Winner of the 2008 Canadian Smooth Jazz Award for Best Pianist, this accomplished Bulgarian pianist is definitely hitting his stride.
Born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, Kristian grew up in a family of musicians and was surrounded by music from a very early age. He was exposed to a variety of world music styles: Bulgarian folk, Classical, Afro-Cuban and Contemporary Jazz. At six years of age, he was accepted into the prestigious L. Pipkov School of Music where he completed twelve years of intense training as a pianist and percussionist. Kristian’s natural ability, extensive training and passion for performance enabled him to tour across much of Europe by the age of nineteen.
Kristian moved to Canada in 1995 and is now based in Vancouver where he has firmly entrenched himself in the Canadian music scene - as an active composer, performer, producer, musical director & clinician. Onstage Kristian has worked alongside some tremendous Canadian and International artists, including: Randy Brecker, kd Lang, Eric Marienthal, Kenny G, Allen Vizzutti, Alain Caron, Bob Mintzer, Jackie & Kim Richardson, Wycliffe Gordon, The Canadian Tenors, Tommy Banks and All Star Brass. Kristian is also a long-standing musical director for Jens Lindemann’s “BrassFire”, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Youth Singers of Calgary & R&B/Soul recording artist Shannon Gaye.
Recent career highlights include performances at the Eliat Chamber Music Festival (Eliat, Israel), Sochi Music Festival (Sochi, Russia), Bulgarian Embassy (Washington DC and New York, NY), Vibrato’s Jazz (Los Angeles, CA), International Trumpet Guild (Grand Rapids, MI), Brassfire at Benaroya Hall (Seattle, WA), All Star Brass (Banff Centre, AB) and the Order of Canada Big Band at Koerner Hall (Toronto, ON).
On the studio front, Kristian has been a part of two juno-nominated CD's: playing percussion and piano on "Sweet Canadiana" recorded by the Order of Canada Soloists (2017) and playing Hammond B3 and percussion on “Legacy Live” (2016) recorded by Jens Lindemann and Tommy Banks. He’s also been touring in support of his latest studio collaboration “Little Wonder” with Acoustic Soul recording artist Shannon Gaye, a CD project he co-wrote and co-produced. Kristian’s current CD release “Akoustika" is a firm nod to his Jazz roots. “Akoustika" features original contemporary jazz compositions recorded old-school, live off the floor in an acoustic trio format. The simplicity of the recording was inspired by the audio imagery of the old Blue Note albums - piano on the left, bass in the middle, and drums on the right. Kristian collaborated once again with Shannon Gaye on her 2017 Christmas CD "Songs of Joy & Peace".