International Jazz Festival in Bansko

International Jazz Festival in Bansko

The International Jazz Festival in Bansko is the biggest summer musical event in Bulgaria. 

Ever since its foundation in 1998, Bansko Jazz Fest is held every year from August 8 to 13.

The main concerts take place on the open-air stage at 1 Nikola Vaptsarov Square in Bansko and start nightly at 7 pm.

There are several key features in the programme that are present every year.

On the one hand, presenting the historic roots of jazz: standard, blues, bebop, swing, Dixieland, boogie-woogie... Over the years more than twenty big bands have played Bansko. Besides the traditional participants from the Big Band of Bulgarian National Radio with conductor Yanko Miladinov, which usually opens the event, former guest performers include the big formations of Vili Kazasyan, Georgi Borisov, Angel Zaberski, Big Band Blagoevgrad, several orchestras from Germany, including IKS Big Band, Kelag Big Band from Austria. The 10th edition of the festival featured the possibly most unusual orchestra in the festival’s history - SHAPE International Big Band, part of the NATO official orchestra. The 16th edition also hosted the Elmhurst College Jazz Band with conductor Doug Beach from the US.

On the other hand, the contemporary face of “free music". Although quite different in nature, ethno-styles also have a permanent place in the festival. “

The festival programme has featured almost all great Bulgarian jazz performers, such as Milcho Leviev, Simeon Shterev, Mihail Yossifov, Hristo Yotsov, Camellia Todorova, Vassil Petrov, Stefka Onikyan, Hilda Kazasyan, Beloslava, Maria Ilieva, Petar Salchev, Miroslava Katzarova, Mery Taneva and many young rising stars of Bulgarian jazz .

Here are some of the best known foreign performers who have played Bansko:
Scot Hamilton (USA), Axel Zwingenberger (Germany), Silvan Zing (Switzerland), Keito Saito (Japan), Uros Peric (Slovenia), Sharrie Williams (USA), Hubert Tubbs (USA), Freddie Cole (USA), Larry Vuckovich (USA), Leila Amons (USA), Irving Louis Lattin (USA), Jackie Ryan (USA), Rick Margitza (USA), Jamie Davis (USA), Benny Golson (USA), Champian Fulton (USA), Bobby Carcasses (Cuba), Ive Mendes (Brazil), Kuba Stankiewicz ( Poland), Igor Butman (Russia), Yehya Khalil (Egypt), Oleg Kireyev (Russia), Igor Bril (Russia), Candy Dulfer (Netherlands), Hans Dulfer (Netherlands), Tania Maria (Brazil), Ana Moura (Portugal), Vlodek Pavlik (Poland), Clare Teal (UK), Mungo Jerry (UK), Steve Hackett (UK), Denise Jannah (Netherlands), Charles Papazov (Canada), Yoni Vida (Belgium), Iyeoka (USA), China Moses (USA), Philip Catherine (Belgium), the performers from the bands Incognito (UK), Ray Gelato (UK), Jive Aces (UK), Eftekasat (Egypt), Djabe (Hungary), Seven Kings (France), Spaghetti Swing (Italy), Ehud Ettun Trio (Israel), Assaf Kehati Trio (Israel) and many others. For one of the greatest soul musicians, Solomon Burke (USA), the festival in Bansko, regrettably, was one of his last concert performances.


  • Pepa From Madrid
    Sent on 24 August 2016
    Un citio presioso pero todo lo demas comida,el personal muy mal.No lo recomiendo a nadie.Es una publicidad engañosa.Y de All inclusive nada.No se dejen engañar por las paginas web.Por desgracia en Bulgaria todavia el consumidor no es nadie.
  • Juglena Bankova From Bulgaria
    Sent on 13 May 2016
    Nie byakhme tam na Velikden i pisha malko kŭsno. No vpechatleniata sa ni poveche ot prekrasni! Velikolepna kuhnia (ne savetvat jenite na dieta, da hodiat za poveche ot tri dni, zashtoto yastiyata sa neustoimi, vkusni i ogromni)! Great stil! I mnogo priaten personal!(osobeno damata v restoranta) Pozdravleniya !
  • ger99 From turkey
    Sent on 01 March 2015
    We loved it. Had a perfect 2 bedroom apartment modern, clean new renovated With view to slope. Perfect location in pamporovo as central ski in ski out. Friendly staff, not ovr crowded relaxed athmosphere. our friends (group with total of 7 rooms) all very happy! It is away from city center but close to bowling and 2 nice reaturans.
  • ashley hensman From uk
    Sent on 01 March 2015
    Flora is a lovely hotel clean in a great location and the food was good just make sure you use the safes.
  • Enjoy ski From UK
    Sent on 27 February 2015
    Just came back from Sevlievo in Bulgaria. Drove up to Hotel Impulse in Uzana where I hired skis, boots and poles for myself and two children for just 17 levs for adult and 10 levs each child and used the hotel ski slope 5 levs each. Perfect for the kids first time as parking right at entrance to hotel and slope is 20m walk! Food in restaurant tasty and cheap. Perfect for beginners!
  • Charlotte Hennessy From england
    Sent on 23 February 2015
    WOW, thats all i can say about the previous week of my life. The snow conditions were amazing and the people were so friendly. The night life was always active and the rila hotel was especially fantastic. I loved the accommodation at the rila and i loved the way it is right on the slope. I wouldn't have changed a thing about the holiday and i would recommend this resort to everyone including beginners and experts. Overall, i had an amazing time!!!
  • Brian mcvey From Scotland
    Sent on 20 February 2015
    Going to borovets for 2nd time this time with my son. Had a great time 4 years ago, now with park I expect it to be a lot better now and it was brill last time round. 20 days and counting
  • Lasse WP From Denmark
    Sent on 15 February 2015
    We just had a wonderful trip to Pamporovo. We were a group of 10 adults, and 3 small children (1 to 3 years old), who stayed at the Castle complex, in 4 apartments, for a week (7 days stay, 6 days skiing) Everything at the Castle was great, and the staff was very forthcoming and helpful in every way. The apartments were very practical, and equipped with all necessities. Not luxurious, but really good and adequate in size and layout. You should note though, that towels are not changed every day. Towels are not needed to bring to the spa area and treatments. The food at the Excalibur restaurant was typical for the area, and well prepared. The staff at the restaurant is also great. The Castle complex is situated 2-3 km. from Ski center 2 (Malina). It is of course easiest if you are driving, but there are shuttles from the hotel to the ski center and lift. Ski in-/out is possible at the backside of the complex. We had booked ski- and snowboard packages, and that worked out perfectly as well. The snowboard instructor was a true professional. Patient and very focused on making sure that all of us learned the moves, at our own individual pace. Everyone had a great time, and learned a lot. The area was perfect for us, as we are all beginners on snowboards. Had we been on skies, I suspect the terrain would not be challenging enough for an entire week. We can definitely recommend Pamporovo, and the Castle complex, and will be back next year.
  • james From england
    Sent on 05 February 2015
    Lovely apartments bang on yasterbets slopes. Great spa and swimming pool and cheaper prices than borovets for food and beer. Best hotel and facilites in borovets
  • Jayne Gay From England
    Sent on 25 January 2015
    Just got back from Bansko what a fabulous week. A party of 6 which includes our daughter's aged 20-24 and the night life for them was great. No long queues, food good and we cannot wait for next year!