The Bansko International Jazz Festival 2012 programme for 4th to 11th August is below. Dr Iliev, the Festival organiser, brings Bansko alive. The official Jazz Fest web site banskojazzfest.com has more info.
Jazz Fest 2012 is the time to visit Bansko in the summer. The 2012 line up is impressive. From big band and standard jazz, to blues, bebop, swing, dixieland and “free music”. The Jazz kicks off at the Florimont hotel on Friday 3rd then officially starts at the main square in Bansko on Saturday the 4th August.
The Good Beer Show
One thing that has been less than satisfactory about Bansko, and Bulgaria in general, has been the beer. With few exceptions, the state of the beer nation is similar to the UK’s late 1970′s beer scene — fizzy lager.
Cheap beer in Bulgaria– yes, we have it here. The availability of high quality craft beers — well, hardly.
So I sampled the beer from beers.bg staple, Fuller’s Honey Dew (Organic,) the famous London Pride, the chocolaty, Porter. Tasting these beers alongside the typical mass brands made me more determined to help the choice of beer available in Bansko.
There is (was) a beery world I am missing in Bulgaria.
The solution; promote a good selection of the craft beer now becoming available in Bulgaria.
Quality premium beer is already available in a few outlets in Bansko, but I felt this availability message needed shouting from the rooftops. Enter Philip from beers.bg — British beer importer. We chewed the fat, or rather sipped the Pride, and agreed that the birth of The Good Beer Show should be in Bansko.
Date and times for your diary .. stay tuned for venues and the selection of at least twelve bottled and draught craft Bulgarian beers. The venue will be released soon, but it will perfect for all the family with food and music to entertain thought out the afternoon and early evening.
Saturday 4th August 17:00 – 20:00; The Good Beer Show, Bansko at …. to be announced soon.
NOTE: Please drink responsibly
The Bansko International Jazz Festival Program 2012
Location: Main stage “NIKOLA VAPTZAROV“ square. (main town square).
|Date / Day of week
|3 August, Friday – start 20.00 h||1. Yildiz Ibrahimova and Big Band BNR – conductor Antoni Donchev (Turkey, Bulgaria)
2. ЕYOT Band (Serbia) – Dejan Ilijic – piano, Sladjan Milenovic – guitar, Milos Vojvodic – drums, Marko Stojiljkovic – bass
|Stage “Nikola Vapcarov” Square|
|4 August, Saturday||1. Big Band BNR – conductor Antoni Donchev and special guests Camellia Todorova & Vassil Petrov (Bulgaria)
2. Mario Stantchev Trio (France; Bulgaria) – Mario Stantchev – piano, Vesselin Vesselinov ‘Eko’ – double bass, Dimitar Semov – drums
3. Christina Kirova and the Old Gold Band (Bulgaria) – Gencho Vartovski – leader of the formation plays the trumpet and flugelhorn, Atanas Hadjiev – clarinet, saxophone, vocals, Tsvetan Troyanski – trombone, Kalin Zhechev – piano, vocals, Mitko Gidishki – bass, vocals, Vassil Vassilev – drums, vocals.
4. The Doyle Band (United Kingdom) – Mick Doyle – lead vocals, Paul Tongs – piano, backing vocals, Dermot McNeill – double bass, backing vocals, Reece Barker – electric guitar, percussion, backing vocals, Dave McCarthy – drums, backing vocals, Paul Castle – saxоphone, backing vocals
|5 August, Sunday||1. Kekko Fornarelli Trio (Italy) – Kekko Fornarelli – piano&sint), Luca Alemanno – double bass, Dario Congedo – drums
2. Champian Fulton Trio (USA) – Champian Fulton – vocals and piano, Mathias Allamane – bass and Mourad Benhammou – drums
3. Alexandroff Ragtime Band (Bulgaria) and special guest Mary Taneva – vocals. Roumen Alexandroff – banjo and guitar, Stoicho Radnev – trumpet, Nevilian Gemizhev – clarinet, Roumen Alexandroff – banjo, Nikolai Enev – tuba, Dessislava Tileva and Miroslava Nacheva – vocals
|6 August, Monday||1. IKS Big Band – conductor Horst Aussenhof (Germany) – Pavel Mozgovoy – vocals, klarinette, Frank Ebert – vocals
2. Axel & Torsten Zwingenberger (Germany) – Axel Zwingenberger – piano, Torsten Zwingenberger – drums
