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Božo Vrećo

Mar 19th 2018 @ Capitol Theater

Düsseldorf, Germany
I Was There
Monday, March 19th, 2018
8:00 PM
Capitol Theater
Düsseldorf, Germany
Božo Vrećo Božo Vrećo is a Bosnian Serb musician who is credited for the revival of sevdalinka, a traditional genre of folk music from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Vrećo went to Belgrade, Serbia to earn his Masters in Architecture, but realized that his true passion was sevdalinka. At age 27, he began learning how to sing from traditional recordings. He then traveled to Sarajevo. A local musician discovered Vrećo singing in a cafe, and invited him to perform in the band Halka, with whom he recorded his first CD.Prior to his musical career, Vrećo worked as an archaeology professor. He began performing professionally with the band Halka in 2013, and gained notoriety within and away from the Balkans at sold out concerts and international music festivals. Vrećo performed as the lead singer for Halka, recording two albums with them in 2013 and 2015, which resulted in a world tour In 2014, in between recording two albums with Halka, Vrećo recorded his first solo album, Moj Sevdah, where he performed seventeen sevdalinkas in a cappella style, including two original songs. By 2015, Vrećo became known and written about in the English-speaking world. In 2017, Vrećo recorded his second solo album, Pandora, which included performances with Marko Louis, Indigo, Velahavie, and Merima Ključo.Two songs from the album Moj Sevdah will be part of Koštana, a play directed by Kokan Mladenović. Vrećo had a leading role in the play.The Swedish national television station will produce a documentary about Vrećo, his life, and his devotion to sevdalinka.In addition to sevdalinka, Vrećo enjoys jazz, blues and soul, and tries to bring their elements into his interpretation of sevdalinka. He is inspired by the musical artists Himzo Polovina, Selim Salihović, Emina Zečaj, and Nada Mamula.Vrećo performs as both female and male, as he sees himself as a person of both genders. At the beginning of his career, Vrećo wore men`s suits, then decided to perform as what he considers his true self. It is his belief that a person who sings songs of courage should present nothing but honesty to their audience, which is one reason why more traditional audiences love him. He takes offense at those who consider him a drag performer or transgender.As a reviver of a traditional women`s genre, Vrećo defends the place of women in Bosnian society by singing their songs. He wears his hair long, with kohl around his eyes, and dresses in kaftans, dresses, or floating coats as he spins and sings on stage. At the same time, he is a bearded man. His performances are continually sold out in a patriarchal Balkan society, and his fans cross gender and ethnic boundaries. Vrećo hopes that, through his musical performances, that he can also be a voice for LGBT rights in the Balkans.
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