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Toma Sprostranov: “I turned 75 at the stage, Joss Stone was singing for me…”

August 3, 2017 by ·

Interview with Toma Sprostranov by Veselina Filipova published in the jubilee book edition “20 years International Jazz Festival Bansko”
112 pages
Compiled by Veselina Filipova
Publisher: Factory for books, Print: BG book ЕАД
ISBN: 978-619-230-008-1
First publication in“Zhalt trud” newspaper, 2016

Jazz Festival Bansko

His name symbolizes artistic longevity. An emblematic DJ, the man-radio. They define Toma Sprostranov as the most recognizable voice in the Bulgarian air. To the listeners he is a legend, and to the International jazz festival in Bansko – the favourite erudite and sweet-talking host.

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Toma Sprostranov, photo: BULFOTO

How did your love for the jazz festival started?

It was born at the time it originated. In Bansko, at a magnificent place, I hosted a rock festival. The chief of “Tanne” hotel was bringing groups, starting from the duet Baccara to Ken Hensley (the author of “July morning” and most of “Uriah Heep”s hits). Back then the director of the Jazz festival, Mr. Iliev who was treating with dry needling in his clinic (even at the time Vasko Petrov and Kameliya Todorova used to sing in the living room of the hospital), so the doctor decided to move the party to the square and de facto put the beginning of the Festival in Bansko, 19 years ago.

Curiously enough, in Bansko pop singers like Dancheto Hristova and Lili Ivanova used to sing, as well as Lili Drumeva with her country group. The doctor tried making the Fest resemble Montreux and the other jazz festivals around the world, which also had blues and boogie-woogie performances.

Five times in a row Axel Zwingenberger visited us, the king of boogie woogie piano.

Some big star is our guest every year. The year before the last they were “Incognito” that greeted me on the occasion of my birthday, which was the next day.

This year I was greeted not by some unknown person, but by Joss Stone whose voice, they say, resembles the one of the queen of soul music, Aretha Franklin.


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First jubilee book edition “20 years International Jazz Festival Bansko”

July 29, 2017 by ·

exclusive_for_pr

Interview with the Journalist Vesselina Filipova by Dessislava Berndt
Translation from Bulgarian: Dessislava Berndt
Proofreading: Polina Georgieva

Jazz Festival Bansko

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20 years International Jazz Festival Bansko
112 pages
Compiled by Veselina Filipova
Publisher: Factory for books, Print: BG Buch EAD
ISBN: 978-619-230-008-1

Since 2009 Public Republic has been a media partner of the International Jazz Festival Bansko with the aim of popularizing the festival in Bulgaria and abroad, especially in the English and German speaking online community.

The festival programme is presented every year with the column „News from International Jazz Festival Bansko“ in the three languages of the magazine – English, German and Bulgarian. In the column there are also interviews with stars like Ana Moura, Axel Zwingenberger, Keito Saito, Seven, Jacky Ryan, Lila Emmons, Jive Aces, Yoni Vidal, Elina Duni, Eftekasat, Maya Nova and many others.

In the year of the 20th anniversary of the Jazz Festival, Public Republic was invited to be part of the anniversary book edition with interviews conducted with artists together with other noted journalists and media.

Public Republic thanks for the invitation to Dr. Iliev, founder and manager of the festival and to the journalist and editor of the book Vesselina Filipova, as well as to our colleagues providing the interviews and corresponding translations – Polina Georgieva, Elisaveta Baltova, Yana Radilova and Dessislava Berndt.

Today we would like to present to your attention our interview with Vesselina Filipova about the selection and compilation of the jubilee book edition “20 years International Jazz Festival Bansko” that will be published in the next days.

Vesselina, how did you come up with the idea of the jubilee book edition “20 years International Jazz Festival Bansko”?

The idea to create a book is not new. It has been considered before when the festival celebrated its 5th, 10th and 15th birthday. Unfortunately, nothing happened. Obviously, positive energies had to come together in one direction. Personally, I really wanted to immortalise this phenomenal cultural event, the biggest music forum in Bulgaria.

