The brain of the orchestra Angel Tichaliev (also founder of the Karandila Gypsy Brass Orchestra of 20 years ago), who is also its musician, composer, and conductor, created a mesmerizing new perspective of almost forgotten old gypsy melodies of his ancestors, combining the new arrangements with young exceptional musicians from Sliven in Bulgaria.
Vibrations guaranteed when the eleven professional musicians take off –
with their traditional and modern gypsy rhythms, bittersweet music full
of joy and tragedy. The groove of the Balkan goes under your skin –
and very much into your legs: ‘Rock your bones’.With their brass instruments the ten-member gypsy band AGO ‘Angels Gipsy Orchestra’ from Sliven presents traditional and modern gypsy rhythms – an expressive experience in Orient tradition.
This music simultaneously radiates joy and tragedy – a bittersweet taste. In the different symbols of playing – wedding or travelling, landscape and colours – pictures of melancholy are developing – a song without words. In the freeedom and in the virtuousity of the musicians the touching lyrics of nomads are awakening.
The AGO was founded to revive the old Roma tradition of the brass orchestra in a new way. A music which includes the substance of wedding music as well as the influences of jazz is developing.
The conductor Angel Ticherliev and founder of AGO alreay played in one of the most famous bands of this kind – Southwind (Sliven) – in the 80s.
In 1996 he founded the famous Gypsy Brass Orchestra KARANDILA.
In 2007 Angel created his own music school teaching young gypsy musicians for free to preserve the traditions of his ancestors. The Angels Gypsy Music School got famous with his band KARANDILA JUNIOR.Angel Ticherliev wrote, create the music and headed KARANDILA GYPSY BRASS ORCHESTRA for more then 20 years. His story is the history also of the band KARANDILA.On invitation of Canel+ of France which made a documentary on the Bulgarian gypsies they realized a soundtrack in 1998 and also played in the film. The music of ‘Gypsy Summer’ was realeased on KUKER MUSIC in Bulgaria in 1999.
In June 1999 the group performed with the clarinet player Ivo Papasov on the Jazz Across The Border Festival in Berlin with great success.
At the beginning of 1999 Karandila played together with the most important jazz pianist Milcho Leviev and presented his music. In summer 2000 concerts with Goran Bregovic followed.
An extraordinary performance took place in 2001/2 when Karandila played in several performances in Kalman’s “Gräfin Mariza” in the Wiener Volksoper. For the first time an ordinary band managed to climb the classical stage – a Revolution. Thus the group managed a further musical highlight which was accompanied with many appraising reviews. ‘Revolution’ is also the CD Karandila recorded in Vienna at this time – a collection of workers’ and revolutionary songs recorded in the unique gypsy style.
Karandila also performed successfully at the EUROPALIA.
Since 2003 Karandila has been touring with an extraordinary guest – the singer ANITA KRISTI, whose great voice is a special highlight of the concert.
Karandila has taken part in many festivals:
Tilburg Gypsy Festival, Prague Gypsy Festival, Mulhouse Jazz Festival, Palmengarten Frankfurt am Main, Salzburg Balkan Festival, Europalia, Balkanfeever Wien, Innsbruck Fest der Träume, Antwerpen Summer, Liege, Stuttgart Lab Festival, St.Wendel Jazz Festival, Brandenburg Jazz Festival, Sziget Budapest etc. etc.
“Gipsy Summer” (Kuker Music / 1999)
“Never Say No” (Ara / 2000)
“Revolution” (ACCU / 2003)
“Cyclops Camel” (Messechina Music / 2005)
“Karandila is a wedding band which lasts out extremely long. And they play more lively, agile and more jazzlike than traditional bands. This brass orchestra mainly plays its own compositions. With ist drum metres reminding of the „second line“ rhythms of the New Orleans Jazz Karandila is celebrating a Balkan music which makes you believe jazz was not invented in America but on the weddings of the Balkan.”
