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!

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