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The Balkan Spirit Ensemble consists of some of the best musicians from the world music, folk, Balkan and jazz fields. It is a collaboration of musicians who have dedicated their artistic energy to combining jazz improvisation and traditional folk music. Together they present here a unique and atmospheric journey through the Balkans.

The band combines the melodic and rhythmic lightness of Greek, Romanian, Bulgarian, Northern Macedonian and Serbian folk traditions with the explorative and spontaneous language of jazz.

The six musicians present fiery arrangements with masterful improvisations and dynamic interaction at the highest level. Be prepared to cry, shout, laugh and dance on an unforgettable journey through the spirit of the Balkans.

Tonight the audience will be able to enjoy the fifth of a series of seven concerts, within the framework of a grant, from the German Music Council at which the Balkan Spirit Ensemble will present a prominent soloist from the field of Balkan folklore.

Katya Tasheva was part of the Bulgarian Orthodox Choir as well as the folklore choir "Bulgarian Voices Berlin" from 2006 to 2011, where she met the saxophonist Vladimir Karparov. In 2011, with "Bulgarian Voices Berlin" and Karparov, she participated in the successful international dance/music production "Le Savali" with director Lemi Ponifasio from New Zealand and music director Fabrizio Cassol from Belgium. Her voice was heard in the dance performance "Gravity" by choreographer Ming Poon with dancers from the Dance Academy in Singapore. In 2011 she founded the vocal group for Bulgarian folk music "Peperuda", which quickly became a Berlin insider tip and accompanied various Berlin musicians, such as the bands Ofrin, Knoblauch Klezmer Band, and singer Dury de Bagh. In 2013, the improvisational project "Hakafot" by Oori Shalev with Katya Tasheva as the main vocalist, opened the Jewish Music Festival in Warsaw, Poland. Since 2011, Katya Tasheva has been the main vocalist of two Berlin bands: "Rotfront", which as part of the "Russendisko" tradition is experiencing European-wide success with its combination of Eastern European music, rock, ska, reggae and hip hop, and "Mr. Zarko", a band with a talented international crew that gives a theatrical-improvisational touch to Balkan music. Since 2016, she has been the vocalist of the new Balkan jazz project "Balkan Spirit Ensemble".

Vladimir Karparov is considered one of the leading artists in Europe when it comes to the fusion of Balkan and jazz music. In 2020 Vladimir Karparov was awarded by the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture as one of the most important representatives of Bulgarian culture in the world. He has performed as a sideman and bandleader at some of the world's most prestigious festivals and concert halls and can be heard on countless recordings. His musical collaborations range from performances with the legendary Ivo Passov and Uwe Kropinski to arrangements and recordings for Shantel's chart-breaking album "Planet Paprika".

In addition to his concert activities as a pianist, Daniel Stawinski also works as an arranger. His arrangements are in demand in jazz as well as in salsa and Latin jazz. As a music teacher he worked for many years at the Paris Music School ISAAC in different subjects (piano, harmony, arrangement, Latin Jazz Combo). Currently he teaches at the Global Music Academy in Berlin. Thanks to his intensive concert activity Daniel Stawinski has performed worldwide in numerous countries (a.o. in Norway, Italy, Spain, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Tunisia, Senegal, Brazil, Haiti, India, Nepal... ) and has been on stage in renowned jazz festivals (Klavier Festival Ruhr, Montreux Jazz Festival, Marciac Jazz Festival, Kathmandu Jazz Festival, Movimentos Arts Festival, Umbria Jazz Festival, Cully Jazz Festival, Schaffhauser Jazzfestival, Marseille Jazz des 5 Continents, Martinique Jazz Festival, Jazz Festival de Port-au-Prince, Jazz Festival de Saint-Louis, Lviv Alfa Jazz Fest...). With his Latin jazz project Clave Azul he won the first prize of the Berlin Jazz&Blues Award in 2005.

Peter Nitsch studied double bass and bass guitar at the Nuremberg University of Music, at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (CvA) and with a full scholarship at the renowned Manhattan School of Music in New York. With two bachelor degrees and one master's degree in his pocket, after a two-year stay in New York, having had lessons with greats like Dave Liebman, Phil Markowitz and Matt Garrison, he was drawn to the next big metropolis, São Paulo (Brazil). There he was living for another five years in order to acquire, after classical music, jazz, Indian music, the subtleties of Brazilian music. In the course of his twenty-year career, Peter Nitsch has shared the stage with fantastic musicians such as Michael Wollny, Bob Mintzer, Candy Dulfer, Ellen ten Damme, Pete Philly, Rudi Mahall, Felix Lehrmann, Benjamin Herman, Ruud Breuls, Peter Beets, Jesse van Ruller, Lee Konitz and many more.

Dimitris Christides was born in Khartoum (Sudan) in 1980. His drumming style blends the percussive elements of Balkan and Middle Eastern rhythms with the subtle and creative sensibility of jazz. Dimitris studied popular music at the London College of Music. During this time he received lessons from Paul Elliot, Pete Zeldman, Spyros Panagiotopoulos and Jojo Mayer. In 2002, Dimitris moved to Berlin and has since been balancing his career as a professional musician and educator. He has toured all over the world and has played and recorded with a number of award winning jazz formations. In 2008 he founded the school Drumschool-Berlin ( and Since March 2015, he is the artistic director of the Zig Zag Jazz Club in Berlin.

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