3. The Speakeasies’ Swing Band! (Greece) – Caterina Sisinni – vocals, Panos Karnoutsos – electric guitar, Giannis Ntalianis – acoustic guitar, Panos Voulgarakis – double bass, Manolis Stamatiadis – piano, Ilias Gkrimpas – clarinet, Thanos Anagnostopoulos – violin, Stergios Koias – drums
|7 August, Tuesday||1. The Merry Poppins (Austria) – David Lageder – vocals, Thomas J. Aichinger – guitar and trombone, Mathias Vorauer – double bass, Robert Aichinger – drums, Herbert Koenighofer – saxophone, clarinet & percussions
2. Leah Kline Quintet (USA, Bulgaria) – Leah Kline – vocals, Mihail Yossifov – trumpet, Dimiter Bodurov – piano, Chavdar Nachev – double bass, Dimiter Dimitrov – drums
3. 8 W D (Eight Wheel Drive) (Germany) – Wolfgang “Pannas” Dannecker – vocals, Manni Schmelzer – trombone, Achim Rietzler – saxophone, Jos Wetzels – trumpet, Wolfgang “Dufte” Albers – guitar, Willie Bergen – bass, Dick Franssen – keyboard & organ, Charlie T – drums
|8 August, Wednesday||1. Alexandrina Simeon Quintett (Germany) – Alexandrina Simeon – vocals, composition, lyrics, Stephan Holstein – clarinet, saxophone, Daniel Mark Eberhard – piano, accordion, Uli Fiedler – bass, Tom Steppich – drums, percussions
2. Hans Dulfer Band (Holland) – Hans Dulfer – sax, Eric Barkman – bass, John Helder – vocals, Jerome Hol – guitar, Joris Feiertag – drums, Musonda Kaoma “Crimson Flo do” – breakdancer
3. Mungo Jerry Blues Band (England) – Ray Dorset – vocals, guitar, Heini Altbart – drums, Johnathan Playle – bass guitar, Helmut Posch – piano, keyboards
|9 August, Thursday||1. Big Band Blagoevgrad & soloists – conductor Boris Yanev, special guest Rumyana Kotseva (Bulgaria)
2. Fanfán Tulipán (Czech Republic) – Eliška Svobodová – vocals, xylophone, Dušan Navařík – flute, Ian Mazura – piano, Vlado Micenko – double-bass, Cyril Lojda – drums
3. Big Lenny Power Exson (USA) – Big Lenny Power Exson – vocals & guitar, Eddie Taylor – saxophone, Butch Kellem – trombone, Jon Playle – bass & vocals, Helmut Posch – piano, keyboards, Heini Altbart – drums
|10 August, Friday||1. Amir Gwirtzman (Israel) – multi-instrumental show
2. Andrzej Jagodzinski Trio (Poland) – Andrzej Jagodzinski – piano, Adam Cegielski – bass, Czeslaw Bartkowski – drums
3. Alexandre Cunha Band (Brazil) – Alexandre Cunha – drums, Bruno Coppini – bass guitar & vocals, Marcelo Valezi – flute & saxophone, Ricardo Cren – piano, Eduardo Gallian – guitar
4. RomaNeno Project (Bulgaria) – Neno Iliev – vocals, accordion, Boril Iliev – tenor sax, Mihail Yossifov – trumpet, Velislav Stoyanov – trombone, Vassil Spassov – piano, Boris Taslev – bass, Ventsislav Radev – drums.
|11 August, Saturday||1. Károly Binder & Mihály Borbély (Hungary) – Károly Binder – piano, Mihály Borbély – flute
2. Boyko Tsvetanov – tenor, Stoyan Bonchev – bass, Alex Zografov – piano (Bulgaria, USA)
3. Jazz Connection (Holland) – Jurgen Feskens – trumpet, flugelhorn & vocals, Peter van Steen – trombone, Rob Henneveld – alto & tenor sax, clarinet, Bart Maassen – piano, Bart Wouters – double bass & vocals, Ad Hoendervangers – drums
4. Seven Kings (France) – Paul Reyes “Pablo” (Gipsy Kings) – lead guitar, Vincent Patrac “Kéko” – lead vocals, Pascal Lorier “Paquito” – second lead guitar, Stéphane Lambotte – drummer, Francois Amador “Canute” – vocals & guitar, Didier Deleria “Diego” – bass
Now is always a good time to start fixing ski holidays and short winter trips to the pistes.
The good news is that Bansko has improved and is a place for everyone. For all budgets. From several luxury ski hotels to more basic spaces, studios and rooms. That said, the more I speak to people it is clear that whether you are paying €10 a night or €200 a night the expectations are not dissimilar. We want everything to work properly.
It’s the basics. Plentiful hot water, proper heating, clear drainage, clean rooms and fresh bedding and towels. Not all apartments in Bansko are to the standard that most tourists expect. Some places remind me of those “holidays from hell” TV shows. Remember? Those places where electrics wires are unprotected and bits fall off. So do check before booking what you are really getting into..
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