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

July 29, 2017 by · No comments


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

Jazz Festival Bansko


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.

Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without the finance support of the Municipality of Bansko and Dessislava Berndt, journalist, one of the managing editors at multimedia magazine Public Republic and admirer of the festival for a long time.

But when the jubilee book – a lavishly illustrated luxury edition – became fact, you forget the thorny path you passed, all the doors that remained closed and the emails without answers. You remember only the hands given and the warm support. Many thanks to all my friends!

Why did you decide to do this project?

Books have attracted me since I was a child. My creative path is connected mainly to the published words, with a great respect to them. The written material about the jazz festival is spread through the years, in several editions and sites.

You should not forget that all these interviews hide unique encounters with world class musicians, emblematic for their time. Solomon Burke sang in Bansko.

Joss Stone came, fascinated us and left.

We still remember Mango Jerry mania.

The legendary Cuban star Bobby Carcasses was here. We listened to Japanese and Chinese jazz. The big Freddy Cole has played for us … Well, how can you easily forget all this?

It was a great challenge to collect, to organize, to edit. The festival and Dr. Iliev, his founder and engine, deserve it.

What should we expect as a content or what makes the book different from similar jubilee editions?

I reviewed over 200 texts to pick 20 of them for the 20 years of the anniversary. The book is manifold – there are interviews, reports, reviews. The Bulgarian jazzmen, faithful to the festival, and guests from all over the world are also represented there.

The authors – eleven Bulgarian journalists: Avgusta Manoleva, Antoaneta Titjanova, Veselina Filipova, Viliana Semerdjieva, Galina Ruleva, Daniela Benisheva, Dessislava Berndt, Zlatna Kostova, Zorka Mileva, Ivanka Georgieva, Maria Miteva – are prominent masters of writing, each one creating in her own unique manner the mosaic of emotions, called Bansko Jazz. And the professional photos of BULFOTO Agency have sealed the unique moments of ecstasy. Because jazz is our joint emotion.

What makes us different from other, similar editions? I believe that we have confidence and authentic voice, unpretentious and relaxed, like Bansko in August…

Who does the festival address with this book?

It addresses everyone curious to share our common passion – nice music, the picturesque town, Pirin, SPA pleasures. Jazz could be elite music, but the Bansko Jazz festival on the square is mass entertainment, experiences with friends, enjoying the Bansko specialties, children’s voices exceeding the sound of the waterfall in the center of Bansko, midnight jam sessions… That’s why the book is so colorful and the friends and fans of the festival are getting more and more. The written words inside are for all of them.

You are one of the editors of the book “1001 Historic Places You Need to Visit,” an edition of Knigomania, and the author of the travel book “ITALY – LAND WITH SOUL”, published by ABUJET, for which you are preparing the second supplementary edition. How did the work on the book for the Jazz Festival differ from the previous editions?

The way you handle your own or foreign text is, of course, very specific. The responsibility to others, who have entrusted you their thoughts and emotions, is greater. Yet, you are constantly riddled with self-doubt when working on your own text, too. In fact, jazz, travel, photography, writing – they are all my passion. They make my life colorful.

When and where will the book be offered?

It will be presented at the XXth International Jazz Festival, which starts this year on August 5, in Bansko. The edition is intended to be a token of honor to this remarkable anniversary, so most likely it will be given by the Bansko Municipality to honorable guests of the city, to the musicians who participated in its editions, to honorary citizens. A certain edition will be put on sale at the Festival itself.

I believe the jazz moments that were seized, the lives of the big stars, their personal revelations, the little discoveries – all this will find its curious audience. I wish you pleasant moments with jazz and the book in your hand!

Thank you very much Veselina and see you soon in Bansko!


Vesselina Filipova is an experienced journalist, member of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists and of the Bulgarian Association of Traveling Writers and Journalists. She was an editor in the newspapers „Sofia Morning“, “We, Women”, “Newspaper for the Home”, as well as an author in two editions of the Bulgarian National Radio – “Transmission for the Capital” and “Advertising Compass”.

Her passions are architecture, design, photography. Since 2007 she has been working in the interior magazine “SHOP & interior, DESIGN, ARCHITECTURE”, later becoming Editor-in-Chief. She created the free newspaper “Bellissima” and the magazine “Interior & Exterior”. Any form of culture and art excites her. She is currently actively cooperating with the „Yellow Work“” newspaper, the „Premium Lifestyle“ magazine, „House and Garden“ magazine, and others.

Veselina is one of the editors of the book “1001 Historic Places You Need to Visit”, 2009 edition of “Knigomania”. Traveling is about to become a mania for her. She is author of the travel book “ITALY – LAND WITH SOUL” and is going to prepare the second supplementary edition.

Jazz is her other great love. She has been writing about Bansko International Jazz Festival for years and, on its 20th anniversary, Veselina compiled a collection of reports and interviews with authors, 11 journalists accredited to the event.

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