„Karandila” from the Folklore paradise Bulgaria in Frankfurter Palmengarten
„Karandila” – just another Roma Brass band which after „Fanfare Ciocarlia”, the „Boban Markovic Orkestar” and others is conquering the European concert stages and festivals? Not very likely because the ensemble is from Bulgaria and there everything is different from what we know from the Balkan – as music is concerned. The long Turkish dictatorship and later the state-run care of the music heritage have made Bulgaria the paradise of folklore whose manifold shapes and technical challenges can only be compared with Ireland. Bulgarian musicians always have to prove their national reputation. And the group which staged in the Frankfurt Palmengarten in the World Music series managed this brilliantly and with verve. With his arrangements and compositions the founder and conductor Michailov Tichaliev succeeds in catching entertainment which is always expected at wedding parties (still the most important venues for this kind of music) and a ‘higher’ virtuousity for the concert podium. Polyphone voices, plastic vibrating dynamics and accelerandi, surprising jazz phrasing, melting Ballads as a taste of still wind in turbulent happenings – pieces which sound like the re-import of Balkan ideas for Klezmer music. So the repertoire of Karandila gets much colour and change.
But the quality of the musicians is even more important.
Virtuous musicians like the clarinet player Angel Kirchev Tsukev and the sax player Kiril Ivanov Shekerdankov cannot be found in other brass bands and there are not many radiant figures like the second trumpet player Trompeter Kuti Sovchev Varbanov who reminds of Harry James with is golden sound projection. They as much as their boss who also plays the trumpet are magnificent and perfect improvisers and thus tempted to jazz…
Ulrich Olshausen / Frankfurter Allgemeine
“We have walked many ways already – sometimes we even met some good people then.“ The sad refrain of „Djelem Djelem“, the inofficial hymn of the Roma, witnesses centuries of suppression and prosecution. But when Michailov Ticheliev, head of the Bulgarian brass orchestra Karandila starts to play his trumpet you might think the song had been made in Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
The world is coming together, also in music. Karandila, the wedding orchestra from Sliven, was certainly the most folkloristic contribution at the „Jazz Across the Border“ festival in Berlin … Even with this traditional gipsy orchestra some phrasation is obvisiously taken from jazz. The ten-man band has concert experience; the CD with the title „Stories of the Survival“ – excellently produced – has recently been released. On stage, however, little is felt about this programmatic claim to point out to the situation of an ethnic minority. Here pure love of life is ruling. Karandila is playing what they mainly earn their bread with – wedding music. And this makes the audience absolutely excited.
The term „Blues of the Balkan“ is really true. Despite the impetuous, nearly archistic temperament there are overtones of some melancholy. The musicians are merrily improvising … a firework of speedy runs.”
Uwe Sauerwein / Berliner Morgenpost
Gypsy Summer: Tales of Surviving
Soundtrack, featuring Karandila Brass Orchestra
Children clap, do a frantic, complicated scat singing that constantly breaks down into laughter, and then the landscape explodes with a brass band that is three parts Gypsy, one part gospel shout and a dash of New Orleans second line. This is the heart and soul of a cinematic collection of Bulgarian Gypsy sound images that reach deep to find pathos, joy and above all, compelling, energetic musicianship. The heart of the album is the Karandila band, an ensemble of brass, woodwinds and drums that rips through a modern Gypsy style tinged with American jazz, Balkan folk and unnamable other elements. Their virtuosity is unassailable, but it is the subtle undercurrents that make them so interesting; a soulful blue note here, a bow to New Orleans there, and intentional or not, a bit of bebop swirling through the most unexpected places. The album also features singer Anita Christi on some beautiful ballads, accompanied by a single cimbalom on two and a violin on another. A brief bit of ambience probably best sums up the feel of the album, as a lone reed player accompanies the rhythmic clacking of a train passing in the rail station. The music is appropriately visual throughout, never contrived, always just on the edge of breaking into a spirited laugh or a despondent cry. This music not only survives, but on this album, it lives large.
Cliff Furnald, editor of RootsWorld
Suddently the Karandila Orchestraburst in, booked perhaps for a mad tea party – typical oriental Gypsy Brass Band, with a swaggering sidedrum that sets up a punchy groove. Before long there are clarinet and saxophone solos that sound so raw and intense that you wonder whether they’s just playing reeds.
Simon Braughton editor of THE ROUGH GUIDE TO WORLD MUSIC (Penguin) and Songlines music magazine