Radostina Kaneva, from Samuilovo to Las Vegas

Photo: bg.wikipedia.org

 “I have always been inspired by the need for the genuine things, and by the conviction that we must hand them down to the generations after is”, folk singer Radostina Kaneva contends.

Radostina Kaneva is one of the most renowned present-day singers of Thracian folk songs. She has got a rich voice, a good sense of style and a strong experience on stage. She says that the audiences charge her with inspiration and optimism. Her performances are emotional, as she selects sentimental lyrics and gracious melodies. She has also written her own songs. Radostina Kaneva was born in the village of Samuilovo not far from the Eastern town of Sliven. She has graduated the National Music School in the town Kotel in her native region where she was trained to play folk instruments, and more notably the pandore. It was there that she had her start as folk singer.

Radostina Kaneva has been on tour with the Angel Voices Choir and with the Voices from Outer Space Choir and has worked with renowned instrumentalists. For about two decades she has been working with the Straldja Band. The musicians from the small band accompany her first performances recorded for the Bulgarian National Radio back in 1993. In the year that followed she was involved with the Bulgari Group with whom she makes international tours. In 1995 writer Borislav Gerontiev hailed her first one-artist album as follows: “She entered the world of folklore with a pure heart and with pure thoughts ready to share communion with us. I am one of the worshippers in the temple of folklore and I call on you to enjoy Radostina’s work, to trust and support her.”

Over the last 7 years Radostina Kaneva has been living in Las Vegas. Before that she has been on a few tours of USA as soloist of Bulgari Group. The first tour held in 1998 was very successful. Next four other invitations followed. The venues of some of the concerts included prestigious American universities. The tour was organized by bagpipe player Georgi Doytchev, a Bulgarian who has been living in USA since the 1980s.

In Vegas, apart from folk music, Radostina has also found a job in the jewelry business. She finds great similarities between the two jobs. When presenting Bulgarian folk songs to foreign listeners, she is driven by the goal to reveal to them the high artistic merit of Bulgarian folklore. The same motivation is behind her jeweler job.

© Photo: personal archive


“I was lucky to start a job that is very much about communication”, Radostina says. “I feel happy to talk to various people and share my energy with them. I have to present my jewels in such a way that will be convincing about their high merits. They are quite lovely and valuable, made of diamonds. However, I can never give up the folk song, and I do not want to, because it is my soul. Over the recent years I have teamed up for a few projects with my son who is into music, just like me. We give concerts and we sound-screen two art galleries featuring works by artists from Eastern Europe. Music is a powerful go-between that assist visitors in growing a deeper awareness of our psychology. The gallery displays works by artists from Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Russia.”

In 2003 Radostina Kaneva founded a competition for young folk singers in Samuilovo that continued until 2006. Now the singer plans to resume the annual event.

“I am glad to have been able to live in the two countries regardless of the big distance”, she goes on to say. “When I am away from Bulgaria I miss the nature most, I yearn to be close to the trees and flowers, to my favorite oaks in Samuilovo. I am very happy that for the first time after many years I could celebrate Christmas with my family. And a few days ago I sighted the first snowdrops in the yard. Those little, gentle sprigs gave me a moment of great joy!”

Translated by Daniela Konstantinova

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