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12.09.2011

Milcho Leviev: Communication and Meaning through Art & Music!

Milcho Leviev is an astounding artist, those who know him well they call him as a "Codfather"of Jazz. He is a living legend of Jazz music as has the ability to say whatever he feels with his piano. His morality and his passion for music goes beyond reality or dreams. He "talks" through music and for this he says "music is communcation". He believes that art is not only communication but revolution and political practice and for this he suggests an alternative engangement and feeling that can be understood only by the senses and by the emotions. Υοu can watch here http://www.youtube.com/watch v=J5fvWRTqmUE&feature=youtu.be the exclusive interview of his, during his last visit in Crete and in the city of Heraklion. along with the collegues and other musicians of his band.


Biography
Award winning composer,arranger, performer( pianist, keyboardist, conductor) and educator of classical and jazz music. DOCTOR HONORIS CAUSA at the Academy of Music and Dance, Plovdiv, Bulgaria (1995) and the New Bulgarian University (NBU), Sofia (1998). Order Stara Planina - 1997 Presidential Award, Bulgaria. La Medale d'or de Academie Internationale des Arts, Paris, France. Lecturer, the jazz studies department at University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, since 1988. Teacher at the GROVE music school, LA 1974 - 1992. Music Director, " Comeback In " jazz club, Venice, CA, 1981 - 1990. 1987 "Dramalogue" winner for Best Musical Director (USA). Arrangement of "Blue Rondo a la Turk", (Dave Brubeck), recorded by Al Jarreau's Grammy winning album of 1982, "Breakin' Away". GRAMMY NOMINATION for Best Vocal Arrangement of Charlie Parker's, "Confirmation", recorded by Manhattan Transfer, 1981, on their album "Mecca for Moderns". Co - leader of the jazz - classical quartet FREE FLIGHT vouted BEST COMBO OF THE YEAR 1982, LOS ANGELES TIMES. Contracted compositions, arrangements and performances for : the AMERICAN JAZZ PHILHARMONIC, BEVERLY HILLS SYMPHONY, SOFIA PHILHARMONIC, the BULGARIAN RADIO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, and others. Arranger at Hessisher Rundfunk 1970-'71, Music Director for the Big Band and the pop Symphony of the Bulgarian Nationa RADIO & TV, 1962 - 1966. Composer for Bulgarian Feature, Animated and Documentary Films, 1963 -1968. Critic's Prize, Montreaux Jazz Festival, 1967. Leader and pianist, jazz quartet FOCUS '65 - 1965 - 1970. Music director and composer-in-residense, State Drama Theater in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and teacher, chamber music at the State Music School in the same town (1960 - 1962). Second Prize, International Youth Festival Composition Competition, Vienna, Austria 1959.


MUSIC ACTIVITIES:

2007 Milcho Leviev and Don Ellis Big Bend – LA, Charlie O's Jazz Club. Voice of America - WILLIS CONOVER TRIBUTE – Paquito D’Rivera and Friends: Milcho Leviev, Horacio Hernandes, George Mraz, Valery Ponomarev – Washington D.C., USA. Milcho Leviev and band jazz concert with special guest Vicky Almazidu – Music Club “Backstage”. Concert at etno festival JULYJAZZ – Smolian with Vicky Almazidu, Eko, Stoyan Yankulov, Misho Yossifov. Concert at JAZZFEST in Bansko with Vicky Almazidu, Dimitar Shanov. Concert at JAZZFEST in Nish, Serbia with Vicky Almazidu, Dimitar Semov, Dimitar Shanov, Ventzi Blagoev and with guest star Nada Knejevich. Bulgarian Premiere of the MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES album at Apolonia Festival in Sozopol. Art Director of Plovdiv’s Jazz Evenings Festival - Concert with Glen Feriss and friends, Concert with Airto Moreira. Balkan tour with Airto Moreira – Rousse, Thessaloniki. The Los Angeles Jazz Institute Presents: Swing into Spring; A Four Day Jazz Festival – A Cavalcade of Big Band Jazz 21 Concerts, 5 Film Showings, 5 Panel Discussions; May 27 Don Ellis Alumni Band Directed by Milcho Leviev; Electric Heart-A Film About Don Ellis-West Coast Premier. Milcho Leviev and Veselin Veselinov–Eko open International Balkan Fever Fest in Vienna at 9 p.m. in Porgy and Bess Club. Special guests will be: Martin Ljubenov and Oto Lehner – accordion, Alexander Vladigerov – trumpet, Andrey Prozoroff – sax, Dimitar Karamitev – kaval. Milcho Leviev will have a Jazz improvisation Workshop for students of New Bulgarian University. The best students in the Workshop will be entitled to enroll Milcho Leviev’s Master Class in November 2007.

