Dessy Dobreva is a well-known singer, musician, TV host and a socially responsible young person in Bulgaria. She became famous with her participation in the highest-rated program on Bulgarian TV, Slavi's Show. During her three-year tenure as the lead singer of Ku-Ku Band and Slavi’s Show, she sang along with such stars as Manhattan Transfer, Dream Theater, Glen Hughes, David Coverdale, the quartet BOND, Incognito, Zuccero, Al Bano, Goran Bregovic, to name a few. Among the guests on the show were also the likes of the Nobel laureate Lech Walesa, Former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev (whom Dessy brought to tears with her rendition of a Russian song!), the politician Shimon Peres, Hollywood’s actors Jean-Claude Van Dame, Ray Liotta, Stephen Baldwin, Tomas Arana, the athletes Alberto Tomba, Carl Lewis, Franz Beckenbauer, and others.
Her performances have reached millions of people, and are showcased in 3 albums, recorded with Ku-Ku Band: The New Barbarians (2001), Vox Populi (2003) and Prima Patriot (2004), as well as her solo album It’s HER! (2008).
Dessy graduated from the National School of Arts “Dobri Hristov” in Varna, Major: Classical Piano. During her high-school years, Dessy has also taken part in Varna’s Drama Theatre “Stoyan Bachvarov” as an actress and vocalist. In 2005 she graduated from the National Academy of Music “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov”, Sofia, with two Master’s Degrees - Pop and Jazz Singing and Musical Pedagogy. In 2007 Dessy graduated from Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA, as a Bachelor in Voice Performance; as an excellent student her name was entered in the annual almanac of the USA: The National Dean’s List 2006.
Dessy's two diploma works are:
1). "Kodaly Method" in 21-st Century. Practice in the contemporary music education in USA. (2009)
2). "Contemporary music methodology and pedagogy in USA for early childhood. (2011)
Dessy Dobreva has received many awards both at Bulgarian and international contests, among which are:
For piano playing:
- Grand-Prize at a National Contest for performance of Czech music - Bulgaria, 1999
- First award at the 3rd National contest for accompanists - Bulgaria, 1997
- First award at a National Contest for performance of Czech music - Bulgaria, 1997
- Performer Of The Year for "BG Radio", Bulgaria, 2010
- First award at “Golden Voices” – Moldova, 2010
- Second award at the “11th Asia New Singer Competition” – China, 2010
- “Varna Award” in the field of Music - Bulgaria, 2009
- Grand-Prize at “Kemervision” – Turkey, 2009
- Performer Of The Year for "Fan TV", 2008
- Award from "The Great American Song Contest" – USA, 2006
- Two awards from "The Billboard World Song Contest" – USA, 2006
- Award from "Unisong International Song Contest" - USA, 2006
- Top song in the "Indie 104 iRadio LA" – USA, 2005
- The Special award of "FIDOF" – Lithuania, 1999
- Third award at "Malta International TV Song Contest" - Malta, 1999
- Third award at "Golden Hit" - Belarus, 1999
In 2009 Dessy competes in the EU parliament elections.
As a representative of the Bulgarian Cultural Center in USA and throughout her career as a musician, Dessy has been actively promoting Bulgarian culture across Europe and USA. Through high-profile concerts at the legendary "Royal Albert Hall" and "Astoria Hall" in London (UK), the world-famous jazz club "The Blue Note" in New York, "The Berklee Performance Center" in Boston and "Mann Auditorium" in Tel Aviv (Israel), as well as her yearly tours in the USA and Canada, she has garnered much attention from the public and the media. Highlights in the USA press: Boston Globe (2008) and The New York Sun (2008).
Dessy is also known as an Author and a TV host of a three-hour long show on the Bulgarian National Television (BNT), called Night Flight, which promotes the many achievements of modern Bulgarian Society. It is broadcast via satellite to more than 50 countries worldwide, including USA and Canada. Dessy has worked as a vocal teacher in the National Academy of Music “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov” and many times has been a jury member of musical contests.
As a socially committed person, Dessy is an active supporter of social causes such as UNICEF’s initiative for Bulgarian orphans "The Magnificent Six"; "The Avon Walk Around the World for Breast Cancer" and "Tomorrow for everyone"; "The Bulgarian Christmas", an initiative of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria; Pampers & UNICEF “1 pack = 1 vaccine”. Dessy also supports social projects of "The International Art of Living Foundation" for a healthy lifestyle and environmental care and doing positive changes in Bulgaria and wider.
