Balkan Tales (Kuker Music, 2009)
One of the most exciting voices in the New York global music scene is Vlada Tomova. She was born in Bulgaria and is now based in Brooklyn. Her album Balkan Talestakes the listener to the wondrous musical crossroads of her native country. She achieves this with an exciting mix of traditional Bulgarian music spiced with flamenco, Eastern European Gypsy music and even Indian influences.
On Balkan Tales, Vlada Tomova is joined by Uri Sharlin on accordion; Kyle Sanna on acoustic guitar; Brandon Terzic on acoustic guitar and oud; Sage Reynolds and Danny Zanker on double bass; Paul Ruest, Rosa Ena Campos on palmas (Flamenco handclap percussion); Mathias Kunzli, Rich Stein, and Matt Kilmer on percussion. Special guest appearances include Avishai Cohen on trumpet, Mavrothi Kontanis on oud, Alicia Svigals on violin, Brahim Fribgane on oud, Sarah Bowman on cello, and Josh Geisler on bansuri (Indian flute).
“The Balkans have something very unique that mixes well with other musics because of its complex and long history,” explains Tomova. “And it’s very emotional for me; it’s about connecting to the places, the ancient villages I’ve loved since childhood. It’s about home.”
On Balkan Tales, Bulgarian folk innovator Vlada Tomova reveals her fascinating musical intersections of Bulgarian music and global sounds.