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The Georgi Petrov Quartet throwing a bridge between Bulgaria and USA

БНР Новини
Photo: georgipetrovmusic.com

Georgi Petrov is a young musician, a man of his time. He takes up the challenges life faces him with and lends himself to experiment. The occasion for this feature - the release of his debut album Lost Originals. He has the education to reach out for his goals. From Bourgas to New Orleans – a road strewn with dreams, attained with a lot of hard work. Yet instead of economics, Georgi opted for music.

Georgi Petrov never thought there would come a time when music would become his profession. Born in Yambol, when he was in the first grade his family moved to Bourgas. Georgi has been playing the piano since he was a little boy. Electrified by Deep Purple’s concert in this country in 1998 and especially guitarist Steve Morse, he took up the guitar. But his secondary education is connected with mathematics and foreign languages – he graduated the English language school in Bourgas; it was while he was there that he was selected for an Open Society scholarship. He spent one year in USA and returned to Bourgas to finish his education after which he was admitted to several universities in USA and, at the insistence of his parents he opted for economics. But Georgi never let go of his passion for music, so he enrolled at Lawrence University in Appleton and did economics and music at the same time. For one year he worked as product manager in Chicago but knowing well that music was his calling went to New Orleans. At the university there Georgi continued his studies – he did jazz and guitar for two years and completed his education in 2013 with a solo concert.

“I came to New Orleans quite recently and since I have been here I have constantly been performing and composing,” Georgi says. “I lecture in guitar at the university; as assistant I have one class every semester. Most people think New York is the Mecca of jazz, but that is only true of the new, modern styles in the genre. The roots of jazz are in New Orleans, it was here that jazz was born. I love the music life here, jazz has reached unparalleled heights and is constantly developing. Musicians in the city are very keen on classical jazz from the times of Louis Armstrong – the 1930’s and 40’s. Since I have been here I too have been playing pieces from that time. But besides jazz, other styles are popular as well and that is what makes the city such a tourist attraction. Music is a way of life. You can hear people playing at all time and everywhere you look – in the streets, at restaurants and bars. And this is something wonderful for us, musicians, because New Orleans is one of the few American cities where by playing music you can make a living.”

The atmosphere Georgi Petrov has been living in has influenced him greatly, and that was how his first project Lost Originals was born.

“To begin with the idea for the album came from the boys I have been playing with most often,” Georgi Petrov says. “They are Doc Sharp, piano, Sam Wiseman, percussion and Trey Boudreaux, bass. There came a point when we decided to record the pieces we have been playing. And we decided that our group should have my name since I have composed seven of the pieces. The other two are by Doc and Trey. “

Georgi Petrov finds the time to work with other musicians on different projects. He loves to play funk, modern jazz, pop and rock.

There aren’t many Bulgarian jazz musicians in New Orleans, but Boyana Trayanova is one of them – she plays percussion. Together with Georgi and one more American musician who plays the accordion and is a fan of Balkan rhythms, they have been working on a new album. It will feature ethno elements from Bulgarian folklore, and once they have recorded it, they will organize a concert tour to present it.

English version: Milena Daynova

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