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Influences: Balkan , East European
Genres: ethnojazz, bulgarianjazz, balkanjazz, worldjazz, folkjazz, bulgarian jazz, balkan jazz, ethno jazz, folk jazz
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February 2023 #23 - Top 40 for Balkan Influence I'll Be Fine (track)
September 2022 #30 - Top 40 for Balkan Influence Jazzanitza - Pravo Kato Magistrala (video)
June 2022 #16 - Top 40 for Balkan Influence I'll Be Fine (track)
“This is a new generation of Bulgarian “alchemists” who take our folk music on an interesting journey to New York, perhaps Amsterdam…and back!”
Theodossi Spassov - world-famous Bulgarian kaval player


Jazzanitza is a new generation of ethno-jazz which translates the ancient Balkan groove and the improvisational legacy of the Bulgarian folk giants into the language of current jazz.

This music incorporates the naturally danceable and groovy asymmetric rhythms – a distinguishing feature of Bulgarian folklore, which has the biggest variety of odd meters in the Balkans. It also elaborates on the unique Bulgarian folkloric improvisational tradition, born in the groundbreaking “wedding band style” of the 1980s, and brought to worldwide attention by clarinet virtuoso Ivo Papasov.

The sound of Jazzanitza excites both the intellect and the body: while speaking the complex language of modern jazz, it thumps with the beat of the asymmetrical dance rhythms, spurs with the ornamented melodic curves and echoes the lyricism of the Balkan folk song.

The group builds upon the legacy of Bulgarian folk giants like Ivo Papasov, Petar Ralchev, and folk-jazz pioneers like Milcho Leviev, Anthony Donchev, Theodosii Spassov. It is equally inspired by world-jazz landmark artists like Avishai Cohen, Dhafer Yousseff, and Tigran Hamasyan, as well as the powerful jazz groups of Branford Marsalis, Dave Holland and Ambrose Akinmusire.


Jazzanitza is a project led by Bulgarian drummer and composer Borislav Petrov (who is known on the European jazz scene for his work with the innovative Dutch jazz trio Tinmen & the Telephone. Borislav gathers a collective of musician friends from around the same generation who share a common background, musical education and development.

Borislav Petrov, Dimitar Liolev and Ludmil Krumov belong to the first generation of Bulgarian musicians after the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) who were able to get an academic jazz education abroad and then return to their home country and explore the opportunities between blending Bulgarian folk music and modern jazz. Besides improvisers, composers, and arrangers of jazz and folk music, Liolev, Krumov, and Petrov are devoted teachers and researchers of Bulgarian folk-jazz. They have publications and conduct masterclasses and workshops internationally.