Culture

Mission

To raise awareness for traditional American music and culture and show its true values. To improve the image of Americans in the world, through the music and poetry of its people. The cowboys and Indians are the symbol of free spirit and hard work. They are working the land, breading the cattle and live close to nature. Late in the evening, when their work is done, they sit down around the fire and write poetry and music. It is romantic, tells their stories and represents true, family values. It is our mission to let the world know about it and to spread it around the world.

Objectives

To improve the image of America through its music, poetry, traditions and culture as a whole. To organize concerts, festivals and cultural events with authentic American music and atmosphere, so that Bulgarian could get to know it. Music is the most natural way to build a bridge between two cultures.

Our Work So Far

In 2014 a group of singing cowboys and Indians visited Bulgaria and performed in 10 cities, while reciting their poetry and telling their stories. the show was entitled “Cowboys and Indians- in song and verse” and was a huge success. Authentic cowboys from a range in Arizona, a native Crow Indian and two worldclass musicians from California presented their art in front of a large audience. After the shows, they met and talked with the people, gave autographs and made lots of new friends. http://www.americanshow.org/

In 2017a new festival, dedicated to acoustic music and poetry took place in Sofia, featuring top notch American artists. The first edition of Sofia Singer Songwriter Fest was a huge success and it became part of Sofia’s cultural calendar. It presents the traditions of songwriting and songs with a message, which originated in the 1960s. https://www.sssf.eu/


Shane O’Fearghail from Ireland wins Sofia Singer Songwriter Fest 2018

The third evening of the Sofia Singer Songwriter Fest international competition was held on Sunday, September 30, at Studio 5 Club, National Palace of Culture. The six finalists: Shane O’Fearghail, Chris McArter, Gabriela Rizova, Jovica Ilic, Steve Lowis and Raja Еl Mad competed with 3 songs each and the three-member jury: Algirdas Klova (Lithuania), Plamen Sivov (Tochka BG) and Vasil Gromkov (Bulgarian National Television) judged the performances. All the artists were saluted with thunderous applause and the atmosphere in the hall was cozy and warm. The brilliant Mariana Dobreva, who won first prize at Sofia Singer Songwriter Fest 2017, gave a recital as well. 

At the end of the evening, the host, Vasil Gromkov, and the festival’s director, Lilly Drumeva, announced the winners. 

First place went to the Irishman Shane O’Fearghail, who captivated everyone with his beautiful voice, masterful guitar skills and unbelievable charisma. Steve Lowis from the UK came in second, gracing everyone with his melodic songs and fine stage presence. Jovica Ilic from Macedonia was left in third place, having presented powerful poetry with a gentle accompaniment on the guitar. 

Diplomats from the embassies of Macedonia and the Republic of Ireland also attended the event. Boris Bonchev (Toxity Records), Veselin Todorov (Veso “Kokala”, Factor Music Inc) and Mrs. Bulgaria 2017 – Irina Belcheva – were among the guests as well. All the participants received books from the publishers Stefan Dobrev and Amat, as well as a bottle of Jameson Irish whisky each.

Sofia Singer Songwriter Fest is a festival for sung poetry, which is held at the end of September every year to celebrate the international music and poetry day. The festival is part of the cultural events scheduled by Sofia Municipality. This year, 14 artists from the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Romania, Macedonia and Bulgaria took part. 

A memorable celebration for fans of acoustic music and poetry! 

For more information: + 359888660990, lilidrumeva@gmail.com, https://www.sssf.eu/


The second Sofia Singer Songwriter Fest to gather poets from all over the world!

From September 28th to 30th, Sofia will host the international Sofia Singer Songwriter Fest for the second time. The event will be held at the National Palace of Culture, on the Club Studio 5 stage, at 18:00 h. Fans of acoustic music and poetry will have the chance to hear masterly performers from the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Romania, Macedonia and Bulgaria. 

Among the guests are Steve Lowis (the UK), a talented alternative rock singer and composer, Shane O’Fearghail (the Republic of Ireland), a gentle ballad vocalist with a similarity to Ed Sheeran, Maria Gheorghiu (Romania), a legendary vocalist and composer with a long career – the Romanian Joan Baez, Jovica Ilic (Macedonia), a lyrical singer and poet, chairman of the Writers’ Union and Chris McArter (the United Kingdom), an impressive blues rock musician. 

Some of the Bulgarian participants are the young blues rock singer Svilena Teneva, the talented blues and cabaret star Gergana Dobreva, the gentle singer and violinist Boyana Zhelyazkova, the vocalist and composer of the funk band Indigo KidsYavor Velchev, the charming singer Michelle Mandela, the lyrical rock singer Gabriela Rizova, the vocalist of rock band Atlas, Georgi Arsov, the Plovdiv singer and guitarist – the reality star Radoslav Mihov and young alternative rock singer Raja El Mad. 

The winner will be chosen by a three-member panel of judges: Algirdas Klova (Lithuania), a leading name on the Lithuanian music stage and the organizer of the prestigious Thai Ash Festival in Villenews, Plamen Sivov, a singer and composer in the band Tochka BG, and Vasil Gromkov, a writer, music journalist and DJ. The artists will perform two songs each over three evenings. Recitals will be given by two of Bulgaria’s most successful acoustic bands, Tochka BG and Lilly of the West, as well as by last year’s winner – rock singer Mariana Dobreva.

The after-party will be held at the SOHO Club at 21.00 h, where the artists will have recitals.

A true celebration for fans of acoustic music and sung poetry! The festival is organized to celebrate the International Music and Poetry Day, October 1, and is one of the cultural events planned by Sofia Municipality for 2018. It is also supported by the embassies of the Republic of Ireland, Hungary, Romania, Macedonia and the Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center foundation.

