Bansko Jazz Festival 2009 Programme

Jun 24, 2009 14 Comments by
Candy Dulfer & Band: Jazz Fest, Tuesday 11th August

Candy Dulfer & Band: Jazz Fest, Tuesday 11th August

The Bansko Jazz Festival 2009 Programme has arrived — like a homing pidgeon, direct from the office of Dr Iliev, I am delighted to be able to publish the FINAL Bansko Jazz Fest 2009 line up.

Dr Emi Iliev is the mastermind behind the Jazz Fest in Bansko –  since the very start. And this year, he and his team have pulled a few rabbits out of the rat:  For example acts like Clare Teal are just one of top world famous acts to make it over for the Bansko Jazz Festival.

If you require a private transfer, need bus timetables or a hire car go here:

Festival Programme

STAGE HOTEL ROYAL TOWERS (all concerts start at 4 p.m.)
Dixie Brunch – 11.30 – 13.30h.with Dixie Teteven

Hotel Villa Roka – every day from 5p.m. – 7p.m. – Mitko Rusev jazz band – Bulgaria
Bunder pub – every night from 10.30 p.m. – 3.00 a.m. jam session
The organizers reserve the right to make changes in the programme.

8.08.2009 9.08.2009 10.08.2009 11.08.2009 12.08.2009 13.08.2009
MAIN STAGE – VAPCAROV SQUARE BANSKO  (ALL concerts start at 7.30 p.m.)
Vasil Petrov & Mery Taneva and big band Blagoevgrad – Bulgaria Maciej Sikala trio – Poland Kamelia Todorova – Bulgaria Brother Hood – Switzerland Michaela Rabitsch & Robert Pawlik quartet – Austria Jamie Davis – USA + Festival Big band Bansko
Otto Heijnic trio – Czech Republik/Slovakia Mario Stanchev trio – France Jazzex – Ukraine Four Bones Jazz Combo – Hungary Axel Zwingenberger – Germany Roy Powell Peak Experience Trio Norway
Clear Teal band- England Keiko Borjeson and WomaJazz – Japan/Italy Judy Lewis trio – Israeli Candy Dulfer band – Holland Irvin Lews Lattin and his band – USA Yehya Khalil band – Egypt
STAGE “B”  BANSKO ROYAL TOWERS HOTEL (all concerts start at 4 p.m.)
Dixie Brunch :   11.30 – 13.30 with Dixie Teteven

Bulgaria Hotel Villa Roka – every day from 5p.m to 7p.m. – Mitko Rusev Jazz Band

Bulgaria Bunder pub – every night from 10.30 p.m. – 3.00 a.m. Jam Session

The organizers reserve the right to make changes in the programme.

Don’t forget STAGE “B” BANSKO ROYAL TOWERS (“BRT”) concertsALL concerts start at 4.00pm…

…located just over bridge from gondola lift station. Last year, I particularly enjoyed Mind Trips , a successful “chill out” jazz style. Mind Trips play on stage B at BRT on Tuesday 11th August.

The BRT has a pleasant family swimming pool setting, good bar and spa …situated 100 metres from accommodation here: in all, the afternoon BRT sessions are really worth making the effort see.

Bansko Royal Towers (Stage B) Programme (all start at 4.00 pm)

8th August:     Arabrl and Please Shut Up Band – Austria/Bulgaria

9th August:     Ulrich Wangenheim Qiuntet – Germany/Bulgaria

10th August:  Brother Hood – Switzerland

11th August:  Mind Trips – Bulgaria

12th August:  Brazilacoustic – Bulgaria

If you are thinking of a round of golf, or checking out the new Pirin Golf clubhouse be sure to check out tournaments and video and pictures here:

Enjoy mountain biking? Then listen to local enthusiast James Hughes here: Day time swimming at Bansko Royal Towers or in the spa pool at Dobrinishte just 10 minutes away are good places to relax, sunbathe and cool down.

So I’ve put together some, what I think are, Quite Interesting FACTS on the main acts. One thing is for sure — the line up is superb, and genuinely international.

If you find this guide usefu,l please be sure to sign up for more on Bansko and the Jazz Fest 2009… if you are on twitter – please give it a quick retweet and help make this best year ever. Watch this space for more on the Jazz Fest 2009 both before , during and after the event.


