w ith “BalkaNova” came autumn

“… The Bulgarian-German trio BalkaNova opened the JazzAutumn Ilmenau 2013 with a concert in the city library. Jazz has its own fans and its own colors: BalkaNova mixed jazz with Bulgarian and South Slavic influences. On the one hand, that made it an additional attraction, on the other hand, this connection also brought a certain foreignness with it.

Singer Viktoria Lasaroff, double bass player Horst Nonnenmacher and Andreas Brunn on guitar quickly overcame this strangeness. Her music, which was supposed to come from far away, had many familiar elements in it. Viktoria Lasaroff used the short distance between the band and the audience in the library to enter into a dialogue with the audience. That was very nice, as Bulgarian folk music is not exactly part of the main stream of musical performances on radio, television and concerts.

The refreshing performance was all the more enjoyable, with its musical surprises in the interaction of the seven-string guitar by Andreas Brunn and the double bass by Horst Nonnenmacher. It is a pleasure to listen to, to surrender to the waves of melancholy and to indulge in dreams. The trio BalkaNova even gave a lesson in Greece: the invitation to dance sounded like Sirtaki. … “Dol


BalkaNova – Heart Beats – Bos Rec 228-12
Featuring Stoyan Yankoulov

“… Bulgaria determines the cultural group that has done the most to the sympathetic 7string acoustician and music activist Andreas Brunn in his gentle campaign against national and cultural borders. Already in 2010 Brunn and the outstanding saxophonist Vladimir Karparov, who brings with him that important part of regionality, presented their “East Side Story”, and of course it was much more than just this, because the other, the mute half always resonated in the – there still wordless – messages.

Now there are the words – voice – those of the amazing soprano Viktoria Lasaroff (also on accordion and percussion), who has now taken on her permanent part in BalkaNova. Horst Nonnenmacher is on bass, and BalkaNova is very effectively reinforced in six of the ten debut pieces by the drummer / percussionist Stoyan Yankoulov.

The result amazes and has an effect: The result amazes and has an effect: Although the CD consists of Bulgarian folk songs, translations or brief explanations of the songs about the multicolored material from which all folklore are made are missing in the booklet, with two exceptions. Why? Music doesn’t need national languages. When it comes to feelings, it is the most effective language in itself.

The effect is amazing: Even genre boundaries tumble, and where at the beginning you were inclined to hear something like folk or Balkan jazz (mainly due to Brunn’s guitar playing between jazzy lines and the inexhaustible mastery of often puzzling rhythms and meters) , it becomes clearer from song to song how a nameless new one emerges from the genres. “Hey, dear friend, sing a song, don’t forget me” concludes one of the songs. Don’t worry: BalkaNova is not something that is easy to forget. … ” – Alexander Schmitz


BalkaNova “Heart Beats” – Bosrecords

“In central European cities, Balkansound is often associated with brass and wild folk pogo, at best gipsyswing and klezmer-related things. The fact that music from the Balkans can be good for a surprise every now and then is an insider tip that is now well-known.

What the band Balka Nova has produced with their CD “Heart Beats”, however, is unusual even for the rather dense market of Balkan music. Balka Nova play jazz in a very sensitive way. The pool, from which the four musicians around the Bulgarian singer Viktoria Lasaroff draw, consists mainly of folk songs from Bulgaria. The singer knows this very well.

Guitarist Andreas Brunn and bassist Horst Nonnenmacher, however, dress these folk songs in a jazzy garb, which in turn is given a world-musical touch by the Bulgarian percussionist Stoyan Yankoulov. Folkloristically oriented chamber jazz at its best. “- Karsten Rube

CD review: FOLKER - Weltmusik Magazin 

BALKANOVA Heart Beats (Bosrecords 228-12 / JARO Medien)

“Guitar-heavy Balkan folk jazz. Traditional folk songs and dances from the turbulent history of the Balkans are presented in a modern way by Viktoria Lasaroff, Andreas Brunn and Horst Nonnenmacher for voice, guitar and double bass.

