Bosnian blues: Doctorow Center hosts sevdah concert with Merima Kljuco and Miroslav Tadic

The word “melancholy” literally translates as “black bile,” one of the “four humors” that were thought from Classical Greek to medieval times to determine both human health and disposition. Unlike the other three humors – blood, phlegm and yellow bile – black bile isn’t really a thing, medically speaking, but it was believed to have been secreted by the spleen and to make people depressed. Another term that also means “black bile” is the Turkish word sevda, used nowadays to describe a style of folksong traditional to Bosnia and Herzegovina, known as sevdah music or sevdalinka. It’s quite appropriate, since sevdah is known for its melancholy-sounding minor modes and its lyrical themes of unfulfilled romantic longing. In world-music circles it’s also sometimes referred to as “Bosnian blues.”

On Saturday evening at the Catskill Mountain Foundation’s Doctorow Center for the Arts in Hunter, two Bosnian virtuosi, accordionist Merima Kljuco and guitarist Miroslav Tadic, will perform a concert program featuring both sevdah and Balkan-styled arrangements of classical pieces by Erik Satie, Manuel de Falla and Slovenian composer Davorin Jenko. You’ll also hear some Serbian dance music, a bit of flamenco and tango and Romani tunes as well.

The show starts at 8 p.m. on November 9. Tickets purchased in advance, by calling (518) 263-2063 or visiting, cost $25 general admission, $20 for seniors and $7 for students. Tickets will also be available at the door for $30 general, $25 seniors, $7 students.


Merima Kljuco & Miroslav Tadic, Saturday, Nov. 9, 8 p.m., $25/$20/$7 advance, $30/$25/$7 door, Doctorow Center for the Arts, 7971 Main St., Hunter, (518) 263-2063,