Indeed, few are the local festivals that managed to prove themselves through the years – not only in Bulgaria, but also abroad. Through the written words I wanted to treasure for the further generations the incredible atmosphere in Bansko and the emotion conveyed by the interviews and reports of my colleagues, the Bansko Jazz Festival authorized journalists.
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Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
Pablo Picasso

Bansko Jazz 2017 – the programme

March 9, 2017 by ·

Jazz Festival Bansko

The International Jazz Festival in Bansko is one of the biggest summer musical events in Bulgaria and one of the foremost international cultural happenings on the Balkans.

Since its foundation in 1998 the festival has been held every year in August in the small town of Bansko. The concerts are free for the public.

Traditionally, the programme features styles and groups representing almost all jazz trends. During the festival week jazz is also played on various smaller stages in the large resort complexes and restaurants.

banskojazzfest.com

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XX JAZZ FESTIVAL BANSKO 2017

5 – 12 August

PROGRAMME

August 5th, Saturday

Sentimental Swingers & Big Band Blagoevgrad and conductor Boris Yanev with special guest Mihail Yossifov (Bulgaria)

Vlatko Stefanovski Trio (Macedonia)

Axel Zwingenberger (Germany)

Patrizia Laquidara (Italy)


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Artist of the Week – Gary Odd

March 6, 2017 by ·

Interview by Dessislava Berndt with Gary Odd, author, illustrator, publisher of ulpi.com, musician and inventor of the character Ulpi
Translation from German: Dessislava Berndt
Proofreading: Polina Georgieva

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Gary Odd (a.k.a. Gary Sinnlos) is an author, illustrator and publisher of ulpi.com, as well as a musician and inventor of the character Ulpi.

Ulpi`s adventures finance his own ones. He has been travelling around the world with Ulpi for seven years. During his tours through the USA, Europe and Asia he sold more then 100.000 Ulpi books, in restaurants or in bars. There were always people who liked his stories.

Contact: service@ulpi.com
Website: www.ulpi.com / www.facebook.com/ulpicom / www.gloomystars.com

www.facebook.com/ulpicom
www.gloomystars.com

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Ulpi fairy tails

Gary, what is the meaning of the name Ulpi and where it comes from??

I don’t know exactly how I came up with the name. It was already there when I was a child. I also called my younger brother “Ulpi” for a long time.

I don’t know if Ulpi means something but you can read in Wikipedia that the name of the first Roman emperor was Ulpius (Trajan). So, it is a venerable name.

The funny thing is that in the USA the name „Ulpi“ is pronounced „Alpi“ like the Alps in Switzerland, my homeland.

How can you describe Ulpi?

He is clever, he has an ability to revive and philosophical views. He is a person who makes the best of things.

Ulpi’s fairy tales refer to never giving up. They are short meaningful stories about how to fight against the adversity and pitfalls of life.

life-is-hell
Ulpi sticker
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Artist of the Week – Keito Saito

November 28, 2016 by ·

Interview by Dessislava Berndt with the Japanese boogie woogie
piano player and composer Keito Saito
Proofreading by Polina Georgieva

The International Jazz Festival in Bansko is one of the biggest summer musical events in Bulgaria and one of the foremost international cultural happenings in the Balkans.

Since its foundation in 1998 the festival has been held annually from August 8th to 13th in the small town of Bansko. Tickets for the concerts are free of charge for the public. Traditionally, the programme features styles and groups representing almost all jazz styles. During the festival week, jazz is also played on various smaller stages in the large resort complexes and restaurants.

Today we would like to present to you the Japanese boogie woogie musician Keito Saito who performed at the 2016 edition of the Jazz festival held in the Bularian mountains.

www.banskojazzfest.com

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Mr. Saito, what is the meaning of music and especially of boogie woogie for you?