UPDATE TO PROGRAMME: Please Note Manhatten Transfer are NOT playing at 2009 Festival

As soon as they appeared in 1969, Manhattan Transfer marked a new trend in the vocal recreation of jazz. The US group isnamed after one of the best known novels of John Dos Passos, whose action takes place in New York. Published in 1925, it recreates personal stories which happen in the so-called “golden age” of jazz.

  • two Grammy awards for the album Vocalese in 1985
  • 12 nominations
  • recorded almost 20 CDs… including Spirit of St. Louis (2000), Swing (1997), Tonin’ (1995), The Manhattan Transfer Meets Tubby the Tuba (1994), Brasil (1987), Bodies and Souls (1983), etc.

CANDY DULFER and her band (Netherlands)

Born in Amsterdam, she is the daughter of renowned jazz saxophone player Hans Dulfer.

Candy started playing the saxophoneaged seven, and at the age of 14 she already had her own group – Funky Stuff.

  • Besides with Prince, Candy has recorded with Dave Stewart (Eurythmics)
  • Recorded with Beyonce, Pink Floyd, Chaka Khan,David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, Alan Parsons
  • Her music synthesizes rock and beat, blues, pop and jazz.
  • Her latest project is called Funked up & Chilled Out.
  • The blond diva will be playing Bansko after three big concert tours – in Japan, Europe and the US.

CLARE TEAL and her band (UK)

Clare Teal is a singer with an impressive voice, a composer with her own signature.

An amazing person with a “crazy” sense of humour.

  • Born in Yorkshire, UK, she made her fist steps as a vocalist at the age of 15.
  • After completing her musical education, in 2005 Clare hit the scene with her CD Don’t talk.
  • The album immediately got into the UK Top 20, and 60,000 copies were sold.
  • She received rave reviews from the critics and was voted Jazz Vocalist of the Year for 2005.
  • BBC had proclaimed her Singer of the Year 2006.
  • Jazz Vocalist of the Year for 2007.
  • Clare’s new album Get Happy features both her own compositions as well as cover versions.
  • They include Love Hurts and Cheek to Cheek, which she performs with an enviable feeling for style.
  • At the same time, she delivers an amazing moderninterpretation of classic jazz.


Since the age of 19, pianist Axel Zwingenberger has been travelling the world as a genuine ambassador of Boogie Woogie. Born in 1955 in Hamburg, Germany he has played in some 50 countries in Asia, Africa, America and across Europe.

  • He is currentlythe best Boogie Woogie pianist in the world.
  • He has eight solo albums.
  • British music critics hail Axel as the Boogie Woogie master of the world.
  • Authentic American boogie woogie and blues styles.


Jamie Davies & Festival Big Band: Thursday 13th, Bansko Jazz Fest

Jamie Davies & Festival Big Band: Thursday 13th, Bansko Jazz Fest

Jamie Davis is one of today’s greatest jazz vocalists.

  • Davis is called the “chocolate baritone” due to his fine deep timbre.
  • He has taken part in festivals and concerts both in the USA aswell as overseas.
  • Most frequently he travels as lead vocalist for the Count Basie Orchestra.
  • His deep baritone can be heard in A Time to Remember –
  • a docudrama which won the Black American Independent Filmmakers Award.
  • It’s A Good Thing was album of the week on digital radio station in December 2007
  • on the in-flight audio play list of British Airways, Scandinavian, Aer Lingus and British Midland.
  • Jamie Davis’ latest disc is called Vibe Over Perfection. It was released in 2008.

Vocal group JAZZEX (Ukraine)

  • JAZZEX is a synonym of high professionalism, huge experience in various music genres.
  • The vocal group JAZZEX, founded in 2005, by a group of like-minded people, sharing a love for a cappella singing.
  • JAZZEX is the only well-known mixed a cappella group in Ukraine.
  • The members are sopranos Tatyana Shilova and Elena Orlova, alto Marina Kerusenko,
  • tenor SergeiYurchenko, baritone Pavel Moskalenko and bass Dmitry Efimenko.
  • The group actively collaborates with percussionist Alexander Beregovsky.
  • JAZZEX gets its inspiration equally from folk sourcesand the treasury of jazz.
  • The groups’ debut album Bee JAZZEX was released in December 2007.
  • In 2009 the Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA) nominated:
  • Best Jazz Album, Best European Album, Best Classical Song (for Flight of the Bumblebee). JAZZEX is currently preparing its new project.


