From diverse backgrounds, enchanting singer Çiğdem Aslan and virtuoso accordionist Živorad Nikolic come together for this special night in south London of Balkans-inspired songs that celebrate the universal theme of love in all its forms.
Sevdalinka, also known as Sevdah music, is a traditional genre of folk music originating in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, its popularity has spread far wider, and can be regularly heard in the states of the former Yugoslavia, including Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, and beyond.
Sevdah is taken from the Turkish word ‘sevda’, which means ‘love’. Songs from this genre cover the gamut of emotions associated with love, both joyful and tragic and everything in between.
Renowned for her evocative vocals, London-based Çiğdem Aslan has captivated audiences worldwide with her incredible live performances and broad musical repertoire, which is influenced by her native Istanbul, Anatolia, as well as Greece, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans. She has released several acclaimed solo albums, including “Mortissa” and “A Thousand Cranes,” which showcase her hauntingly beautiful voice.
Çiğdem’s exceptional artistry has seen her perform at the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, and Elbphilharmonie, where she has been lauded for her emotional depth and cultural resonance.
She will be leading the audience at World Heart Beat (WHB) Embassy Gardens on 9 February with a stunning performance of Sevdah songs, accompanied by virtuoso accordionist Živorad Nikolic, who will be the instrumental heartbeat of the duo.
With a classical music background, Živorad draws on his rich Serbian heritage to create music infused with vibrant rhythms and melodies. He will add an authentic soulful Balkans element by singing songs in Serbian.
The pair have played together for years as part of Balkans Klezmer band She’koyokh. In 2022, Çiğdem and Živorad recorded a live performance of four Sevdah songs as part of the Karaca Garage series. Their Sevdalinka EP is now out on Karaca Music, and is available to watch and listen to on all digital platforms.
Title: Sevdah Serenades: Love Across Ages & Lands
Date: Friday 9 February 2024
Time: Doors open 6.30pm; performance starts 7.30pm
Venue: World Heart Beat Embassy Gardens, 3 Ponton Road, Nine Elms, London SW11 7BD
Admission: Tickets to the concert are priced from £20, with concession tickets priced at £15
Tickets: buy online – click here to access.