I think for me music is the only universal language. Through music I can share my feelings with people from various countries, and tell them and make them feel the thoughts which cannot be expressed in words.

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Boogie Woogie contains the scream of people who had been mistreated and it has developed through a history full of of sadness.

I believe this is the most important feeling when I play boogie woogie or blues. I would rather not spend the music life smoothly, and the encounter with the boogie woogie made myself as a musician.

Although it is important to inherit the music technically, I also would like to inherit it without forgetting the history and the minds of great players.
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Artist of the Week – RALYZZ DIG

October 10, 2016 by ·

Interview by Dessislava Berndt with Yuichiro Tokuda
from the Japanese Jazz Band RALYZZ DIG
Proofreading: Polina Georgieva

Jazz Festival Bansko

The International Jazz Festival in Bansko is one of the biggest summer musical events in Bulgaria and one of the foremost international cultural happenings in the Balkans.

Since its foundation in 1998 the festival has been held annually from August 8th to 13th in the small town of Bansko. Tickets for the concerts are free of charge for the public. Traditionally, the programme features styles and groups representing almost all jazz styles. During the festival week, jazz is also played on various smaller stages in the large resort complexes and restaurants.

Today we would like to present to you the Japanese band RALYZZ DIG which performed at the 2016 edition of the Jazz festival held in the Bularian mountains.

www.banskojazzfest.com

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Yuichiro, the name of your band “RALYZZ DIG” means “Dig the “RAY + LYRIC + JAZZ”. What is the meaning of music for you and your colleagues?

Music gives me many tools that connect me with people, relate to people and can be shared with people. It means music allows me to communicate with people, brings me to the world; music crosses borders.

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Yuichiro Tokuda,
Photo: Ani Petrova, ani.petrova

So, when I play my music, I always feel the joy of making new relationship with people from all over the world. I’m feeling like we are sharing peace. Music makes me grow up as a human being.

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Even if these waves are calmed

July 27, 2016 by ·

Simon Perchik


Photo:Yoshikazu TAKADA

Even if these waves are calmed
this rock deserves respect
though there’s no grave

not yet that first turn
to the side, smoothed
the way all night your eyes

stare at the beach, guiding it
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We need the ordinary to accept the changes: about new roads

July 26, 2016 by ·

Velina Vateva’s interview with the photographer Elena Pérez-Ardá López

exclusive_for_pr

Elena, it is my pleasure to present your work to the Public Republic readers. Can you tell us what got you into photography? In what way photography is an art of its own, what makes it special for you, and do you find it similar to other arts?

I was born in the south of Spain, but mostly grew up in the north. So this is something that straight away influenced my way of looking at things, such as distances and landscapes.When I started studying art, I had classes for painting, drawing and sculpture. It was not until my 4th year of University, when I went to art school in Germany that I focused on taking pictures. Photography doesn’t have to fight anymore for being an art of its own. I think it is already a very common tool for art purposes. For me it was a natural choice, I started to resolved all the assignments I was getting for class with my camera. I realised that was the way to go for me. At the end, everything has to deal with image, the choice is just personal.


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Bansko Jazz 2016 – the programme

July 10, 2016 by ·

Jazz Festival Bansko

The International Jazz Festival in Bansko is one of the biggest summer musical events in Bulgaria and one of the foremost international cultural happenings on the Balkans.

Since its foundation in 1998 the festival has been held every year in August in the small town of Bansko. The concerts are free for the public.

Traditionally, the programme features styles and groups representing almost all jazz trends. During the festival week jazz is also played on various smaller stages in the large resort complexes and restaurants.
banskojazzfest.com

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XIX JAZZ FESTIVAL BANSKO 2016
6 – 13 August

Flayer_GRAB A5 _2016
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Artist of the Week – Seven

May 30, 2016 by ·

Interview with the Swiss R&B and soul singer Seven
by Dessislava Berndt
Translated from German: Dessislava Berndt,
Proofreading: Polina Georgieva

In the third show of the music event series “Sing My Song – The Exchange Concert” at VOX other stars of the German music scene as Nena, Samy Deluxe, Alec Völkel and Sascha Vollmer from the band “The BossHoss”, Wolfgang Niedecken and Annett Louisan occur next to the host Xavier Naidoo. The R&B and soul singer and musician Seven is the first Swiss participant this time.

