“Ludmil was one of my best students, and I have to say that I learned as much from him as he did form me! Brilliant, creative, soulful, intellectually probing – Ludmil has it all. The work he’s doing with integrating Bulgarian rhythmic and melodic concepts into today’s jazz, as well as the way that he’s conceptualized Bulgarian music to make it understandable to the jazz player, makes him an important figure in today’s jazz scene. I highly recommend Ludmil in any musical capacity. He’s also a great guy!”
— Brian Lynch, Grammy Award Winning Trumpeter, Professor Of Studio Music and Jazz at Frost School Of Music, University of Miami, Owner Hollistic Music Works (New York/Miami, USA
Regarded as one of the most talented Bulgarian guitarists of his generation, Ludmil Krumov performed with international jazz artists such as: Branford Marsalis, Ralph Peterson Jr., David Berkman, Reggie Washington, Ryan Hanseler, Owen hart Jr., Yaniv Nachum, Michael Varekamp, Hans Mantel, Lucas Van Merwijk, Joris Teepe, Christiaan van Hemert, Zonzo Basily, Teodosii Spasov, Peyo Peev, Antoni Donchev, Dimitar Bodurov, Vladimir Karparov, Borislav Petrov, Dimitar Liolev, to name a few.
As an active participant in the international jazz and world music scene Ludmil toured and performed in clubs and festivals around Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, USA, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey.
In may 2022 Ludmil released his first album as a leader – “Cultural Collision”. Each of the eleven compositions in the album is written in a specific traditional Bulgarian folk dance groove and mode, spiced up with a pinch of Bartok and Stravinsky, interpreted in a more contemporary improvisational jazz manner by a team of excellent jazz and folk musicians including Ludmil Krumov (guitar), Peyo Peev (gadulka), Zhivko Vasilev (kaval), Teodor Petkov (piano), Vasil Hajigrudev (double bass) and Borislav Petrov (drums).
Supported by the “Bulgarian Education And Culture Society – PCHELA Los Angeles” the album was recorded in February 2022 at Doli Media Studio (Sofia/Bulgaria) by Ilian Apostolov, mixed by two-time Grammy-winning audio engineer, multi-platinum and gold record award recipient, and GMA and Junos award recipient Mike Marciano at Systems Two Recording Studio Long Island, New York, and mastered by multiple Grammy-winning audio engineer Dave Darlington at Bass Hit Recording Studio New York.
In 2021 Ludmil released an arrangement of the traditional Bulgarian folk dance tune Krivo Sadovsko Horo (a crooked dance from Sadovo) recorded and made popular in the early 70s by the great Bulgarian clarinetist Petko Radev.
The arrangement of “Krivo Sadovsko in Svishtov” is an attempt to blend together Western European Classical, Jazz and Bulgarian traditional music. The choice of instrumentation which includes jazz big band, rhythm section, traditional Bulgarian folk instruments and chamber orchestra, represents parts of the artistic paths of Petko Radev and Ludmil Krumov. The tune was recorded as an online collaboration by multiple outstanding musicians including Moni Simeonov (USA/BG), Alex Simu (NL/RO), Irma Cort (NL), Yussif Barakat (EC), George Dumitrio (RO/NL), Pavel Scherbakov (RU/NL), Konstantin Iliev (NL/BG), Irina Chirkova (USA/BG), Raya Hadzhieva (BG/NL), Krasimir Kostadinov (BG), Peyo Peev (BG), Zhivko Vasilev (BG), Borislav Petrov (BG), Galin Nenov (BG).
Co-produced by “PCHELA – Los Angeles”, “Krivo Sadovsko In Svishtov” was mixed by “one of the top Progressive Rock recording engineers and mixers” Rich Mouser (The Maouse House Studio, Los Angeles) and mastered by Grammy nominated drummer/multi-instrumentalist and mastering engineer Nate Wood (Kerseboom Mastering, New York).
In 2020 Ludmil recorded the music for Daniela Nyberg’s music and poetry album “The City of Salvation”.
