Zhivko Vasilev is one of the most popular Bulgarian kaval players. He is well known for his experiments with the kaval and the constant seeking for unexplored paths in music. Thanks to his experimental spirit he is constantly driven to combine traditional kaval sound with different western styles such as jazz, funk, latin, latin jazz, pop, electronic music and many more. The result of this incredible symbiosis is an exotic and unique style that he constantly improves.
He hails from the Southern city of Smolyan, Bulgaria in the heart of the Rhodope mountains. He inherited his love of music from his father and began his early training on the kaval at the NUI Dobri Hristov music school in Varna, Bulgaria. In 2014 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Sofia University, majoring in pedagogy. In 2021 he graduated with a master’s degree from – Codarts (Rotterdam, the Netherlands). He has performed all around the world at many prestigious stages and festivals. He has collaborated with many great musicians among them Max Moya, Xuxa Levi, Juan Garcia Herreros, Roberto Quintero, Christiane Karam, Angel Zaberski, Stoyan Yankoulov, Kalin Veliov and Hector Martignon. He is also the leader of his own project, the Zhivko Vasilev Trio – Outhentic, which blends Bulgarian folkore with western contemporary flavors. In 2020 he became part of the internationally known band Arifa. Zhivko’s latest album - “Places” is released in 2021 and it consists only of original compositions written and arranged by himself.
He has plenty of experience as an educator and his special approach has helped many students from all over the world to learn about this amazing instrument - the Bulgarian Kaval.