Dr. Emil Iliev International

Jazz Festival 2023


2023 official artists

Friday 04 August

Saturday 05 August

Sunday 06 August

Monday 07 August

Tuesday 08 August

Wednesday 09 August


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
On August 8, 1998 my husband Dr. Emil Iliev created the largest jazz forum in
Bulgaria – the International Jazz Festival in Bansko. Over the years, this musical
event has gained immense popularity, which quickly spread around the world and attained international recognition.

Today the festival is an emblem of jazz art in Bulgaria and a favourite place for many Bulgarian and foreign stars of elite jazz art. However, the unexpected death of Dr. Emil Iliev in November 2020 presented us with a huge challenge concerning the fate of the festival. Our decision as heirs and team was clear. The festival has to continue to exist, but its name must be filled with new content. That is why it is fully deserved and morally justified The Festival to carry the name of its creator Dr. Emil Iliev and will be called “International Jazz Festival Dr. Emil Iliev”.

Dr. Iliev created this festival from patronage motives with the sole purpose of
promoting and drawing more attention to the mountain town not only as winter, but
also as a summer tourist resort by attracting lovers of the art of music.

As successors of Dr. Emil Iliev, we can proudly say that his mission in Bansko has
been fulfilled. That is why we consider it our moral duty to continue his work with the same goal, but in different place, which has all the features and prerequisites for the development of summer tourism. This new location needs no introduction, as it is the most popular winter resort in Bulgaria, located at the foot of the beautiful Rila Mountains – Borovets resort.

And today, 25 years later, the “International Jazz Festival Dr. Emil Iliev” enjoys the kind hospitality of the Municipality of Samokov and the Borovets resort complex.

For all friends of music and fans of jazz art we have prepared a rich program with the participation of some of the best jazz, funk, reggae, ragtime and blues performers from Bulgaria and abroad, whose virtuoso performances you will get to enjoy in the cool August evenings in the foot of Rilа among the centuries-old pine forests and the murmur of the crystal Rila streams.

Our main goal as successors of Dr. Emil Iliev and organizers is to continue the
implementation of the main faith of the Doctor – to make the “International Jazz
Festival Dr. Emil Iliev” more famous than the jazz festival in the Swiss town of


Tatyana Ilieva,

Director of the International Jazz Festival Dr. Emil Iliev


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip consequat.quis nostrud exercitation

Our Partners

Our media Partners

Friday 05 August Day 1


Big band Blagoevgrad is a professional band, founded in 1993 by the conductor Boris Yanev. The band’s repertoire is rich and diverse: jazz, swing, rock, funk, pop, latino and brasilian music. The band took part in 14 issues of the International Bansko jazz festival; Nishville jazz festival; played concerts in Greece, Hurvatska and all over Bulgaria. Every Year the band plays at the graduation ceremony of the students at the American university in Blagoevgrad.

Guest soloists of the Big band Blagoevgrad are some of the best known Bulgarian jazz and pop musicians as: Vasil Petrov, Kamelia Todorova, Hilda Kazasyan, Yildus Ibrahimova, Stefka Onikian, Petar Salchev, Vesela Morova, Sentimental Swingers, Yordanka Christova, Margarita Chranova, Petya Buyuklieva, Ventzislav Blagoev, Christo Yotzov, Angel Zabersky – son, Vladimir Karparov, Michail Yosifov and also the famous jazz and gospel singer Janis Harrington and Craig Bailay – sax.

Sunday 07 August Day 3


In “The Jazz News” the trumpet player, composer, arranger and music master Mihail Yossifov has gathered a team of young musicians who are currently studying at or have graduated from the National Music Academy in Sofia. Together they work on creating a rich repertoire of jazz, funk and bossa nova plays, part of which are also beautiful original compositions – written either by Misho Yossifov, or by the band’s

“The Jazz News” is a talented sextet with two exceptional vocals complementing each other in a perfect way – the sunny, smiling voice of Veleka Tsankova, and the powerful, lively timbre of Lachezar Katzarski. At the concert on August 7, the band will present its program “Friday Night at the Cadillac Club” – its business card for a quality musical experience.

Mihail Yossifov & The Jazz News are:
Veleka Tsankova – vocal
Lachezar Katzarski – vocal
Mihail Yossifov – trumpet
Alexandros Krasidis – saxophone
Nikolay Kostadinov – piano
Krasimir Zafirov – guitar
Kalina Andreeva – bass guitar
Ivaylo Manev – drums