Kaval – Bulgarian wooden flute
Theodosii Spassov was born on March 4th, 1961. He began his early training on the kaval at the Kotel Music School and The Academy of Music and Dance in Plovdiv/Bulgaria. The kaval, an eight-hole wooden “shepherd” flute, is one of the oldest Instruments in Europe, rich in tone and technical possibilities. Theodosii Spassov has developed his own unique style of playing the instrument by synthesizing traditional folklore with jazz, fusion and classical music.
For over 20 years, Theodosii has toured all over Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Canada and United States. In 1994, he performed with Sofia Women’s Radio Choir which was awarded with a Grammy award for “Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares”. In April of 1995, “Newsweek” magazine recognized Theodosii Spassov as one of the most talented Eastern-European musicians in its “best of the East” article, noting that “Spassov… is not merely surviving the post-communist cultural wasteland. He has actually invented a new musical genre.”
Theodosii Spassov has contributed to 20 CDs, four of his own, which have been noted worldwide. He has composed and performed numerous film scores including a French-Bulgarian feature film “Granitza”, (”The Border”) 1993. Also he recorded themes for films by Italian composers Carlos Siliotto and Ennio Morricone, entitled “An Italian Story” and “The Breakout of the Innocent”. At the fourth European Jazz Night, Theodosii Spassov was a featured performer along with other jazz musicians, including Winton Marsalis.
At home in Bulgaria, Theodosii Spassov is national figure and musical hero, and was recently honored with the”Music Artist of the Year” award. He is the Artistic Director of the world-renown “PHILIP KOUTEV Ensemble Of Music, Drama And Dance”.
Theodosii is currently member of the company of the Irish music and dance “Riverdance”-(1998-2001). Now he is a soloist of Bulgarian National Radio.
The Music School in Kotel The Academy of Music and Dance in Plovdiv
Fellow artists he worked with:
Jazz Linia, “Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares”, Trio “Bulgarka”, National Radio Sofia Orchestras, Ivo Papazov, Yldiz Ibrahimova, Vesselin Nikolov, Milcho Leviev, Acoustic Version, Dave Liebman, Dimitrios Vassilakis, Andy Sheppard, Jamey Haddad, Albert Mangelsdorf, Mark Johnson, Trilok Gurtu, Kazumi Watanabe, Glen Velez, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Matt Darriau, Boyan Zulfikarpasic, Dionisis Savopulos, Paul McCandless, Glen Moore, Billy Cobham, Ennio Morricone
Concerts as a soloist in:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Israel, Japan, Nepal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S..
American national tour:
“Riverdance”- Irish music and dance extravaganza 1998-2001
• The Special Prize of Detroit Flute Festival, 1994
• The International Academy of Arts in Paris Award, 1996
• “Music Artist of the Year” at the National Music Awards, 1997 and 2002
• Apollo Toxophoros for sparkling contribution to Bulgarian music, 2001
• National Film Centre Annual Awards-”Best film music composer”, 2006
• “Artist Of Salon Des Arts” , 2007
• “Dobri Chintulov” for culture activity, 2009
• “Golden Age” for contribution to Bulgarian culture, 2011
Music for motion pictures:
• “The Warden of the Dead People”, Composer
• “Follow Me”, Composer
• “Katalii”, Composer
• “Gori, gori, oganche”, Composer
• “Vesta”, Composer
• “Granitsa”, Composer
• “La Corsa dell’Innocene”, Carlo Siliotto, Musician
• “An Italian Story”, Ennio Morricone, Musician
Recordings and CD’s:
• Theodosii Spassov & Heavenly Strings, THSP Music, 2010
• Open mood, THSP Music, 2010
• Black Sea Fire, Jaro Records, 2010
• Personification , Gega New, 2009
• Bace Quartet —Guerre Propre, Chicken Madness, 2006
• Viara, THSP Music, 2006
• Gambit, ENJA RECORDS, 2004
• Treta Majka, Avalon Production, 2004
• Titla, GEGA NEW RECORDS, 2003
• Lot Lorien & Theodosii Spassov-Live in Ohrid , CLUB ETHNO – ART , 2003
• Echotopia , FM RECORDS , 2003
• Theodosii Spassov Trio – Live in London , BULGARIAN CREATIVE ARTS , 2003
• Non – Standard Standards , SIBULET LTD, 2003
• Encounters On The Road, 41T Ltd, 2001
• Labyrinth, CANDID,2001
• The Spirit Of Bulgaria / Malka Moma, EMAM, 1020 2001
• Ultramarin, KUKER MUSIK, 2001
• Silhouettes, STAIKO STAIKOV , 2001
• The Fish Praying For Rain, TRADITIONAL CROSSROAD, 2000
• Na Trapeza, GEGA NEW RECORDS, 2000
• Fairy Tale Trio, VERGO, 1998
• Bulgarian Folk Dances, HEMUS, 1998
• Bratimene, GEGA NEW RECORDS, 1998
• The Glimpse, CMP RECORDS, 1997
• Everest Concert, RFI, 1996
• Atmospheric Conditions Permitting, ECM 1995
• Beyond the Frontiers, GEGA NEW RECORDS, 1995
• Welkya, GEGA NEW RECORDS, 1994
• Karen Young, URSH, 1992
• Gurbet Mohabet, BALKANTON, 1990
• The Sand Girl, BALKANTON, 1989
• The Long Road, BALKANTON, 1986
Theodosii Spassov invented a new musical genre. The American magazine is absolutely right. The Bulgarian genius developed a completely new style of playing the KAVAL, which is a shepherd’s flute consisting of wood and one of the oldest instruments in Europe.
Theodosii gets everything out of his KAVAL when playing his unique compositions. They include elements of traditional folklore music as well as jazz, classical music and even pop. His very own way of playing has not only impressed audiences during his concerts and festival appearances, but also fellow musicians, who cooperated with THEODOSII SPASSOV in the past years. Among them are Dave Liebman, Andy Sheppard, Yldiz Ibrahimova, Ennio Morricone, Jamey Haddad, Albert Mangelsdorff, Mark Johnson, Kazumi Watanabe and many others.
With his amazing trio, Theodosii Spassov performed in Argentina, Australia, Austria,Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Israel, Japan, Nepal, Russia,Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and of course in Bulgaria, where he is known as a national hero. All over the world, he is known as a GRAMMY WINNER (with “Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares”, 1994), as a movie score composer and genius performer. His steadily growing fan community is addicted to his music.
Theodosii Spassov began studying the KAVAL at early age at The Academy Of Music and Dance in Plovdiv/Bulgaria. Later, he recorded 10 solo albums (e.g. “The Fish Are Praying For Rain”, see discography below) and contributed to 11 albums by fellow artists.
Press statements on Theodosii Spassov:
NEWSWEEK: “He actually created a new musical genre.”
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: “….like a jam session between Ian Anderson and Thelonius Monk.”
BERLINER MORGENPOST: “What he manages to produce on his wooden flute is sensational.”
HOWARD ROVICS: “His work on the Kaval was nothing short of pure genius.”
CHRIS NICKSON: “….Spassov sounds like the late flutist and saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk Except Spassov plays a simple, rural shepherd’s flute.”