music Charts and the high second place of the World critic panel Transglobal World Music Charts. The British Songlines Magazine highlights Zavrzlama in the competition for the Top of the World album, while the founder and longtime editor of the magazine Simon Broughton already sees this album as the sevdah album of the year.
Carried by the wings of the new studio release and great reviews, the band begins their new concert tour #ZavrzlamaTour, which in the first half of 2022 included concerts in Oslo, Budapest, Vienna, Linz, Ankara and many more European cities. In the middle of the tour Divanhana makes a public announcement that they are finishing their professional collaboration with Šejla Grgić, and they present their new member Selma Droce with whom they continue their tour.