Balkanfolk News                                                              

41st anniversary Spring Festival
14 March 2006

This year's 41st anniversary Spring Festival will be headlined by superstar folk singer coming directly from Bulgaria, the renowned Ivan DYAKOV, as well as other top artists who will perform and teach traditional music, dance, and culture from every corner of the Balkans, including Bulgarian, Greek, Macedonian, Rrom (formerly known as Gypsy), Serbian, and Turkish genres.
All events will take place at the International House, 1414 E. 59th Street, Chicago. The Spring Festival will begin 8pm, Friday, March 17, 2006, and conclude 5pm, Sunday, March 19, 2006, and artists and enthusiasts are coming from Bulgaria, New York, California, Seattle, Canada, and all points between. This is the only event of its kind between New York and California, and puts Chicago at the cutting edge of the exciting world and Balkan music and dance scene. This year a film crew from Bulgarian National Television will be coming to the U.S. specifically to film at the Spring Festival.

The SPRING FESTIVAL is an eagerly awaited annual event which draws enthusiasts of Balkan and other Eastern European as well as Eastern Mediterranean music, dance, food, and culture from throughout North America to Chicago - a chance to celebrate with old friends and to make new ones. Guided by master dance teachers and inspired by virtuoso musicians you will want to dance, sing, and jam all weekend long!

Be enthralled by splendid performances of music and dance at the Saturday evening concert, and then enjoy great dancing on a sprung oak floor to exhilarating live music. With mouth-watering delicacies prepared by expert Balkan cooks our sizzling parties are renowned coast-to-coast and have proven equally popular among dancers, world music fans, and the Balkan and Eastern European communities. Bring your family and friends too! This program is part of the spring festival series at the International House at the University of Chicago and is co-sponsored by the Ensemble Balkanske Igre, which performs the traditional dance and music of the Balkans and Eastern Europe. The Ensemble in recent years has co-sponsored or provided logistical support for concerts with the likes of the great Ivo Papazov, winner of the 2005 BBC Audience Choice Award in world music, Esma Redzepova, "Queen of Romany Music", Orchestra Boban Markovic, and other top artists.

Authentic Rrom (people formerly called "Gypsies") dance, music, and culture will be prominently featured in performance and in fun, participatory workshops lead by Sani Rifati, Director of Voice of Roma.

Musical artists and teachers:

Ivan Dyakov is perhaps the most popular folk singer from the Pirin Macedonian region. In great demand for his soulful and masterly renditions of traditional Macedonian folk songs, this will be Dyakov's North-American concert debut. The Chicago area is home to tens of thousands of Pirin natives, who will turn out in force and join others from across the US to experience this musical sensation.
Chris Bajmakovich is a talented young Macedonian-American musician who excels as a vocalist and as an accordionist. He was part of Ilija Ampevski's critically acclaimed ensemble which wowed the audience at the 2004 Chicago World Music Festival and is in demand around the US.
Georgi Petrov is a master of the Bulgarian kaval (shepherd's flute) as well as Balkan percussion instruments. Georgi Petrov performed as a kaval player with the Bulgarian national folk ensemble Pazardzhik and with such distinguished artists as Yuri Yunakov, Ivan Milev, Georgi Yanev, and Hari Assenov.
Velizar Shumanov is a an accomplished accordionist and director of Orchestra Izgrev, one of the most popular and most accomplished Balkan bands in North America.
James Stoyanoff is one of the greatest living masters of Greek Ipirot style clarinet in the world. He is also an expert on classical Turkish music and the makam system.
Petar Vodenov was director of the folk orchestras "Nevrokop" and "Nessebur" in the town of Gotse Delchev, in the Pirin region. He is a master of clarinet and accordion.