2006 Charity concert with Vicky Almazidu, Mitko Semov, Eko and Petar Momchev - "Lumier” hall , National Palace of Culture. Revenues from the concert will be donated for the construction of a monument of Radoi Ralin in Sofia. Concerts in Moscow featuring the grand comeback of Russian saxophonist Alexey Zubov after 25 years of emigration. Joint concerts with Milcho Leviev and Band: “Galina Vishnevska” Opera Hall, Blue Bird Jazz Club. Tour with Vicky Almazidou, organized by Radoi Ralin Foundation: Blagoevgrad, Sofia, Stara Zagora. Charity concert in the town of Elena, with Vicky Almazidou. Revenues from the concert will be donated for the construction of St. Petka Chapel in Elena. Ten-day Master Class in jazz improvisation at NBU. Music Director and leading the closing concert at the 2nd International Festival “Plovdiv Jazz Evenings”. “The Students of the Master” cycle – official presentation of the books “Life in 33/16” by Milcho Leviev and “Given by God” by and about Vassil Kazandzhiev at 18.00 at the “Pancho Vladigerov” museum. Katoomi Quartet Reunion at the Jazz At ‘A’ Frame in Los Angeles. Karen Briggs, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Nedra Wheeler and Milcho Leviev together again after 16 years. Preparatory five-day course for the 2006 NBU Master Class. A concert and seminar at the American Jazz Institute, Los Angeles. Concerts and seminar at the Duke University, North Carolina. Conducting a Concert-Tribute to Duke Ellington and Cole Porter with the Classic Fm Radio Chamber Orchestra (soloist Vicky Almazidu) at the 4th International Jazz Peak Festival. Concerts in Athens, Thessalonikki, Sofia, Rousse, including participation at the 4th International Sofia Jazz Peak Festival and a concert at the American Embassy in Sofia with Peter Erskine, Youtis Kiortsoglou and Vicky Almazidu Quartet.

2005 Leading the Bulgarian jam sessions for the STEP ACROSS THE BORDER international jazz festival at the PORGY & BESS jazz club, Vienna, Austria. Leading a concert dedicated to Radoy Ralin within the SOFIA JAZZ PEAK international festival. Duo pianos concert with Liudmil Angelov. 
Concerts of original symphonic compositions with the Sofia Philharmonic and the Burgas Symphony Orchestra. Master Class at NBU (New Bulgarian University) THE SOFIA PHILHARMONIC premiering SONATA 1957 for violin & orchestra, and Vasil Kazandjiev's orchestration of VARIATIONS ON A THEME BY CORELLI (soloist M. Leviev). Music Director of THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL IN PLOVDIV. Music Director of THE DON ELLIS ORCHESTRA REUNION CONCERT at the "Whiskey a Go Go" in Los Angeles.

2004 Playing the piano for THE ELLINGTON REUNION, presented by THE AMERICAN JAZZ INSTITUTE at the Claremont College on 2.9. 2004. 
Concerts, and jazz club dates in Bulgaria, and Greece

2003 concerts, and jazz club dates in Bulgaria, Greece, and Russia. Solo piano concert at Claremont College California. NBU master class.

2002 concerts at the BIG CONSERVATORY HALLS in Moscow, and St. Petersburg . 
Honorary professor, NBU (NEW BULGARIAN UYNIVERSITY), 10 days master class at NBU.

2001 10 days master class on "Formal, aestetical & social aspects of jazz music at NBU (New Bulgarian University) ; concerts in Turkey,Bulgaria, and Brazil (with SAO PAULO JAZZ SINFONICA)

2000 concerts, and club appearences with trio LESENTU, Herbie Mann, 
Jack Sheldon, and others.

1990 - 2000 lecturer on modern music at ELDER HOSTEL, Desert Hot Springs, California.

1999 Soloist, the Nuremberg Philharmonic; Concert of original chamber music in Sofia; 
Closing the month of European Culture in Plovdiv; International jazz festival in Bansko.

1998 Leviev / Slon quartet, featuring Randy Brecker, Herbie Mann and Benny Golson at VARTAN JAZZ, Denver, Co.

1997 Gala 60th Anniversary concert at the NATIONAL PALAS OF 
CULTURE, Sofia, Bulgaria. Concert tours in Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

1994 - 1996 Tours in Bulgaria, Israel, Switzerland and Germany 
1993-1995 President of the Jury - International TV-Music Films Festival('94 & '95) in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. Solo piano recital at Seal Beach Chamber Music Festival, California.

