La Convivencia

On Saturday, August 21, 2021, IMBiH hosted a virtual concert La Convivencia followed by Q&A with the artists. The concert was free to attend and open to the public. Attendees were encouraged to donate to Bosana Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships and mentorship to empower the marginalized youth of BiH through access to education, professional development, and livelihood development programs. To view excerpts from the concert, please click here.

The musical program, La Convivencia, is inspired by the powerful message of coexistence. It is based on Sephardic traditions of different countries visited by Sephardic Jews, traveling through history after the expulsion from Spain. La Convivencia includes music based on traditional Sephardic melodies and lyrics, a cycle of songs dedicated to Flory Jagoda, the Bosnian expert in the field of Sephardic music, and movements from Ključo’s acclaimed composition, The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book.

The Artists

Concert accordionist Merima Ključo imbues a dizzying variety of music with playing that moves with its depth of understanding and experience. Whether performing as a guest soloist with world renowned orchestras and ensembles, or as composer and performer for theater, movie and radio productions, the soulful traditions of her instrument are not only given a unique voice, but also new life and meaning. Ključo’s passion and mastery in both traditional and contemporary music allows her to explore new artistic dimensions combining them in a compelling and unique way. Her multimedia work, The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book (2014), traces the dramatic story of one of Jewish culture’s most treasured manuscripts, using the musical traditions of Spain, Italy, Austria, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. As the producer, composer, and arranger for her highly rated albums Zumra, Aritmia (together with world renowned guitarist Miroslav Tadić) and Lume (with Jelena Milušić), she has created a multi-layered interpretation of a musical tradition she treasures.

Expressive and bold, Jelena Milušić is a singer who easily transforms her voice to the needs of various genres. Being fluent in different musical idioms ranging from blues, jazz, rock to traditional Balkan and world music, she has performed in a wide variety of musical styles and settings. Milušić performed throughout Europe with Orchestre International du Vetex. She collaborated with a group of internationally renowned musicians in a project titled Mafiasko Taxi. With the Bosnian guitarist and producer Atilla Aksoj, she interprets Sephardic and Romani music under the name Barimatango. Their album O, Devel (2016) contains Romani music from the Balkans and Southeast Europe.

Active as a recitalist, chamber musician and educator, pianist Mirna Lekić has performed in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Her performances have been featured on WQXR, WNYC, WFMT, WPRB, and Bosnian TV and radio stations, as well as on two critically acclaimed recordings: her debut solo album titled Masks (Centaur Records), and Eastern Currents (Romeo Records), a disc of contemporary chamber music. Most recently, she was a laureate of The American Prize piano competition. Mirna plays a wide range of repertoire that reflects her interests in intercultural music, historical performance practice, and contemporary works.