  • Judy Lewis began her career as a jazz musician some 10 years ago – a difficult time in her personal life. Judy was looking after her four children on her own, working a 40-hour week and doing all she could to promote her own music.
  • She is now about to release her fifth, and has won the reputation of a unique musician.
  • Judy started playing the piano at age seven, quickly realising that this would be her vocation.
  • She won a number of music prizes already as a child.
  • She enrolled in NewYork’s prestigious Columbia University where she studied for two years.
  • In the last years Judy has been actively touring the concert stages of Europe and Israel.
  • She has her own recording company.
  • She is among the founders of jazz educationin Israel, after the inauguration of a jazz music department in 2001. Judy lectures jazz improvisation at the Rubin Academy of Music and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
  • In Bansko Judy Lewis will perform with her trio.

OTTO HEJNIC TRIO (Czech Republic, Slovakia)

Besides being fine instrumentalists, the members of the OTTO HEJNIC TRIO are also original, contemporary composers. The trio plays its own inventive, imaginative jazz.

  • The leading figure is Otto Hejnic – an exceptional drummer. Born in 1975
  • graduated the Conservatory in Prague and later attended the Berklee School of Music
  • recorded a number of CDs, notably Live from New Orleans 2004,
  • At present Otto lives in Prague and, besides the concerts he gives in the Czech Republic and across Europe
  • he also teaches at the International School of Music and Fine Arts Prague.
  • The young virtuoso pianist, composer and musician Ondrej Krajňák was born in 1978 in Levice, Slovakia.
  • His first contact with jazz was at the age of ten when he heard the Oscar Peterson Trio on the radio.
  • Ondrej Krajňák is considered one of the best pianists in Slovakia
  • influenced by the music of Bach, Bartók, Chopin and Prokofiev on the one hand, and
  • by the jazz greats Oscar Peterson, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Chick Corea and Adam Makovic, on the other.
  • Stefan Bartus is one of the few “white” jazz double bass players with a black style of playing the so-called black feeling.
  • Due to his specific style, he is able to perform with a number of well-known musicians not only in Slovakia, but in Europe as well.


Maciej Sikala graduated the jazz department of the Music Academy in Katowice in 1987.

  • first prize from the International Jazz Improvisation Contest in Katowice (1986)
  • first place in the readers’ survey of Jazz Forum – tenor saxophone category for 1995-2004
  • first place in soprano saxophone category for 2001.
  • He has played with different formations – the Piotr Wojtasik Quintet, Piotr Rodowicz Quartet, Leszek Możdżer Quintet and Sextet, etc.
  • He has performed with Lester Bowie and Kenny Wheeler, with pianist Dolph Castelano and vocalist Miles Griffith.
  • In 2004 he toured with American sax player Billy Harper.
  • He has recorded 40 CDs.
  • Since 1998 has been playing in trio with Piotr Lemanczyk and Tomasz SowiÅ„ski both his own compositions and jazz standards.

Piotr Lemanczyk – double bass, bass guitar, composer, arranger.

  • Prize winner of Jazz Juniors ‘95 and ‘96 in Krakow
  • Jazz on the Oder  ‘96 in Wroclaw and others.
  • Has recorded three CDs as front man, highly acclaimed by the critics.
  • Has played almost all European countries, Canada and Israel.

Tomasz Sowiński – a graduate of the Music Academy in Gdansk.

  • Laureate of the Jazz Juniors contest with the group JUST FRIENDS (1997) and of the jazz standards contest in Siedlce.
  • Member of the formations of the best known Polish jazzmen - Leszek Możdżer  Trio, Emil Kowalski Quintet, Wojtek .


Pianist Mario Stantchev was born in Bulgaria, where he was educated. He studied piano at the Secondary School of Music and later at the State Music Academy in Sofia. His career in his home country was highly successful and he enjoyed the respect and admiration of both colleagues and fans. He took part in all jazz forums staged in Bulgaria at that time.