1990-1993 European solo tours (France, Germany, Switzerland, Bulgaria) including seminars conducted at the BASEL JAZZ SCHOOL, and theVARNA INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL.Composed and performed "Orpheus Rhapsody" for piano and orchestra (commissioned by the National Endowment of the Arts for the American Jazz Philharmonic)

1983-1989 Japan tours with bassist Dave Holland. L.A. Theater Center- Expanded arrangement of "Rhapsody in Blue" for Valley Master Chorale and All-Star Jazz Combo, arranger and soloist). European tours 1985and 1986. "Sympho-Jazz Sketches" ( commisioned by the American Jazz Philharmonic) Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (composer and soloist)

1980-1983 Co - leader"Free Flight" (Playboy Jazz Festival and other concert venues, the TONIGHT SHOW, and recipient of the LOS ANGELES TIMES BEST COMBO OF THE YEAR AWARD, 1982. Played and / or recorded with Charlie Haden, Joe Farrel, Eddie Harris, James Newton, and others.

1971-1979 Toured and/or recorded with: Lainie Kazan (music director ), John Klemmer, Art Pepper, Gerald Wilson, Bill Holman, Eddie Jefferson,Mark Murphy, Ernie Andrews, Michael Franks, Willie Bobo, RoyHaynes, Billy Cobham, Carmen McRae, Airto, Flora.Keyboardist, composer and arranger with the DON ELLIS ORCHESTRA ( 1971 - 1976)

FILM SCORES:

1999-2000 Letter to America (international production -Bulgaria, Holland, Hungary)
1992 Chickpeas - Directed and Produced by Nigol Bezjian (USA) 
1963 - 1969 *) Men, Tiny Secrets, Autumn Sun, The Eighth, Monday Morning (Shown at L. A. Film Expo after being banned by Communist regime for 25 years), Dangerous Flight, A Hot Noon, Detour (First Prize at International Film Festival, Moscow), Iconostasis (Shown at the Museum of Modern Art (N.Y.) Numerous cartoons and documentaries. Satirical serial 'FOCUS'. 
*) Produced by Bulgarian Feature Film Studios)

TELEVISION SCORES:

1973 Doctor's Hospital ( Co - writer w/ D. Ellis ) serial, UNIVERSAL. 
1962 - 1968 Numerous Bulgarian documentaries and shorts.

MAJOR COMPOSITIONS:

LETTER TO AMERICA (suite from the motion picture) for choir & chamber orchestra (2000) 
CHICKPEAS (suite from the motion picture) for jazz and string quartets (1992) 
THE GREEN HOUSE cantata for twelve voices and jazz trio (1991) 
ORPHEUS RHAPSODY for piano jazz trio and symphony orchestra (1988) 
THE GOLDEN FLEECE for piano and big band ( 1984 ) 
SYMPHO-JAZZ SKETCHES for jazz combo and symphony orchestra (1982) 
ELEVEN INVENTIONS for instruments, or voices (1978) 
A CHILD'S DAY suite for piano (1976)-arrangements for woodwind quintet and string quartet 
ISSAC'S TOUCHSTONE for piano and symphony orchestra (1975) 
MOODY MODES for jazz orchestra (1974) 
WOLFGANG FOR ALL SEASONS for french horn, tuba, and jazz orchestra (1972) 
SLADKA PITKA for jazz orchestra (1970) 
NESTINARE suite for big band (1970) 
BALKAN COWBOY suite for sympho-pop orchestra (1969) 
ANTI WALTZ for big band (1966) 
MUSIC FOR BIG BAND AND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (1966) 
CONCERTO FOR JAZZ COMBO AND STRINGS (1965) 
BLUES IN 9 for big band ( 1963 ) 
STUDY for big band 
THE ROSES musical (1962) 
STRING QUARTET (1960) 
A LITTLE OLD TIME MUSIC for symphony orchestra (1959) 
SONATA FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO (1957) orchestral version (1988) 
VARIATIONS ON A THEME BY CORELLI for piano and symphony orchestra (1956) 
PIANO SONATINA ( 1955 )

MAJOR ARRANGEMENTS AND ORCHESTRATIONS:

SHEHERAZADE (2000), after Rimsky Korsakoff, a jazz suite; AMERICAN SONGBOOK (1987) for choir and orchestra; RHAPSODY IN BLUE (Gershwin,1986) for choir and jazz combo; GENERAL LAVINE-ECCENTRIC (C. Debussy) and FOXTROT (Vladigerov) for symphony orchestra (1969); FANTASY ON PORGY AND BESS (Gershwin, 1964)

Περισσότερες πληροφορίες για τον Milcho Leviev στην ιστοσελίδα του: http://www.milcholeviev.net/

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