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Sts. Kiril & Methody Bulgarian Festival

  Saturday , May 26, 2012         3:00 PM        $25, $20 Advance, $10 students & seniors, $40 for families

Event Details

milenacc_300The Bulgarian community gathers at the Croatian Americn Cultural Center to celebrate their culture, and honor the Saints Kiril & Methody.  There is Bulgarian music, dancing and delicious samples of Bulgarian food and wine. The Festival features special guests: the Bulgarian accordionist extraordinaire IVAN MILEV coming from New York, the master of BG/Balkan Music RUMEN SALI SHOPOV, the Bulgarian BG folklore diva TZVETANKA VARIMEZOVA from Los Angeles, the Bulgarian Dance Ensemble VEREA & KONSTANTIN MARINOV, coming from Chicago. Also in the program our Bay Area very special friends and guests: KITKA  Women’s Vocal Ensemble, DA MOJEM American Band for Balkan Music, INSPECTOR GADJE Brass Band, the Bulgarian ANTIKA Dance Ensemble, San Francisco MARTENICHKI Family Dance Group, and more dance groups to be announced. For updated information and advance tickets contact
3PM Dance workshop
5PM Concert for families
6:30PM Ritual of Golden Icon
7PM Concert and Dancing
4. Bulgarian ANTIKA Dance Ensemble
IVAN MILEV is a landmark of contemporary Balkan folk music. Throughout his 40-plus year career as an accordion player in Bulgaria, he established the rules for Balkan folk music. His style fuses classical, jazz, Eastern European, and Middle Eastern music. Milev comes from a clan of famous folk musicians, learning the intricacies of Bulgarian folk music from his father, Atanas Milev, a renowned and innovative folk accordionist. In 1978 Ivan created his own Orchestra Mladost, which performed at festivals, fairs, in concerts, and on Bulgarian national television. Ivan's exquisite performance and charisma won him many awards and gained him widespread popularity. With his band Ivan has defined the famous wedding music culture in the Balkan region since the 1970s. Ivan toured the U.S. in 2001 with saxophonist Yuri Yanakov. His playing can be heard on the soundtrack of "Everything is Illuminated," a widely acclaimed independent movie. In 2006 Ivan Milev Band recorded its debut album, The Flight of Krali Marco Check out Chirpanliisko Horo  from Orchestra Mladost by Ivan Milev

TSVETANKA VARIMEZOVA , though famous for her outstanding voice, primarily studied tambura while she was in school, and also learned to play the accordion. She attended the folk music high school in Kotel, and continued her education at the music conservatory in Plovdiv.  For five years, both during and after her university studies, she was a member of Ansambl Trakija. In 1991, Tzvetanka joined the Kutev Ensemble, and over the years was also a member and soloist in Cosmic Voices, Le Grande Voix Bulgare, and the National Radio Choir in Sofia.   Throughout the nineties, Tzvetanka was the co-director of the state music ensemble in Pazardzhik.  In 2001, she conducted residencies at UCLA.  Over the last three years, Tzvetanka has worked intensively with American vocal music groups performing Bulgarian and other Balkan choral music forms including the UCLA Balkan Women’s Choir, Kitka, Nevenka and Zhena.

Rumen “Sali” Shopov is a master Turkish-Romani drummer, singer, and string-player from Goce Delchev, Bulgaria, a crossroads town in the Pirin Mountain region that hosts a rich intersection of Bulgarian, Macedonian, Greek, and Turkish musical influences. Rumen has performed and toured with the Nevrokopski Folk Ensemble, Yuri Yunakov and his Romani Wedding Band, Edessa, Ziyia, Kitka, Ivan Milev, Chris Bajmakovic, Ismail Lumanovski, Frank London, Eugene Hutz (Gogol Bordello), and many others. A charismatic and patient teacher, Rumen has taught at the Eastern European Folklife Center’s Balkan Music and Dance Workshops, Berkeley’s JazzSchool, UC Berkeley, University of Oregon, Eugene; The College of Santa Fe, Kosmos World Music and Dance Camp, World Camp, Stockton Camp, Balkanalia, and at other universities and cultural centers throughout the US and Canada. Since 2003, Rumen has been artist-in-residence with Voice of Roma, a humanitarian aid and cultural organization based in Sebastopol, California. In 2006, Voice of Roma released “Soul of the Mahala” a CD featuring performances by Rumen and his son, Angel.Rumen is the recipient of grants from the Creative Work Fund, the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Creative Capital MAP Fund, and The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fund for Folk Culture

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