  • Mario left Bulgaria three decades ago
  • lives and works in France where he is performing as well as teaching.
  • He lectures at the jazz department he founded at the National Conservatoire in Lyon.
  • Mario Stantchev has taken part in almost all big festivals and has played throughout Europe, in America and Asia.
  • From 1998 to 2007 leader of a sextet named after him
  • In 2005 the Mario Stantchev Sextet played the Jazz Festival in Bansko
  • Mario Stantchev Trio which has already had numerous concert appearances.
  • He is partnered by Didier del Aguila – double bass and Roland Merlinc – drums.
  • Mario will mark two round anniversaries – his 60th birthday which he celebrated last year and 30 years in France.


The Norwegian trio was set up by popular British pianist Roy Powell. The musicians perform his original compositions, which are a blend of rock, funk and fusion. The other members of the group are Per Mathisen and Ivan Makedonov.

  • Roy Powell was born in the UK.
  • He studied piano and composition at the Royal Northern College of Music.
  • He hit the scene in 1994 with his debut album A Big Sky.
  • His album North by Northwest, was chosen jazz album of the year by
  • The single — Bow Out, composed in 2003, was released across the world – from Japan, Australia and the USA to Europe and Scandinavia.
  • Per Mathisen studied at the renowned Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA.
  • Ivan Makedonov is a Bulgarian, born in 1975 in Bourgas. After graduating in classical piano and percussion, he moved to Norway, where he has been living for 15 years now. He teaches drums in Norwegian music schools. He has given concerts with many well-known Norwegian musicians.
  • The group has had two successful tours in Bulgaria, playing more than eight different towns.

FOUR BONES JAZZ Combo (Hungary)

Four Bones Jazz appeared in 2002 as a quartet. With their academic education, the four trombone players are truly devoted to their music instruments.

  • They have had successful appearances at forums in Hungary, as well as in Austria, Britain, Romania, China and Germany. They have played in a number of renowned concert halls with their own programme or accompanying well-known singer Zita Gereben.
  • In 2006 the quartet was in the final of the Trombone Competition and Festival in Birmingham, organised by the International Trombone Association (ITA).
  • s a varied repertoire, which ranges from the early Renaissance to contemporary music, through classical melodies, lively rhythms and, of course, jazz.
  • Occasionally the quartet is joined by a rhythm section, and the formation is known as the FOUR BONES JAZZ COMBO. In Bansko we will see the combo, together with Zita Gereben.

KEILKO BORJESON and WomaJazz (Japan)

Keiko Borjeson began her career as a classical musician. Born in Tokyo, aged only five she made her debut on National Television with Beethoven’s “Für Elise”.Kazuko Yasukawa – one of the best-known Japanese pedagogues – was her teacher for many years. After getting her Bachelor’s degree in classical piano from TohoGauken University, Tokyo, in 1973 she specialised chamber music at Siena Academica Quigiana, Italy. In 1976 she graduated the Hurry Field School of Music, Los Angeles, USA, and in 1980 she studied at Wayne State Music University. During her classical period Keiko performed a number of piano concerts together with the Nippon Symphony Orchestra.

  • Nearly 20 years ago Keiko started playing jazz.
  • She mastered the laws of jazz with the same consistency and method with which she studied classical piano.
  • She received her jazz education from the American jazz greats
  • In 1994 Keiko was honoured with the title Jazz Music Professor at Shin-yo University in China.
  • Partly living in Japan, the USA and Sweden she is touring all over the world.
  • Last year, Keiko became a great friend of Bulgaria. During the 11th Jazz Festival in Bansko
  • This year the singer will perform together with Woma Jazz – an attractive and successful women’s jazz formation.
  • Its members include Irene Robbins – piano and vocal, Silvia Bolognesi – bass, and the dancer Acai Arop Lombardi. At the heart of this project are the temperamental Keiko and Irene – two ladies with strong scenic presence and invention.
  • Keiko plays elegant swing-flavoured jazz with a distinct bebop influence
  • the well-known jazz pianist Hank Jones called her “one of the most innovative pianists I have known and listened to in years
  • “adventurous, light-hearted style, a combination that may seem contradictory, they crystallize perfectly in the hands of Keiko”.


