Monday, 15 July 2013

Veliko Tarnovo Dixie Jazz Fest, 11th -13th July 2013 Bulgaria, The final night!

Jazz festival
The last night!

The final performance in this years festival in Veliko Tarnovo a stones throw away from the historical General Gurko Street was performed by the great "Sentimental Swingers" supported by the Michael Iosifov Sextet, preceded by modern jazz Rumen Halatchev quartet with Tsvetomir Tsankov singing and humming along capably with his huge range of octaves!
Bulgaria Veliko Tarnovo news
The sentimental swingers salute!

The ladies and the sextet wowed away the audience and even got me dancing at the end with my wife in front of the stage!
dixie jazz festival veliko tarnovo
No not the Andrews, these are the sentimental swingers!

At the entrance of the festival a line of photo exhibits arranged against the stone wall under The Art Galery "Boris Denev." The exhibition consisted of 18 large photos of performers who participated in the previous two festivals. The photos were taken by three Bulgarian photography artists - Gentcho Petkov, Nikephoros and Theodore Todorov Kalushkov.
This year's Dixie jazz festival was performed in support of the candidature of Veliko Tarnovo for European Capital of Culture in 2019 which it clearly deserves being the old cultural capital city of Bulgaria and already sporting the Veliko Tarnovo Sound and Light show at Tsaravets Hill amongst many other attractions within the town and neighbouring settlements.
The sentimental swingers
The Dixie Jazz Fest in Veliko Tarnovo comes to a close in 2013


Saturday, 13 July 2013

Veliko Tarnovo Dixie Jazz Fest, 11th -13th July 2013 Bulgaria

A fantastic two nights of Trad and Dixie Jazz with a bit of Big band sound thrown in for even better measure!
And that's just Thursday and Friday, still tonight to go.
Relaxed natural amphitheater setting in Veliko Tarnovo

If you want to watch and listen to quality jazz music with a backdrop which is undoubtedly unique in an informal and overwhelmingly friendly atmosphere, look no further than Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria!
Dixie Jazz Fest
Militsa Gladnishka, singer and actress wowed everyone
on her 1st night performance
The first night we had the concert kicking of with Teteven Dixie Band and after turning dark the Military Big Band Stara Zagora started to pump out rythms and jazz like there was no tomorrow!

Veliko Tarnovo, lights, music, action....Dixie Jazz Fest

Not long into the performance Militsa Ivanova Gladnishka appeared onto the stage to a massive cheer from the crowd! Wow, can this lady sing, enough said since these mere words cannot do Militsas' voice justice. Her enthusiasm and massive vocal range brought a decided hush to the audience, even the young children who were just about everywhere on this balmy July evening were mesmorised by Militsas' voice!



Just when we thought the singing had come to an end, the cheerful and charismatic Tsvetomir Tsankov (Tsetzo) from neighboring Gabrovo jumped up onto the stage and started blasting out some great big band sounds including a duet or two with Militsa. The evening culminated in an amazing version of New York, however in this case Tsetzo started to spread the news that he wasn't about to leave Veliko Tarnovo today, yes Frank Sinatra arrived in town and gave a collosal performance in the native style of New York but tonight it was "Tarnovo", re-written specifically for the magnificent city of Veliko Tarnovo!
New York or Veliko Tarnovo?

The next night consisted of the evening starting with the Municipality Brass Band hammering out some big band tunes and jazz! After the Alexandrov Ragtime Band played some inspirational trad jazz to an ever increasing audience. Lastly, my old time favourites appeared  Mladenski Barisax on clarinet, Stefan Nikov on trumpet, Hristo Tsatsinov on saxophone, Tsvetomir Tsankov on banjo, the forever smiley Georgi Donev on his sliding trombone,  Krasimir Stefanov and his amazingly large tuba, Emil Kosturkov on drums and last but by no means least, Rumen Halachev on keyboards. Yes it was The Royal Dixie Band!
The Royal Dixie Band, oh YES!

They blasted out some great old time trad jazz favourites before being joined on stage by Stefka Onikyan,
Stefka Onikyan
who sang with class and matched the band with strength and perfect harmony. I could have listened to this ensemble of musicians all night, but sadly all things have to come to an end and the final piece was true Dixieland and reminiscent of a New Orleans funeral party "The Saints".
Good night and God bless!

What a fitting end, to an evening that I had dedicated in my mind to my Father who would have been 78 on the 13th July.
Cheers Dad!

The "Saints" and the fact that he had most of the music being played on original Louis Armstrong "78's" makes this Veliko Tarnovo Dixie Jazz Fest particularly memorable for years to come. 
Cheers Dad!
Happy Birthday Dad!