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Emblematic names from Bulgaria’s pop and rock scene in the spotlight

Front man of the Shturcite rock band, Kiril Marichkov, celebrated his 75th birthday with a concert at the National Palace of Culture in late October. He went on stage together with the Foundation – a band he has been actively touring with in recent years. Kiril Marichkov, together with fellow musicians was one of the creators of the rock sphere in Bulgaria in the 1960s. In 1967, the Shturcite band was born and it has become an emblem of Bulgarian rock for four decades with indisputable hits like "Rock of the Past," "Taste of Time," "Hamlet," and many more.

Since its creation in 2013, the Foundation has had two tours in North America and Europe, concerts in the Middle East (Israel, Kuwait, Qatar and Dubai), Australia and New Zealand, Japan, and toured around the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOZjYIehtQQ

The Usual Suspects is another formation that has also brought together some of the most famous local musicians. Lead singer of the band is Stefan Valdobrev. The musicians had a busy summer with the last concert of their tour, entitled "Five Summer Concerts, not Counting the Winter One", taking place in Plovdiv – the European Capital of Culture 2019. A little bit later, on November 11, at the National Palace of Culture, The Usual Suspects also had their “Big Winter Concert”. I see this concert as the end not only of a summer, but also of a three-year cycle of a series of concerts, Stefan Valdobrev says.

At the end of the same month, the National Palace of Culture hosted a concert  of funk band "Akaga" and Orlin Goranov. It is not the first time that musicians have shared a stage, but the synthesis between the fusion sound of the band and the velvet voice of Orlin Goranov created a wonderful atmosphere and great excitement in the hall. Akaga and Orlin Goranov presented an interesting and modern interpretation of their most popular songs, arranged for the project by pianist of the band Yassen Velchev. Destiny Quartet and other performers joined the special chamber part of the concert.

For the rock musicians of the BTR band, 2019 symbolically went through "Invisible Walls" - the band’s latest 12th album. This year they presented it on various stages in Bulgaria, one of them in Sozopol, at the Apollonia Arts Festival. There the BTR performed most of the songs from Invisible Walls, as well as their biggest hits. BTR have also toured Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Italy and Spain, and soon the band returned from a concert tour of the US and Canada.

One of the most significant pop events this year was the series of concerts of Bulgarian pop prima Lili Ivanova at the National Palace of Culture. The repertoire she presented consisted of her most famous hits, arranged by Angel Dyulgerov and Zhivko Petrov, as well as new compositions. Lili Ivanova also released a double CD containing 32 songs and a vinyl record with 10 songs. She also included "Sevdana" by Georgi Zlatev-Cherkin in the album. Thanks to pianist Zhivko Petrov, the classical violin play has received a new life. Stefan Valdobrev wrote the lyrics and Angel Dyulgerov arranged the song, while performer of the main music theme is world-famous violinist Vesko Eshkenazi. “Sevdana” also became the title of Lili Ivanova's new album.

Legendary Lili Ivanova said more about the musicians involved in the project.

“These are Angel Dyulgerov (guitar and violin), Ognyan Enev (piano), Veselin Veselinov - Eco (double bass and bass guitar), Orlin Tsvetanov (violin), Rosen Vatev (drums), Zhivko Petrov (piano) and LaTiDa vocal formation. I am extremely grateful to them as they did not underestimating the music I make. Most of them are authors in my new production. Generally, I order the songs. If I like the tune, I have someone write the lyrics. I see the qualities of a musician and I decide whether they could write something for me. That is what I did with Veselin Veselinov - Eco. One day we had a performance in a club. At the break I heard someone play the piano and it turned out to be him. I really liked his style and wanted to have a song from him. He told me that he likes tango and I don't like it. Time passed by and when he finally wrote a tune for me, which turned out to be a tango. Stefan Valdobrev wrote the lyrics to it and Angel Dyulgerov wrote the arrangements. I was so impressed that I accepted it right away, and that's how "This Moment" was born. Two more songs by Eco followed.”

LILI IVANOVA - Dali - NDK - December 10, 2019

English: Alexander Markov

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