The Bulgarian drum and percussion star Stoyan Yankoulov was there … played with confidence, party-ready and suitable for festivals. ”

Concert review: Oberhessische Zeitung

Balkan melodies and jazz took you into another world

BalkaNova presented a multicolored mixture of Bulgarian folklore and jazz – enthusiastic reactions …

“… The basis of BalkaNova’s music are Bulgarian folk songs. All songs have been completely rearranged by the band and provided with a wide variety of rhythms and multi-colored jazz harmonies.
Viktoria Lasaroff is a sensitive singer who puts the melody in the foreground. She never overloads her with striking effects, but lets her speak for herself. Andreas Brunn is a virtuoso guitarist. Brunn is also extremely sensitive as a companion and ensures a wide variety of colors and rhythms. Horst Nonnenmacher on bass mostly played pizzicato (plucked), but especially in gloomy passages he also achieved great effects with the bow.
The musicians gained many sides from the irresistible, often highly emotional original melodies and immersed their audience into another world. Andreas Brunn and Horst Nonnenmacher also display a fabulous interaction as a duo, as shown in a composition by Brunn. … “- Martin G. Günkel

Augsburg General

Nouvelle Cuisine des Folk – The hair as black as coal, the voice as deep as the associated mine: Viktoria Lasaroff and her trio provided refined and sophisticated music variations: a “Nouvelle Cuisine” of the folk that was presented at the South Bavaria premiere in the Dießen “Keller” turned listeners into real fans. The team of guitar (Andreas Brunn) and double bass (Horst Nonnemacher) started to a slow and relaxed, but extremely pronounced melody. In the other songs, too, one could always assume that there were still drums in the room, as the three musicians who played dreamlike each other performed such exact changes in rhythm.

Viktoria Lasaroff summarized her texts in German with the captivating intonation of an oriental storyteller. The singing then unfolded itself softly and with rich vowels. Then, in a gypsy song that was widespread throughout the Balkans, she suddenly stepped away from the microphone and repeated the verse with the power and emotion of an opera diva flooded with grief: a successful surprise. The return to the soft, deeply whispering singing seemed to remove all sense of time. Andreas Brunn’s guitar also sometimes left the realms of folk behind and strayed over into jazzy variations, which, however, were woven so sensitively that the cohesion of this world music was always preserved. – Andreas Frey

The Rhine Palatinate

Wildly moving moments – the highlight of “BalkaNova” is
that they present the old folk songs, but they practically do
internationalize stylistically. They make of the old folk tunes
really good world music on two levels. On the one hand, Andreas take care of them
Brunn with the acoustic guitar and Horst Nonnenmacher with the double bass
that a jazzy sound forms the background for the vocals.
On the other hand, Viktoria Lasaroff’s singing is sovereign and diverse
and completely international.

So the group ensures that it’s the Balkan music
has nothing to do with folklore and the usual clichés. Andreas
Brunn, absorbed in tremendously rhythmic melodies, plays precisely and
always with the maximum feeling. Horst Nonnenmacher was the first to play
Time in the trio and interpreted the double bass part mainly jazzy,
which amplified the typical world music sound. The idea of the waste
the musical styles of different continents work without compromise. That
gives the music the original and the special drive that makes it
Trio for something unique in the scene. At the center of the group is
but clearly Viktoria Lasaroff.

The Bulgarian got this music from
Has lived from childhood and has a voice that spans so many layers
knows that folk songs are elevated to art. It is also nice
that she retells the lyrics of the songs in German. she told
hence the old stories of love, heartbreak and
Treason: all in all, it was a great evening. – Jürgen Nordmann

Lippische Landeszeitung

Love of life in music – BalkaNova rocks the “bridge” in Hörste

At the end everyone applauded. Viktoria Lasaroff was visibly pleased with “such an attentive audience”. The listeners on the “bridge” had just enjoyed the musical hike from Balka Nova between folk, jazz and classical music to the full. Together with the accomplished guitarist Andreas Brunn, the academically trained singer walked between the musical worlds and mixed them very creatively.

In order to swing and to be able to bring the full groove with his guitar, Brunn had pulled another string under the low E-string in order to advance his differentiated chord voicings between jazz and classical modern with a rich bass line. In addition, Viktoria Lasaroff unfolded the registers of her timbre-rich mezzo-soprano as varied as it was coherent in order to sing of the theme that moves the hearts of people in all peoples the most: love. And love as a celebration of joy and tangible vitality. – Andreas Schwabe

Thuringian regional newspaper

Southeast European impressions

Viktoria Lasaroff dominated the stage with her strong, dark voice as well as the intensity of her singing. She was not so much the bitter gypsy, she looked more like the powerful female embodiment of the originally rural Bulgaria. The gentlemen at your side competed confidently through the polyrhythmics of the repertoire and set virtuoso, jazzy highlights … Conclusion: a well-rounded program by an ensemble, whose further development one can look forward to. “- Fred Boehme


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