Tochka BG is an acoustic project for new urban songs. It was created in 2011 by Zornitsa Popova (vocalist), Todor Yankulov (guitarist, vocalist), Krasimir Parvanov (guitarist, vocalist) and Plamen Sivov (guitarist, vocalist). The band has issued four albums – New Urban Songs, Antechamber, Aquarelle and August. The name of the band comes from the title of one of their most famous songs – Tochka BG. The group enjoys great interest and gives numerous concerts. (www.tochkabg.com)

Lilly of the West is the most successful Bulgarian country band, formed as early as 1996. After their debut, the musicians started to take part in prestigious festivals in Europe and the USA. In 1998 they were voted the best country and bluegrass band in Europe. They have also won prizes from the World Country and Bluegrass Association in Nashville. Lilly of the West have a rich repertoire including country, bluegrass, swing, jazz, Irish and Bulgarian folk and they have also issued nine albums. (www.lillydrumeva.net)

For more information: + 359 888660990, lilidrumeva@gmail.com, https://www.sssf.eu/ 


“Cowboys & Indians – in song & verse”

What do you know about the Wild West? You have probably seen many western movies and have read the novels and adventures stories about cowboys and Indians crossing the land.

Do you know what a cowboy does? You think of him as the handsome guy, dressed with jeans, boots and hat, riding a horse and shooting fast with a gun? Wrong!  The cowboy’s life is something completely different. He is a hard working man, raising cattle and writing poetry and music. Many are intelligent and romantic. A lot of cowboys are well educated in land management and animal husbandry. Some would call it a tough life but it’s a joy for a true cowboy. Experience the songs and poems inspired from living on the land.

How much do you know about the Native Americans?

You picture them wearing feathers, bow and arrows and chasing buffalos? This may be right, but there are many things you don’t know about them. The Indians have an interesting culture, full of mystical tales. They know a lot about medicine and love animals. Native Americans are known to have inhabited North America 13,000 years ago. Get glimpses of the character behind these thought provoking poems. Tales from many moons ago. Experience the mystery of the Crow language.

Are you familiar with American music?

Surely you are! You have listened to rock and roll, blues, jazz, soul, hip hop or rap. But you haven’t heard this! A unique country-folk duo from San Francisco, which sounds just like Simon & Garfunkel, but better and fresher!

“Cowboys & Indians – in song & verse, is a unique American show featuring real Native Americans from the Crow tribe in Montana, authentic ranch cowboys from Arizona and a country-folk music duo from California. An evening of poetry, storytelling and music.

The First Edition of Sofia Singer Songwriter Fest in 2017 was a huge success!

On 30th September and 1st October 2017 Sofia was the home of a brand new festival dedicated to poetry and music. Singer songwriters from Serbia, Croatia, Romania, USA and Bulgaria performed at the National Palace of Culture, Studio 5 stage, in Bulgaria’s capital to a sold out venue. Among the artists were Vyara Ivanova, Johnny L’ove, Petko Slavov, Vedran Ivorek, Margarita Drumeva, Dan Vana, Tochka BG band, Denis Apov, Viktor Makarov, Matt Petrarca, Mariyana Dobreva and Lilly of the West ba

The concerts were recorded by Bulgarian national TV and radio and were streamed live on the internet. Each artist had fifteen minutes to perform three original songs. A panel of three judges was responsible for the evaluation of the performances: music, lyrics, vocal and instrumental skills and stage prescence.  Among the judges were Miodrag Jaksic (poet, festival director and publisher from Belgrade), Vasil Gromkov (poet and journalist at Bulgarian national television in Sofia) and Plamen Sivov (poet, musician and founder of Bulgarian vocal group Tochka BG).

Apart from the competition program (30.09 and 01.10) there were a number of satellite concerts at the Delta Blues bar in Sofia and at the embassies of Serbia, Croatia and Romania. Sofia Singer Songwriter Fest was supported by Interculture Foundation, Factor music store, Studio 5, Jameson whiskey, Toxity studios, TV1, Bulgarian National radio and others. They have donated several awards for the winners:

First prize – a wireless microphone and headphones by AKG, as well as the right to participate at the International Singer Songwriter festival in Belgrade, Serbia (Kantfest 2017) went to the talented and amazing Mariyana Dobreva.

Second prize – a recording contract by Toxity Studios went to Boris Maslarski – a gifted and enthusiastic young singer songwriter who impressed the audience and the jury.

Third prize – a selection of gifts by Jameson whiskey went to Matt Petrarca, an interesting American artist from Ohio with a unique style.

Master of ceremony was Vasil Gromkov who was not only giving interesting information about the artists, but also entertained the crowd with his jokes and easygoing behavior.

Sofia Singer Songwriter Fest was opened by Ms Bilyana Genova, head of the department of culture of the Sofia municipality. Among the guests were diplomats from the embassies of Serbia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria, as well as famous Bulgarian musicians and songwriters.

All in all, a fantastic gathering of musicians and poets from all over the world and a true celebration for acoustic music and poetry. ‘What an amazing festival. It is top 3 in Europe’, says Miodrag Jaksic form Belgrade, chairman of the jury. ‘It took me three years to reach this high level’, shares Vedran Ivorec from Croatia, organizer of Exposure festival, Velika Gorica.

Lilly Drumeva-O’Reilly, director of Sofia Singer Songwriter fest, appreciated the compliments and thanked everybody at the end of the show.

The festival will become a tradition and will be held next year on 29.09, 30.09  and 01.10. 2018 at the same place – the National Palace of Culture, Studio 5 stage in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Should you would like to participate in the next edition, please send a short biography, a photo and a link with your performance to lilly@techno-link.com . The festival team will review your application and will contact you.

All the best and see you at Sofia Singer Songwriter Fest!