Sketches of Spain – first rendition

Photo: BNR

On March 16 the Big Band of the BNR will present for the first time in this country the Sketches of Spain album, featuring Gil Evans – a jazz pianist and band leader. The pieces were created in 1959 – 60 together with and for Miles Davis, who selected Gil as his arranger and composer. The two men cooperated within several projects. The recordings with the orchestra of Evans were done within that timeframe.

In 2003 the Rolling Stone magazine ranked Sketches of Spain on its Top 500 best albums ever list. The event also features Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, a Spanish folk song and two plays of Evans. This unique program is put together by Antoni Donchev, a conductor of the BNR’s Big Band. He contacted the family of Gil Evans and that was how he got the score.

“The work is something like a trademark of the cooperation between Miles Davis and Gil Evans. It has received endless positive criticism and many awards. According to Miles himself that was one of his career’s peaks. The whole thing was recorded on an LP with only 5 plays included. This music strikes directly into your soul. That is what I call great art – forget about ostentation and try to create something deep,” Antoni says

Rosen Zahariev-Rocko is the soloist of the concert with his trumpet and flugelhorn. A graduate of the Lyubomir Pipkov National High School of Music in Sofia and the Rotterdam Conservatory he has several years of active work in Boston and New York on his record. Now he is back on Bulgarian stage, working with different formations and projects. Both his colleagues and the audience love him due to his remarkable instrumentalism and everlasting strive to speak with his own words.

“I sense the presence of Miles Davis. His influence is still great. But I play in between the original and my own view; I don’t just copy. Georgi Donchev talked to me into the project – it took several years. I would always answer that he made lots of mistakes and played false. It turned out this is music you need to grow up for. I am really glad that once again I will play together with the Big Band of the BNR. Only marvelous things have happened ever since Antoni Donchev got in charge,” Rosen Zahariev-Rocko contends.

The concert is scheduled for March 16, at 7:30 pm at Studio 1 of the BNR.

The audio file contains the fill text of the interviews and several pieces from the project.

English version: Zhivko Stanchev 

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