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Zhivko Vasilev

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 Rhodopi 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. He graduated in Kaval Performance and Education at St. Clement Ohridski Sofia University. He is currently a master student in Jazz Performance at 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, Teddy Katzarova, Silvia Katzarova, 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. Since 2020 he became part of the internationally known band Arifa


Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Self Produced


Buchimish Blues

From: Cultural Collision - From...
By Zhivko Vasilev

Squeak Squeak

From: Cultural Collision - From...
By Zhivko Vasilev


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