Other guest groups artists and master teachers:

Angel Dobrev is an outstanding player of gadulka (vertical fiddle, rebec) and a gold medalist on this instrument. Orchestra "Izgrev" featuring the remarkable vocalists Kiril Zhelev and Kremena Koseva, Stefan Jordanov on saxophone, and Tzanko Tzviatkov on drums, is a versatile group that plays what NPR's Andrei Codrescu calls contemporary "mesh" and traditional Bulgarian, Serbian, Macedonian, Rom (gypsy) and other Balkan music and is in great demand among the Bulgarian, Bosnian, Macedonian, and other communities. Kiril Zhelev has made at least a dozen recordings with the Balkanton label and was a guest vocalist with Ivo Papazov’s famed Orchestra Trakiya Bulgarian "wedding band" style of music, is one of the prime influences that has shaped the new "mesh" music which is at the cutting edge of the New York City's dynamic music scene and which is heavily based on Balkan music. ORPHEUS ENSEMBLE is lead by clarinet master James Stoyanoff and features talented young artists who play traditional Greek music on clarinet, bouzouki, lauoto (lute), lyra (fiddle), zourna (shawm), daouli (drum), and other instruments. The Saturday evening concert will also feature performances by the groups "KITKA", "MITRONIYA", "NASHEN CHETA", and the ENSEMBLE "BALKANSKE IGRE", one of the premier Balkan dance and music еnsembles in North America and selected to represent Bulgaria at the 1994 World Cup Soccer Opening ceremonies in Soldier Field in Chicago, is celebrating its 41st anniversary this year and a co-sponsor of the Spring Festival with the International House at the University of Chicago..

ATANAS KOLAROVSKI is the Macedonian dancer nonpareil and former lead soloist and director of "Tanec".
DANIELA IVANOVA is expert in a multitude of Balkan folk arts, including dancing, singing, and weaving.
AHMET LULECI is a fabulous dancer and one of the premier teachers of Turkish dance in the world.
YULIYAN YORDANOV is an outstanding dancer and graduate of the Plovdiv Music and Dance Academy in Bulgaria.
SANI RIFATI is the director of the Voice of Roma and the cousin of famed singer Esma Redzepova, the "Queen of Romany Music".


Dates/Times: Friday-Sunday, March 17-19, 2006

Main event: Saturday, 3/18/2006, 7:00pm -1am, concert and dance party
Headlined by IVAN DYAKOV and featuring Bulgarian, Greek, Macedonian, Rrom (formerly know as "Gypsy"), Serbian, and Turkish music and dance from the Balkans, Eastern Europe, and Eastern Mediterranean, (see below for listing of artists).

Other events Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday:

Friday, 3/17/2006, 8pm-midnight, dance workshop & dance party with Greek music by James Stoyanoff and the Orpheus Hellenic Ensemble
Saturday & Sunday, 3/18 & 19, 9am-5pm, dance and music workshops and culture sessions with master teachers and artists.
Sunday evening, 6pm-2am, special post-festival fun evening of Turkish food, music, and dancing at Arkadash Cafe, 5721 N Clark St, Chicago. Ahmet Luleci, world-renowned Turkish dance teacher, will lead dancing with music by Yagmur.

Place: International House, 1414 E. 59th St, Chicago, IL 60637

41st Anniversary Spring Festival, featuring Eastern European and Mediterranean music and dance at the International House at the University of Chicago.


IVAN DYAKOV, headline folk singer - direct from Bulgaria
Orchestra Izgrev (versatile band which plays "mesh", Bulgarian, Rom (gypsy), Macedonian music)
Chris Bajmakovich (Macedonian vocalist and accordionist)
James Stoyanoff (Greek Macedonian clarinet master)
Petar Vodenov (Bulgarian clarinet master, directed Orchestra "Nevrokop" in Gotse Delchev)
Orpheus Hellenic Ensemble (Greek demotic music)
Angel Dobrev (gold medalist on gadulka/Bulgarian folk fiddle at Galabovo Sabor for Gadulars)
Georgi Petrov (Bulgarian kaval/shepherd's flute and tapan master, played for Bulgarian National Folk Ensemble "Pazardzhik")
Ensemble Balkanske Igre (Balkan music and dance)
Kitka (Macedonian folklore group)
Nashencheta (Bulgarian folklore group)
Mitronija (Bulgarian folklore group)
and others...

$25-student/senior, $35-general --> includes Saturday evening dinner, concert, & party
$15-student/senior, $25-general --> Saturday evening, concert or party only
$10-student/senior, $20-general --> Friday evening dance party
$8-student/senior, $12-general --> per workshop (Saturday and Sunday, 9am-5pm) complete weekend pass prices also available tickets available in advance or at the door; reservations required for Saturday & Sunday evening dinners.

847-331-7842 (tickets and reservations)
773-753-2274 (International House Program Office)