Linda Quist from Seattle, US remembers the years in the 60s and 70s when she and the group of American singers, dancers and musicians, all of them in their twenties and thirties at the time – loved to visit Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina (former Yugoslavia at that time), and other neighboring countries. They would bring with them American folk music, and while visiting learn the folk music, dances and customs of their hosting countries.
Soon their repertoire was enlarged by the Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Greek and Turkish folk music and dances. Linda is especially fond of her singing and dancing group’s performances at the Croatian festivals of traditional folk music in Zagreb and Đakovo, known as Međunarodna smotra folklora (International Folklore Festival) and Đakovački vezovi.
In 1975 the group released its first LP album with their interpretation of a number of Croatian traditional folk songs.
Today Linda continues to visit the region, especially Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, as the director of the Seattle based Balkan Task Force that supports several faith-based initiatives in those countries. She is also an adviser to the Forum for Leadership and Reconciliation, a Seattle based leadership and reconciliation organization with the international work focused on leadership development, peace building and reconciliation. I interviewed Linda two weeks ago in her home in Everett near Seattle. Take 15 minutes and listen to Linda’s story.