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Take Five With Ludmil Krumov

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Meet Ludmil Krumov:
"Ludmil was one of my best students, and I have to say that I learned as much from him as he did form me! Brilliant, creative, soulful, intellectually probing—Ludmil has it all. The work he's doing with integrating Bulgarian rhythmic and melodic concepts into today's jazz, as well as the way that he's conceptualized Bulgarian music to make it understandable to the jazz player, makes him an important figure in today's jazz scene. I highly recommend Ludmil in any musical capacity. He's also a great guy!"

class="f-right">— Brian Lynch, Grammy Award-winning trumpeter, composer, bandleader



Instrument(s):
Guitar.

Teachers and/or influences?
Ludmil studied with: Anton Goudsmit, Winfried Bouma, Ron Jackson, Martien Oster, Frank Wingold and Freddie Bryant, as well as Conrad Herwig, David Berkman, Brian Lynch, Ralph Peterson, Sam Burtis, Don Braden, Dena DeRose, and Steve Davis. In 2009, Ludmil obtained a Master of music degree from CODARTS Rotterdam, where he studied with Paul Hock, Ronald Schmitz, Ed Verhoeff and Peter Nieuwerf.

Main influences: Joe Diorio, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Mike Stern, John Coltrane, D.Shostakovich, J.S.Bach, Ivo Papasov.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
Actually until I realized that I want to be a musician I was already playing the guitar for 15 years. Playing and learning music was so interesting (and still is) that I never had the time to rationalize if I am musician or not. There were moments, though, when I tried to do things away from music and each time I had the feeling that something was not right—that I was not doing what I was meant to do. These are the moments when I realized what was important to me and understood that I was already a musician.

Your sound and approach to music:
My personal sound changes depending on the conceptual and emotional context of the music being played. Sometimes I prefer a duller jazz guitar sound and sometimes bright and more aggressive slightly over driven one. Same applies to using effects—depending on the context, I might use a bit of reverb and/or delay. I approach music personally—the sound that comes out when I play represents how I feel in that very moment. That's why the same tune can sound completely different every time I play it.

Your teaching approach:
I like to explain complex things in a simple and quickly understandable way. I believe that a good teacher is someone who gives simple answers, inspires and more importantly helps the student to find the right questions.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
The most important thing that I contribute musically is bringing the Bulgarian folk music tradition with its odd-meter dance grooves, ornamentation and specific harmony closer to jazz musicians and audience. Odd-meter playing has increasingly become more and more popular in jazz. Bulgarian folklore show us how to play in odd-meters and steel keep the danceable character of the music.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
devoted to something as complex and passionate as music.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Ludmil Krumov

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