Dessy is the first official Good Will Ambassador of the campaign “Bulgarian Youth Delegate” 2010/2011 to the UN.
Dessy is also an official member of “Varna 2019” Club, under the patronage of the Varna Mayor, which is engaged with the candidature of Varna for European Capital of Culture.
- “Rise Up, Rise Up!” – created especially for the Celebration of 150 years of diplomacy between Great Britain & Bulgaria
- “Devoyko, Mari Hubava” – dedicated to the yearly charity campaign of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria – “The Bulgarian Christmas”;
- “Vecherai, Rado” – dedicated to the fight against the breast cancer; featuring the world-known violinist Vesko Eshkenazy and his personal story about his wife, who died from breast cancer;
Dessy Dobreva - Voice;
With a band:
- eventually Sax, Clarinet, Trumpet and Backing Vocals
Otherwise - with a DJ or recorded music.
2014 - "Madcap" - upcoming album
2013 - Upcoming album with The National Guards Wind Orchestra
2013 - "Sunny Rainbow" with "Studio DA"
2013 - "Taj Mahala" with Romaneno Project
2009 - "Hallo, Sunny!" with "Studio DA"
2008 - "It's HER!"
2006 - "Dessy" (Promo CD)
2004 - "Prima Patriot" (Ku-Ku Band)
2003 - "Vox Populi" (Ku-Ku Band)
2001 - "The New Barbarians" (Ku-Ku Band)
1999 - "Discovery '99"
1998 - "Discovery '98"
People & Places
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Performers gather to pay tribute to their cultural roots By Stephanie Schorow Dessy Dobreva co...Performers gather to pay tribute to their cultural roots
By Stephanie Schorow
Dessy Dobreva could be the most famous rising pop star most Americans have never heard of.
In her native Bulgaria, she is a singer and TV personality, a young artist who has chatted with Mikhail Gorbachev and performed with such groups as Manhattan Transfer.
But the classically trained artist - and 2006 graduate of the Berklee College of Music - wants to break into the Western music charts. And she wants to do it her way - by infusing her style of pop and soul with the rhythms and melodies of Bulgarian folk music, or to, as she puts it, "enrich the so-famous American pop-music palette with our special and very specific Balkan rhythms and cheerful sounds."
Local audiences will get a taste of Dobreva's style - as well as a full meal of Bulgarian dance, song, classical music, and food - Sunday in Medford as part of the Bulgarian Cultural Day Celebration, held at Springstep.
Organized by the Bulgarian American Center, the event features Bulgarian folk dances by the Boston-area group Ludo Mlado, a performance by Madara, a children's choir, as well as home-style Bulgarian food. Pianist Tania Stavreva, a Boston Conservatory graduate who will have her Carnegie Hall solo debut in 2009, will play the New England premiere of "Toccata," a work by the contemporary Bulgarian composer Vassil Kazandjiev.
The event is "a little bit of everything," said Violet Jeliazkova of Woburn, who founded the Bulgarian American Center 10 years ago as a resource for Bulgarians living in the Boston area. Now the organization focuses on promoting Bulgarian cultural events and organizes an annual cultural celebration, she said.
This year's highlight will be Dobreva, who will return to Boston to perform songs from her new pop, soul, and jazz album, "She IS," as well as some of her hits from her years leading the Ku-Ku Band and appearing on "Slavi's Show" in Bulgaria.
Dobreva studied piano as a child but grew up loving Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Stevie Wonder, as well as Bach.
"I wanted to study opera, but I was too skinny, and nobody wanted to take me in their classes," she said in an e-mail exchange. "Once my mother suggested that I could also study pop music, and that's how I started singing."
Even after winning fame as a teenager, she wanted to push herself further musically and enrolled at Berklee, graduating in 2006.
"Berklee was great training for me," Dobreva said. "I learned to be objective, to fight and to defend myself when it needs, to communicate better, and to believe more in myself and in the music in general."
Indeed, Dobreva said artists from Eastern Europe face an uphill battle to win musical acceptance in the West. And while Dobreva loves Western pop, she wants to infuse her solo work with the Bulgarian folk music she also loves.