Since 2012 Ludmil works regularly with the dutch conductor Hans Matla taking part in big oratories including 280 piece choir, vocal soloists, classical orchestra and combo, such as Murray Wylie’s “Jerusalem Passion”, “First Born” and Sir Karl Jenkins “The Peacemakers” and “The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace”. These concerts are played in big concert halls and churches such as: De Doelen (Rotterdam), Amare (The Hague), Anton Philip Zaal (The Hague), Zuiderstrand Teater (The Hague), Grotekerk (The Hague), Laurenskerk (Rotterdam) etc. On the “Tribute to Sir Karl Jenkins” concert in Grotekerk Den Haag, Sir Karl Jenkins was present himself and conducted the last piece.
Ludmil began playing piano at the age of six in Svishtov (Bulgaria) where he was born and raised. He grew up in a musician’s family – his father was a saxophonist / trumpeter and provided his son with a music environment from the very beginning of his life. Ludmil began playing guitar when he was 14. He came a long way from playing with pop, blues, rock and dancing entertainment bands, to getting interested in fusion and jazz. In 2001 he was accepted to Berklee College of Music /Boston winning the B.E.S.T. award for original composition. In 2007 he graduated from the Prince Claus Conservatorium / Groningen / the Netherlands. There he studied guitar with Anton Goudsmit, Winfried Bouma, Ron Jackson, Martien Oster, Frank Wingold and Freddie Bryant. In addition to that he had classes and ensembles with the American guest teachers in the school – Conrad Herwig, David Berkman, Brian Lynch, Ralph Peterson, Sam Burtis, Don Braden, Dena De Rose, and Steve Davis. In 2009 Ludmil obtained a Master of music degree from CODARTS Rotterdam, where he studied with Paul Hock, Ronald Schmitz, Ed Verhoeff and Peter Nieuwerf.
Ludmil’s playing style incorporates wide diversity of techniques such as sweep and alternate picking , rich articulation and dynamic phrasing. Technically fluent, he uses the entire neck of the instrument to play lines involving horizontal and vertical melodic approach, wide intervals and modal diversity in a virtuoso way without compromising musicality. His improvisations incorporate the language of bebop, modern jazz and blues spiced up with Bulgarian traditional ornamentation and complex additive rhythms. Based both on Jazz and Bulgarian traditional music and influenced by other genres and traditions such as Indian, Turkish and Classical Western European, his music works are compositionally challenging, featuring improvisations over sophisticated harmonies in additive meters.
Along with performing Ludmil has been teaching guitar technique, general and jazz theory, composition, Bulgarian folk improvisation and additive meters actively since 2000. As a life long learner and researcher of Bulgarian folklore, he developed a way to connect his knowledge of Bulgarian traditional music to jazz and make it more comprehendible to western audiences, music players and enthusiasts.
His teaching credits include private lessons, conservatory classes and clinics at universities, conservatories and music schools worldwide such as: Texas State University (San Marcos, USA), Orange County School of Arts (Orange County, Los Angeles, USA), Los Angeles City College (Los Angeles, USA), CODARTS (Rotterdam, NL), Prins Claus Conservatorium (Groningen, NL), Delft University (Delft, NL), Academy of Music Dance and Fine Arts (Plovdiv, Bulgaria), National School for Folk Arts (Shiroka Laka, BG).
“Ludmil’s talents span a very broad range from performance to composition and from academic research to coaching and mentoring young talent. A gifted multi-instrumentalist and guitar virtuoso, he is a walking encyclopedia of World (and particularly Balkan) music in a jazz and contemporary free/improvised context. The depth of his academic work strikes with presentation clarity and makes compelling reading. As a teacher he has the rare gift to encourage and motivate while setting exceptionally high standards, make complex concepts simple and empower learning by discovery. Down-to-earth and friendly, he is a delight to work with for band mates and artistic collaborators, scholarly peers and aspiring students. Highly recommended!”
— Vladimir Dimitroff, Director, PRISM Consulting (London, United Kingdom) Ltd