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Biography

My story …

Zhivko Vasilev is a renowned musician, composer and educator. His unique style is a result of his ability to blend traditional sounds from the Balkans with different western styles such as jazz, funk, latin, latin jazz, pop, electronic music and many more. His main instrument is the Kaval, which he uses to express his musical ideas and mix the typical sounds of the Balkans with modern and innovative music sounds. His extensive knowledge of various musical genres is a valuable asset in the music industry, both as an instrumentalist and as a composer. 

 From 2022 he works actively as a media composer, and in 2023 he wins the first prize in a composition competition hosted by Palms Music and The National Music Academy “Pancho Vladigerov” for his composition titled “La Andaluza”. Also, he worked on various musical projects with companies such as Euro Games Technology, Huawei, Coca Cola and Foundation “Our Home is Bulgaria”, among others. 

 Zhivko has performed with his kaval worldwide at many prestigious stages and festivals, collaborating as well with many great musicians. In addition, he is leading a couple of his own projects – Outhentic and  Zhivko Vasilev Quintet, both of which blend Bulgarian folklore with western contemporary flavors. In 2020 he became part of the internationally known band Arifa. Moreover, he often performs as a soloist with symphonic orchestras. In the past he has worked with Varna Opera, Vratsa Symphony Orchestra and Sofia Soloists, and the performances included his original compositions. 

Zhivko hails from the Southern city of Smolyan, Bulgaria in the heart of the Rhodope mountains, where the Bulgarian kaval is a popular music instrument. Inheriting his love for music from his father, he 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, and in 2021 he graduated with a master’s degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the world – Codarts (Rotterdam, the Netherlands). 

Download: Biography – Zhivko Vasilev.docx