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Xavier Naidoo and Seven, Photo: Archive Seven

I met the singer before his appearance at the JazzRally Festival in Dusseldorf and was fortunate to meet not only an exceptional singer, but also a very attentive and serious person. In our interview below you can read about the show, his performances, his wishes and views on work, family and life.

Seven, tonight you are playing at the Jazz Rally in Dusseldorf. We know that your favorite number is seven, that your parents are musicians, that you have been making music for 14 years and that you have released 10 albums. What doesn’t the German public know about the artist Seven?

Of course, the German public knows the things shown at the exchange concert. I am very glad that this show had the chance to provide a special evening for every participant. On the second evening of the show my colleagues performed my songs and I was grateful that they selected a great variety of very different songs: from “Lost” interpreted by Xavier and Samy to “Wake up” performed by The Boss Hoss.

These were songs selected from 12 years of work and not just from one album. Further, they chose songs from a catalog that might fit them. I am very happy that they showed a great musical section of my work.
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Gospel Stars in Wuppertal

March 21, 2016 by ·

Gospel Stars will perform at “Barmer Kultursommer 2016” (Barmer Summer Culture) in Wuppertal and they sing at the cultural center “Immanuel church”.

Gospel-Flyer_WEB_ENG_logo

Seth Pinnock (UK) and Dr. Alexis Maston (USA) are very socially committed and want with their appearance to support the charitable projects of Pro Charity and music e.V.

At the tender age of 7 Seth Pinnock gained notoriety for his unique gift in song. Throughout his teens, he became member of a trailblazing mixed denomination choir named “Designed Destiny”. “Designed Destiny” went on to appear on GMTV and BBC.

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Artist of the Week – Silvia Mitev

March 7, 2016 by ·

Interview by Dessislava Berndt with the Fado singer Silvia Mitev

Jazz Festival Bansko

The International Jazz Festival in Bansko is one of the biggest summer musical events in Bulgaria and one of the foremost international cultural happenings in the Balkans.

Since its foundation in 1998 the festival has been held annually from August 8th to 13th in the small town of Bansko. Tickets for the concerts are free of charge for the public. Traditionally, the programme features styles and groups representing almost all jazz styles. During the festival week, jazz is also played on various smaller stages in the large resort complexes and restaurants.

Today we would like to present you the Fado singer Silvia Mitev (Bulgaria/Portugal). She will perform in a concert at the 2016 edition of the Jazz festival held in the Bularian mountains.

www.banskojazzfest.com

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Silvia, how did you come upon the invitation for Bansko Jazz Festival? Are you participating for the firts time?

I should say I came upon the invitation to participate in the Bansko Jazz Festival due to a kind of a family bet 🙂 My family has always been retated to music both in a professional and personal way. So Bansko Jazz Festival has always been considered by us a very well respected and amazing stage, not only because of the international recognition which it has already earned, but because of the celebrity artists and musicians who present their magnificent work here; also because of the great audience, which I know is very demanding.

In this particular case, I owe this firts participation in Bansko Jazz Festival to my mother and my father because when I released my firts album, they wanted me to present it in Bansko and engaged this project as their first priority during one of their first coming holidays to Bulgaria. And of course I owe it especially to Dr. Emil Iliev because he beleived in me! 🙂 It is a huge responsibility and a great honor for me to sing on this particular stage which has already received tremendosly huge names and universally recognized Bulgarian and foreign artists like Vassil Petrov, Yildiz Ibrahimova, Scott Hamilton, Kamelia Todorova, Ana Moura and so many others …

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Silvia Mitev, Photo: Hugo Macedо

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