Coming up in Bulgaria: Bansko Jazz Festival 2017

Written by on July 27, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Coming up in Bulgaria: Bansko Jazz Festival 2017

The Bansko Jazz Festival is the most important event of its kind in Bulgaria, since the two main Jazz festivals in Sofia were dumped years ago. The one in Bansko has a lot of history, it definitely has the right location and, once again, it features a colourful mixture of different kinds of Jazz and related genres. Bulgarian artists will share the stage with Americans, Germans, Italians, Israelis, Georgians and musicians from several other nations.

Candy Dulfer (see main photo) is a Dutch saxophone heroine, who founded her first band as a teenager. It was called Funky Stuff and delivered exactly that. “Saxuality” was the title of her first studio album in 1990. Just weeks ago, she released her 12th one, “Together”. Candy Dulfer has played with absolutely everyone, including her inspiring example Maceo Parker, but also Prince, Pink Floyd, The Alan Parsons Project and Van Morrison. In the Bulgarian skiing resort of Bansko, the 47-year-old will blow that sax yet again and deliver both funky and more romantic tunes.

Patti Austin

Mungo Jerry is a British Rock band, which has been delivering the Blues as well, for almost 50 years. The group was founded by the singer, guitarist and songwriter Ray Dorset, who is still with the band today. “In the Summertime” was loved by many, and hated by others. This tune was released on the first Maxi Single ever. Mungo Jerry has released 21 albums so far, and chances are there might be a few more. Ray Dorset is 71 by now. His band will hit that Bansko stage too.

The British vocalist Tony Momrelle has been to Bulgaria three times before, as one of the lead singers of the legendary Jazz-Funk band Incognito. The 44-year-old has worked with countless fellow artists as a backing singer, including Gloria Estefan, Chaka Khan, Robert Palmer and Whitney Houston. His smooth Soul voice is impressive indeed. The Guardian daily even called him the “21st century Stevie Wonder”. This time around, Tony Momrelle is coming to Bansko with his own band.

Misho Yossifov

Patti Austin basically represents America, at the Bansko Jazz Festival. The Soul singer’s first hit single “Family Tree” was released as early as 1969. Since then, she has released truckloads of albums and participated in recordings of fellow artists with big names. With Quincy Jones’ band, she sang the Funk hit “Razzmatazz” in 1981. On the late Michael Jackson’s album “Off the Wall”, she sang “It’s the Falling in Love” in a duet with him. She did more wonderful duets with James Ingram and George Benson. During her own concerts, she does perform a lot of Soul and Jazz tunes, but doesn’t have a problem singing “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” or similar Rock tunes either. Patti Austin was recently in Sofia. Now it’s Bansko.

The Bansko Jazz Festival does not only feature the artists mentioned above, but many others as well, including some of the most gifted Bulgarian musicians. The latter include the legendary Jazz singer Camelia Todorova, the percussionist and vocalist Hilda Kazasyan, as well as the singer Vassil Petrov. The Sentimental Swingers will share the Bansko stage with the Big Band Blagoevgrad. Their special guest is trumpet master Mihail Yossifov, who is basically the Bulgarian Arturo Sandoval. Well, he is actually himself. And plays like a God.

The entire programme for the Bansko Jazz Festival, which will take place from August 5 to August 12, 2017, and more detailed information can be accessed here.

 

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.