Official selection of Bulgarian Showcases announced for the European Jazz Conference 2020



We are pleased to announce the bands selected for the official Bulgarian showcase programme of the European Jazz Conference 2020. The Conference this year will take place at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria, between the 10 and 13 September 2020, and every year features a showcase of some of the most interesting music projects of the host country, this year Bulgaria.

The six selected bands are:

  • Bodurov Trio
  • Hristo Yotsov “Jazz Cats”
  • Beleva & Hadjigrudev Duo
  • Via Mavis
  • Duo Karparov & Donchev
  • Wladigeroff Brothers & Band

An open call was launched on 7 February 2020 by A to Z Foundation (A to Z) and Europe Jazz Network (EJN). 57 submissions were received and the international programme committee of the European Jazz Conference selected the six bands that will perform as part of the official showcases on the days of Friday 11th and Saturday 12th September 2020 in front of an international audience of promoters, festivals and venues directors, managers, agents and journalists.

Huge congratulations to all selected bands and many thanks to all the artists who submitted their proposals, the quality was high and it was not easy to select only six projects. Please find below some information about each of the selected bands:

Bodurov Trio
Dimitar Bodurov - piano
Mihail Ivanov - double bass
Jens Dueppe - drums

Bodurov Trio has been in demand since 2001. Founded by Bulgarian pianist and composer Dimitar Bodurov, the band has released five albums and was awarded several jazz prizes. Bodurov’s fascination with Bulgarian folklore evolved in a unique and distinctive style characterised by connecting folklore elements and contemporary jazz. "Stamps from Bulgaria", the band’s successful project, is a series of compositions based on traditional Bulgarian folk songs and dances, for which All about Jazz wrote: “The exploration on this set of Bodurov's original compositions mixes jazz and Bulgarian folk together in a series of fascinating and enjoyable musical interactions. It's a great sound.“

Hristo Yotsov “Jazz Cats”
Hristo Yotsov - drums
Dimitar Karamfilov - double bass
Arnau Garrofè Farràs - saxophone 
Lyubo Tsanev - piano

Founded by the legendary and internationally acknowledged Bulgarian jazz musician Hristo Yotsov, the “Jazz Cats” project was established in 2016 inspired by the bebop tradition. Hristo’s basic idea was to gather some of the best younger, but already well established, musicians from the Bulgarian jazz scene in a quartet and to present them on international club stages. The mastery of the four musicians, the bond between them and the energy they share brought great success to the project and soon it was clear that the Jazz Cats have great potential for bigger stages. This led Hristo to start composing original pieces with a more festival and concert-like spirit.

Beleva & Hajigrudev Duo
Hristina Beleva - gadulka
Vasil Hajigrudev - double bass

Two widely acclaimed instrumentalists in their own musical styles, Hristina Beleva - gadoulka and Vasil Hajigrudev - double bass, come together to write music and improvise in an "outside of style" manner. Free from jazz and folklore norms that manages to unify their sound in a "film-like" musical voyage.

Via Mavis
Viktor Benev - malletKAT
Victoria Kirilova - double bass
Martin Hafizi - drums

In 2018 the three members of Via Mavis decided to reunite despite the fact they are all based in different European cities: Viktor Benev in Paris, Victoria Kirilova in Vienna and Martin Hafizi in Rotterdam. The original tunes of the trio are a combination of various influences, such as traditional and modern jazz and some subgenres of electronic music and of the common background of the three of them - classical music and Bulgarian folklore. Another thing that makes the trio rather unusual is the use of the malletKAT: it provides a versatile palette of sounds, provoking new explorations and presenting a new “read” of the classical piano-like trio.

Duo Karparov & Donchev
Vladimir Karparov - saxophone
Antoni Donchev - piano

The Duo has been existing since the mid-nineties. Both virtuoso instrumentalists are also prominent composers and arrangers. Their music is characterised by the fusion of modern jazz music with the vitality, rhythm and ornamentation of Bulgarian folk music. Piano and saxophone - Antoni and Vladimir, are masters of their music instruments in such a way that the feeling often is that a whole symphony orchestra plays in front of the audience. Harmonious and percussive sounds mix with dominant melodies, breathtaking pianissimo and then suddenly a goosebump fortissimo. This music promises an unforgettable musical experience, decorated by a lot of improvisation and unique musical interactions.

Wladigeroff Brothers & Band
Alexander Wladigeroff - trumpet, flugelhorn & composer
Konstantin Wladigeroff - piano & composer
Vladimir Karparov - saxophone
Dimitar Karamitev - kaval
Peter Slavov - bass
Stoyan Yankoulov - drums

The idea of the "Wladigeroff Brothers & Band - Music Kaleidoscope" project is to present, along with great inspiration, musical love and invention through the compositions of the Wladigeroff Brothers, an innovative musical worldview on today's Bulgarian eclecticism. With our wonderful world-renowned fellow musicians we have worked for many years in different collaborative crossover projects such as "Bulchemists" as well as Anatoli Vapirov's big band projects for the Varna Summer Jazz Festival (2006, 2014).