PETER SLAVOV’s quartet, Bulgaria – Germany – USA
Peter Slavov – bass
Vladimir Karparov – saxophone
Hristo Vitchev – guitar
Dimitar Semov – drums
This is a special project for the Bansko Jazz Festival. Peter Slavov brings together some of the finest Bulgarian musicians from different world locations to create music in Bansko!
Peter Slavov is a New York-based bassist, composer, session musician, arranger, and educator. Since he started performing professionally in the mid-1990s, Peter has performed at some of the most prestigious venues and festivals in more than 40 countries on 5 continents.
Born to the family of the famous Bulgarian drummer Peter Slavov Sr, Peter has been playing bass since the age of twelve. He studied classical music at the National Music School in Sofia, Bulgaria but later began to discover American jazz and soon after he became the busiest bassist on the scene in Bulgaria, playing with the country’s notable musicians and touring around Europe. In 1998 Peter received a scholarship from Berklee College of Music and in 1999 moved to Boston to attend Berklee. In 2001, he was awarded the Berklee Bass Department’s John Neves Memorial Scholarship Award for Outstanding Musicianship, as well as a full scholarship. He has performed and recorded with George Garzone, Danilo Perez, Chucho Valdes, Kevin Mahogany, Simon Shaheen, Elio Villafranca, Emily Bear and some more. Peter is a member of the Grammy award-winning saxophonist Joe Lovano’s Classic Quartet and Lovano’s Us Five band. Peter Slavov is also featured on the most recent album by Joe Lovano and Us Five, “Cross Culture”, released on the historic Blue Note label. Peter has performed with the legendary producer/arranger/composer Quincy Jones’ Global Gumbo Project. Peter has also recorded for Quincy Jones. He is featured on Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez’ critically-acclaimed, GRAMMY®-nominated album The Invasion Parade (released in 2014), which Quincy Jones produced. In May 2022, Peter was the featured performer, composer and arranger with the Big Band of the Bulgarian National Radio, directed by Antoni Donchev.
Peter is currently teaching bass at Berklee College of Music.
Vladimir Karparov began playing the saxophone when he was 12. While studying at the French School in Sofia, Karparov would play as a street musician. At that time he developed his skills of improvisation and deepened his passion for music. He studied at the National Academy of Music but soon won the “Oscar und Vera Ritter-Stiftung ” scholarship to Hamburg’s Hochschule für Musik und Theater where he continued to study jazz. Later he resumed his education in Berlin’s Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” and graduated in 2005 with a degree in saxophone and teaching. He has participated in various festivals in Europe, Asia, Latin and North America and North Africa, and has further played or toured with Jiggs Whigham, Ivo Papasov, Nedyalko Nedyalkov, Theodossi Spassov, Petar Ralchev, Tätärä Brass Band, Martin Lubenov, John Hollenbeck, Stoyan Yankoulov, Gebhard Ullmann, Peter Herbolzheimer, Stian Carstensen, Arkady Shilkloper, Uwe Kropinski, Amira Medunjanin, Andreas Brunn and many more to realize a wide spectrum of musical visions. In 2007 he recorded his debut album as a leader “Thracian Dance”. In 2009 he founded the Forkolor Saxophone Quartet and recorded another album – Folkolor. Later on he released with the V. Karparov Quartet the albums Antihypocrisyl in 2016 and “Iglika ” in 2023. The latter was presented live with the Big Band of the Bulgarian National Radio.
Hristo Vitchev is often referred to by the media as one of the newest and most innovative voices in modern jazz guitar. At age 42, he has already released ten critically acclaimed albums as a leader, four releases as a co-leader and issued more than 230 books and studies on modern jazz guitar concepts. He has performed at some of the most reputable jazz clubs and festivals in the world and continues to amaze both critics and audiences with his imaginative, lyrical and illustrious writing. Furthermore, over the years Hristo has performed extensive guitar clinics in the USA, Europe and Japan. In 2022 he made his highly acclaimed debut at the Bansko Jazz Festival.
“Hristo Vitchev may be one of the best kept secrets in jazz today. He is the epitome of sonic gold” – Critical Jazz.
“Bulgaria-born, Bay Area-based guitarist Hristo Vitchev, having established himself as a gentle giant in the contemporary jazz scene, seems always willing and able to reinvent himself while holding true to the integrity of his artistry” – ECM REVIEWS.
Dimitar Semov is among the most sought-after jazz drummers in Bulgaria. His versatility made him part of the musical projects of leading Bulgarian pop singers such as Lili Ivanova, Orlin Goranov, Beloslava, Maria Ilieva, bands like Ostava, PIF, Sunrise, Ken Hensley and even crossover concerts like the ones with the world-famous violinist Vasko Vassilev. In the jazz world, Dimitar Semov has played live and recorded with Milcho Leviev, Antoni Donthev, Mario Stanchev, Vassil Petrov, Miroslava Katsarova, and more. As a member of the Jivko Petrov trio (JPS), Dimitar Semov has participated in a number of collaborations with preeminent musicians – Sarah Brightman, Omar Faruk, Zucchero, etc. Audiences at certain notable forums have seen him performing with Frank McComb, Glenn Ferris, George Garzone, Charles Papasoff. Dimitar Semov toured with The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices and Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance presenting Peter Doundakov’s album “Boochemish” all over Europe.