Public Republic random header image

Bansko Jazz 2012 – Alexandrina Simeon Quintet

June 8, 2012 by · No comments

Interview by Dessislava Berndt with Alexandrina Simeon
Translation by 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 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.

Today we would like to present you Alexandrina Simeon Quintet, who will play this summer at the XV International Jazz Festival in Bansko.

Alexandrina Simeon Quintet left to right: Uli Fiedler, Daniel Mark Eberhard, Alexandrina Simeon, Stephan Holstein, Tom Steppich, photo: Iris Wagner

How did you get to be invited to play at Bansko Jazz 2012? Will that be the first time you’re taking part in the festival?

Yes, that’ll be our first appearance at Bansko Jazz with my quintet.

After I sent a CD and some materials about us, I was approved and Dr Iliev invited me to take part in the XV edition of the festival. I am very happy to have the opportunity to present my new CD with authorial songwriting and compositions to the audience of Bansko Jazz.

On August 8th we’ll be on the stage in Bansko, and on the next day we’re going to Sofia – the German embassy invited us to have a concert there.


You live and work in Germany. What’s your connection to Bulgaria?

I was born in Varna, but my whole family leaves here. At least once a year I visit Bulgaria to see my grandfather, who is there alone. Of course, we keep in touch – we often talk on the phone.

What are your plans for 2012?

We’ll have many concerts in Augsburg; the four of us, we all live there. We’re also taking part in a famous musical festival in Munich that is held twice a year.

Before playing at Bansko Jazz we’ll be in my hometown, Varna. Yet from now friends and family are agog with anticipation. It’ll be the first time for many people to hear me play live in Varna.

How would you describe yourself as a person?

I love freedom, and perhaps that’s the reason I play jazz – as a musician and as a singer I am free to do what I want. Of course, that happens on a certain ground.

I’m also interested in different cultures. My connection to Bulgaria is the strongest one, but here, in Germany I had the chance to meet Africans and got to know their music. I also discovered some interesting Latino rhythms – I’m interested in different kinds of music.

What do you dream about?

I dream that my music reaches more people, and that the audience gets to understand my feelings.

With this quintet it’ll be the first time that I’ll be able to present my songs and compositions in Bulgaria; that makes me very happy. As a matter of fact, this is a dream of mine.

Are you still playing the violin?

Fifteen years ago I used to constantly play this amazing instrument; unfortunately, I haven’t played for quite some time now. You lose the technique of playing very easily; you should practice every single day in order to have fast fingers.

I’ve planned a surprise for my next projects, where it might be my solo performance playing the violin.

Alexandrina, thank you very much for the interview and a lot of fun in Bansko!

Alexandrina Simeon Quintet

New cd: roots and influence

“She has grown up with music” – this couldn´t be truer in the case of Alexandrina Simeon! Both parents orchestral musicians, an opera singer for a grandmother and Alexandrina in the middle of it all. She began playing the violin as a 5-year-old and would also listen to her grandmother´s opera rehearsals, then sing the arias herself in front of a mirror. There couldn´t be a better preparation for the stage!

Now the Bulgarian singer, working and living in Augsburg, who is completely at home in jazz and other genres, is making her own way in the music world. With her first solo project “roots & influence”, she has picked out melodies from her homeland and combined them with influences from around the world. People and cultures that have marked and characterised her music in recent years, blend together in the singer´s lyrics and compositions. Bulgarian rhythms and melodies meet jazz harmonies, Latin American spirit meets soulful vocal passages and African rhythms enrich and inspire. The central theme, however, is and remains the love of jazz.

The Alexandrina Simeon quintet leads you into a wonderland full of incredible musical intensity!

Alexandrina Simeon – vocals, composition, lyrics
Stephan Holstein – clarinet, saxophone
Daniel Mark Eberhard – piano, accordion
Uli Fiedler – double bass
Tom Steppich – drums, percussion

Related posts ↓

No comments so far ↓

  • Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!