"As a musician, I would say that the USA is a place where you can meet all different nations and musical styles together, like the African-American jazz and the Spanish hot salsa," she said. "But, as a Bulgarian, I would say that it's extremely difficult, sometimes even impossible, to integrate ourselves into this multicolored world."
She returned to Bulgaria to record "She IS" after a three-year absence. Her reception led to the album's title.
"People couldn't believe that I'm back," Dobreva said, "and whenever they saw me on the street or at any public place, they were asking themselves, 'Is she back? No, it's not her. It's her! No, it's not . . .' and so on, and once my friend turned to them and said: 'Don't you see? It's her!' So, that's how we decided to [use] that title."
After Medford, Dobreva will continue to tour in Chicago and Las Vegas before returning to her current home base in New York City.
She is also working on recording an album in English. The first self-written single, "StronG," is on her website, dessy.us. Her American fan base is growing, she said. She was surprised and pleased that two-thirds of the audience at an appearance last July at Blue Note in New York were American fans.
But even her English songs will have roots in Bulgarian folklore.
"I don't like the concept, used in the pop music, that we all have to be the same, because that's what makes you popular. No. I want to be different, and still melodic and still popular," she said.
Dessy Dobreva: America Has Changed My View on Showbiz
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Dessy Dobreva, former singer from the Slavi's Show (a popular evening show on the bTV channel) came ...Dessy Dobreva, former singer from the Slavi's Show (a popular evening show on the bTV channel) came back from the United States to record her new album. During her stay in Bulgaria, Dessy accepted an invitation from bTV channel to take part in a charity show " The Magnificent Six" - a join fund raising project of bTV and UNICEF for the children in the Mogilino nursing home. Recently, the beautiful blond graduated from the University of California, Berkley and told the Standart about her life in New York and her plans.
- Dessy, what was the effect that America had on you?
-America gave me a lot of energy and inspired me for new plans. But I would prefer not to mention them yet. I am extremely pleased that during my stay there I managed to obtain my degree. I also met very nice people, colleagues as well as teachers. I still work with some of them on various projects. Moving from Boston to New York was a decisive step that had a big impact on me. I like New York. It is very important in America to choose the right city, social environment and profession that really suit you. I found Boston a very boring city, I didn't feel comfortable there. Whereas in New York, I really felt that it's exactly my place. New York makes me want to stay there longer.
- Perhaps you like it there because you made contacts in the music circles?
- Yes, it was also the fact that some of my colleagues from Berklee also moved to New York and we managed to keep in touch. The world of music is very wide, but people with similar interests quickly recognize each other. I met many fantastic musicians.
- Did you sing in any club in New York?
- I made my debut in the famous jazz club, The Blue Note. This is perhaps one of the most highly reputed jazz clubs in the world. It went well, the audience liked me, and the place was crowded.
- What is the initial reaction of the Americans when you tell them you are from Bulgaria?
- To my surprise, many of the Americans I spoke to knew about Bulgaria and it turned out that some visited our country either on a business trip or vacation. They even knew what the name of our capital is. On the whole, the Americans are the sort of people who would tell you: "Oh really! Great!" and then ask you: "But where is that?"
- Have you sung Bulgarian songs before an American audience? What's their reaction?
- They find it interesting, but they told me they would have been more exciting if it were in English.
- What can you tell us about the American TV shows and entertainment programs in comparison to the TV shows in Bulgaria?
- I always say that Bulgaria is a small country and the music market here is really tiny. If we compare it with the shows in America, which is the most flourishing industry in the world, then we realize that the entertainment business in Bulgaria and in America are on completely different levels. The American TV shows are incredible.
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"...Dessy recently graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston for the super record time of on..."...Dessy recently graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston for the super record time of one and a half years instead of the normally scheduled four. The teachers called her "an exceptional case". At the moment she is preparing her own music product..."
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"Dessy Dobreva makes a brilliant career in America. She will sing in Toronto on March 3 - Bulgaria's..."Dessy Dobreva makes a brilliant career in America. She will sing in Toronto on March 3 - Bulgaria's national holiday - on the invitation of Bulgarian community in the city. Currently, Dessy works hard on a project of her own.
On December 21, the young singer received her Bachelor's degree from one of the most prestigious schools in the world - Berklee College of Music. The graduation ceremony will take place in May. The Bulgarian has succeeded in graduating the college in a year and a half, instead of four... The talented blond has won a series of awards from prestigious contests among them the Billboard World Song Contest, The Great American Song Contest, and Unisong International Song Contest. Dessy's debut guest tour in USA and Canada started in December 2006 in Chicago and continued with concerts in Boston and Los Angeles."
