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Culture at the Crossroads - Firewalkers & the Sun

  Friday , Aug 21, 2009         8:00 PM        $8 single, $15 for two. Children free.

Event Details

nestinari1_200Culture at the Crossroads presents music from SF Bay Area artists exploring the boundaries of their music and cultural traditions. This event, first of a continuing series of concerts, presents the overlapping cultural traditions of the artists of Nestinari & the Helios band as they play Bulgarian and Greek music from the same stage.  Ethnic food for dinner by Hristos and dancing. Nestinari has been together since 1998.  The name comes from the Bulgarian word nestinare, which means firewalkers. The ensemble performs for family gatherings and festivals organized by the local Bulgarian American community.  The Helios band was formed in 2007 by Ivan Kabaivanov and Lefteri Tsakle. The Helios band (Helios translates to Sun) plays traditional Rembetika, Laika, Nissiotika, Demotika and modern Greek music.

Advance tickets at


helios_rumyanacrop_120Rumyana Chimeva. was born in the town of Blagoevgrad Bulgaria, where at the age of 9, she started taking singing classes. In 2004, Rumyana graduated from the Academy of Music and Dance Arts in the city of Plovdiv with a Bachelor’s Degree in “Instrumental Art” and “Pedagogy of Musical Education”. During her school years she performed with the ensemble “Trakia”. Singing with various groups after graduating, she enriched her repertoire and became familiar with other Balkan styles, including Greek, and Serbian. In 2005, she relocated to the United States and has been a lead vocalist for Nestinari and Helios since 2007


helios_nick2crop_120Nick Trigonis is a native of the Greek Island of Mytilini. From an early age Nick was introduced to Greek songs and singing by his grandfather who was an outstanding singer. He developed his natural born talent for singing by studying one of the great Greek vocalists, Stelios Kazantzides. In the United States, Nick performed for five years with George Mylordos and the Kymata band before joining the Helios band in 2008 as the lead male vocalist and Bouzouki player.



helios_ivan_120Ivan Kabaivanov was born in Bulgaria and started to play the Kaval (flute) at the age of 12. He graduated from music school specializing in folk art musical performance. Ivan is well versed in Greek music having played with the Kymata band from 1999 until 2006. Along with playing Kaval, Ivan also plays keyboards.



helios_lefteri_120Lefteri Tsakle is a native San Franciscan of Greek heritage. He began studying classical violin at the age of 8. After graduating from college, Lefteri began to play Greek folk music with the Helenic Folk ensemble and then joined the Merakledes band in 1967 where he played violin and bouzouki until 1975. A twenty year hiatus followed during which Lefteri pursued graduate school and a career in teaching. In 1996, Lefteri re-entered the music scene by joining the HelenNicks band. Since then Lefteri has played with several bay area bands, including the Kymata band.


helios_milen_120Milen Varimezov was born in the town of Silistra, Bulgaria. At age the of 9, he started playing the gaida (bagpipe).After earning a diploma from the Kotel Musical school where he specialized in piano and keyboard, he continued his education at the Academy of Music and Dance Arts in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and graduated in 2004 with Bachelor’s degree in Music Instrumental Arts. During his years as a student in Plovdiv, he had the opportunity to expand his musical knowledge and expertise by playing with various bands, performing a variety of styles from the Balkans--Greek, Macedonian and Serbian. Milen played in a number of tours and concerts throughout Europe with the Ensemble “Trakia” prior to coming to the United States in 2005.


helios_george_120George Kabaivanov (Ivan's brother) was also born in Bulgaria and started to play the Gaida at an early age. George is well versed in Balkan folk having performed many years with numerous Balkan ensembles. In addition to playing the Gaida, George also plays the dumbek.




helios_ted_120Ted Andricopoulosis a bay area native of Greek descent. He is an accomplished guitarist as well as a bouzouki player. Ted has been featured in Guitar Player magazine and has performed with numerous rock bands prior to joining the Helios band in 2009.


nestinari_nick2crop_120Nikolay Kisiov plays tambura and bass. He’s been playing Pop and Bulgarian Folk Music since early age. During the late 90’s he was the bass player  for ensemble “Kitna Trakia” in Haskovo , Bulgaria, where he met Ivan Kabaivanov. In 1998 Nikolay and Ivan came to California and together with Marcus and George they formed Nestinary band.   



nestinari_marcus_120Marcus  Moskoff was born in the small farm town of Avenal, California.  he traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, as a guest of the Bulgarian government to study folk instrumental music and dance with the Pioneer Dance Ensemble. He later studied with the National Folk Choreography School in Plovdiv, while enhancing his musicianship by playing for village weddings with Kaval master Stoyan Dimoff. He began performing with the State Youth Ensemble in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the Yambol Folklore Ensemble in Bulgarian Thrace. He is a gadulka graduate of the State conservatory in Plovdiv. Marcus has taught at major workshops and festival-institutes in many cities across the United States and has choreographed and composed suites of dance and music for several folk ensembles. Among Marcus's publications is Orchestral Melodies for Gajda, Gadulka, Kaval, and Tambura. Marcus has produced several fine recordings of Bulgarian dance music. Marcus is featured on a music CD called The Magic Horse by Paul Machlis. Marcus now resides in California with his wife Anastasia and daughter Elitsa.


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