  • Michaela Rabitsch is the “female Chat Baker of our time” – this is how the US Jazzscene magazine called her.
  • She graduated the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz
  • Has played and recorded withHypersax, the orchestra of the Burgtheater in Vienna, various groups and orchestras.
  • Robert Pawlik studied jazz guitar at the Conservatory in Vienna and at the American Institute of Music with Les Wise and Karl Ratzer.
  • Joint projects with Al Fats Edwards, Andy Lee Lang, and others.
  • Michaela Rabitsch & Robert Pawlik are partnered by well-known jazz musicians.
  • Karl Sayer is one of the most popular bassists in Austria.
  • On the drums - Dusan Novakov – a Serb in origin who lives in Vienna
  • Their latest album Moods appearedin 2008.
  • In it Michaela and Robert present ten original songs, inspired by their own life.
  • Melancholic or full of energyand optimism, the pieces change their mood – just as in reality.  This is the programme the quartet will present in Bansko.

So that’s the latest Jazz Fest 2009 roundup. here will be more soon.

Please comment on what you will be doing at the Bansko Jazz Festival and your favourite acts.

Stay tuned for more Jazz Festival news and updates, pictures and videos.

Whilst this is a blog on Bansko, be sure to check out reviews on this site on other areas and things to do such as The Seven Rila Lakes: If you are looking for acommodation in Sofia then I have just been offered of a top one bedroom modern apartment right in the centre of Sofia with a perfectview of Vitosha. Just contact me for more info

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I enjoy tech, apps, entrepreneurship, podcasting and collaboration with others. I love travelling as well as skiing, hiking, MTB, paragliding, cooking and good food.

14 Responses to “Bansko Jazz Festival 2009 Programme”

  1. Bansko Jazz Festival 2009 Programme | Banksoblog | Czech Today says:

    […] More: Bansko Jazz Festival 2009 Programme | Banksoblog […]

  2. Richard says:

    I would be delighted if Candy Dulfer gave me the horn. I quite fancy having a go.

  3. Jenny says:

    I'm not into jazz. Can't stand anything other then rock (manson mostly).

    Thanks for visiting and commenting on my site btw. Not many people do.

  4. LanceNelson says:

    Hi Jenny,

    thanks for your comment… and your site i thought was highly worthy.

    some of the Jazz crosses over into more bluesy stuff… so know where you're coming from.
    Hendrix, Led Zep do it for me. We'll see if we get a rock fest one day soon – hope so.

  5. The Bansko Song: The Man Behind Our Resort Anthem | Banksoblog says:

    […] was from Michael Green. He had just searched the internet for info on the Bansko Jazz Festival Michael told me that he hailed from Dublin in Ireland — and will be soon going out to Bansko […]

  6. libinvile says:

    hmmm, great post

  7. Pirin Golf Monthly Series: The Winners | Banksoblog says:

    […] if you’re a golfer and a jazz fest fan out in Bansko soon (see, I recommend you get down to Pirin Golf Pro Shop soon or simply call the golf pro, Nikolay, […]

  8. George says:

    there is nothing said about tickets… I am interested but would like to know…..

    • LanceNelson says:

      Hi George,

      Thanks for pointing out this key immission from this post!

      This is a free Jazz Festival. Just support by sponsorship. Quite a feat and thanks to Dr Iliev and his team for making this happen.

  9. Rachel says:

    Any idea about 2010 Jazz festival?

    cheap Bulgarian properties

    • LanceNelson says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Thank you for asking… the Bansko Internationl Jazz Festival 2010 kicks off on August 8th and runs every day through August 13th.

      All details to be finalised… but I am informed there will be SIX stages! The main stage on the main square as usual, at one of the big hotels from 11.30 to 14:00 a daily there will be a Jazz BBQ

      PLUS jam sessions from late till morning at four clubs/bars.

      The festival will be opened by Finnish vocalist Bianca Morales. Some participants lined up:

      British acid jazz icons "Incognito"
      the Grammy nominated Dianne Schuur
      bebop legend Benny Golson,
      boogie-woogie pianist Axel Zwingenberger,
      Bulgarian project "Percussion Impact"
      some world famous names that have not signed the contracts yet.

      Lots of good acts and events yet to be announced. I rekon this will be the best year so far of this amazing (and FREE) festival. Many people who come enjoy this week more than any other in Bulgaria. Always a happy and relaxed atmosphere and a good time to book up some activites: golf. hiking ATV, Horse riding, tours etc etc — all via this web site: hint hint 🙂

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