Dessy Dobreva is Number One in the USA radio, "NIGHTLY TRUD"
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"LA Indie Radio 104. 7 organized an Internet voting for a best song. The song "RED" by our girl Dess..."LA Indie Radio 104. 7 organized an Internet voting for a best song. The song "RED" by our girl Dessy was the most preferable... The "RED" song was extremely popular not only among the fans but among the professionals, too, because "the song is played already by several other radio stations in USA: Love Radio, Atlanta USA, Acoustic Fuel Radio, Internet Radio, Washington, and even by Celtica Radio in United Kingdom", Dessy's manager announced. From May 2005 Dessy has been studying Voice Performance at Berklee College of Music, Boston."
"Vsichko Za Zhenata", (All About Women)
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"...The extremely charming and talented singer, Dessy Dobreva, made her debut in New York as an auth..."...The extremely charming and talented singer, Dessy Dobreva, made her debut in New York as an author and producer of the music used in her sister’s Milena fashion show... The so gifted Dessy is going to study in one of the most prestigious music colleges – Berklee College of Music, Boston..."
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"The former singer in "Slavi's Show" Dessy Dobreva is already a TV host. She was invited by the prod..."The former singer in "Slavi's Show" Dessy Dobreva is already a TV host. She was invited by the producer Hacho Boyadzhiev, to become a host of the Sunday Night Show "Night Flight", which is broadcast by the satellite channel "Bulgaria". According to the colleagues from the electronic media, Dessy presents herself surprisingly well in this new career.
... She keeps smiling, being playful time by time, and the conversation in the studio is fresh and natural. It is obvious that the National TV will rely on Dessy Dobreva for the future. No wonder to see her as a TV anchor on Channel One soon."
A song for Ani a monument instead, "24 HOURS"
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"...Vesko with the priceless violin "Guarnieri" from 1738 year, given him during the year 2000 by th..."...Vesko with the priceless violin "Guarnieri" from 1738 year, given him during the year 2000 by the Foundation to Deutsche Bank in Amsterdam, for his extraordinary talent. On the next photo to right - Vesko and Dessy performing the song "Vecherai Rado" at the National Culture House.
... Is it possible to convert the pain into music, and this music to charge with a hope to live? Yes, it is, if the sounds are coming from the priceless violin "Guarnieri" under the fingers of the famous Bulgarian maestro Veselin Panteleev-Eshkenazi. And this during not a concert of the Holland Royal Symphony Orchestra, where he is a concert-master, but in a special video in memory of his wife, died four months ago of breast cancer.
The video is based on the music of the Bulgarian folksong "Vecherai Rado". It sounded live for first time yesterday at The Hall One in The National Culture House. The song was performed by Dessy, while Vesko, greatly excited, accompanied on his violin. The music is an interesting mixture of pop, folk and classical music. Such a combination sounds for first time in Bulgaria."
Bulgarian Legend Bewitch London, "TRUD"
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"Over 3000 people sang, standing, the Bulgarian National Anthem Monday evening, at one of the most p..."Over 3000 people sang, standing, the Bulgarian National Anthem Monday evening, at one of the most prestigious halls in the world, Rpyal Albert Hall in London.
The Anthem, performed by Dessy Dobreva, opened the Lili Ignatova's grandiose spectacle "Bulgarian Legend". This spectacle was in Honor of the 125th Anniversary from establishing of Bulgarian - British Diplomatic Relations... Bulgarian Day at Royal Albert Hall got together the elite of London... Dessy Dobreva sang also the British Anthem and the Bulgarian folksong "Rosni mi Rosni"... "
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..."This is really the best, the most human performance of the song "Victory Day", I've ever heard. ......"This is really the best, the most human performance of the song "Victory Day", I've ever heard. You excited me enormously! I didn't expect you will bring me so much emotions" - said Mikhail Gorbachev, being a guest to "Slavi's Show", after Dessy Dobreva's performance of the song "Victory Day".
Dessy performs her original songs and folklore songs in her unique style. Dessy has also a jazz set for special occasions.
Here are some videos from her tours and concerts:
Director of the Bulgarian-American Center Madara, Boston, MA
There are no upcoming dates at this time.