ZDRAVETS is a Boston-based ensemble which has been performing traditional music from Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia since 1989. This village music is the wild ancestor of the music that modern composers have tamed and adapted for large choral ensembles.
Bulgarian music is characterized by highly resonant, close harmonies and energetic asymmetric rhythms. The vocal styles are free, full, and thrilling, while the instrumental music makes your feet itch to dance. ZDRAVETS brings you the whole gamut – instrumental music, unaccompanied voices, and the full ensemble combining instruments with voices.
ZDRAVETS’s instrumentalists usually play the old-style Bulgarian village instruments – kaval (end-blown flute), gadulka (bowed lute), tambura (mandolin-like instrument), tapan (large double-headed drum), tarabuka (hourglass shaped drum), and gaida (goatskin bagpipe); occasionally they play newer folk instruments (clarinet, violin, saxophone) as well.
About the group’s name: zdravets is a wild mountain geranium (Geranium Macrorrhizum) whose aromatic leaves stay fresh and green all winter. Zdravets is beloved by Bulgarians, to whom it symbolizes all that is healthy and longlasting.
The currently active members of ZDRAVETS are Chaya Bromberg, Dean Brown, Dick Forsyth (in spirit), Martha Forsyth, Ralph Iverson, David Skidmore, Dana Sussman, Patrick Yacono, and Janet Yeracaris.