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Introducing Lilly Drumeva
(known also as "Lilly of the West")
Background information:
Birth name: Liliana Hristova Drumeva - O'Reilly
Born: 17 May 1970, Sofia, Bulgaria
Occupation: Singer, songwriter, musician, band leader, record producer, marketing and event manager, radio & TV presenter, country and bluegrass leader and activist
Years active: 1995 to present

Please see also 'press pack' page for biographies in other languages.

 

Biography:
Lilly Drumeva is a Bulgarian singer, songwriter and music producer. She formed Bulgaria's most successful country and bluegrass band "Lilly of the West" in 1996, still active today. The group has performed in many European countries and the US, winning prestigious awards. Lilly has released ten albums and has organized numerous music events, concerts and festivals. She is also a renowned music journalist and radio presenter (BBC, Balkan Bulgarian Television, Retro Radio, Radio Sofia). Lilly is a Fulbright scholar and has studied music in Nashville, TN. She is the author of the book "In The Mood With Lilly - 50 Music Themes", a music encyclopedia in Bulgarian language. Lilly is also a successful music promoter, organizing tours for American and European artists.

Career as American music pioneer and leader
For 20 years Lilly has been involved in American music in Bulgaria and abroad. She is the founder of the first and only country & bluegrass music band "Lilly of the West". She is the source of information, coordinator and expert on this music in Bulgaria. Lilly educates the audience and teaches young musicians to play country & bluegrass. She inspires the fans and spreads audio and video material, books, magazines and other publications on the subject.
Lilly is a member of the European Bluegrass Music Association (EBMA) in Basel, Switzerland, the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in Nashville, TN, a professional member of the Country Music Association (CMA) in Nashville, TN. She is a spokesperson for the Bulgarian singer/songwriter community "Poets with guitars. The "Poets with guitars" movement follows the footsteps of the great American songwriters, such as Bob Dylan, John Denver and others.

Career as an artist & bandleader of "Lilly of the West"
Lilly Drumeva formed the band "Lilly of the West" in 1996 in Sofia. Shortly after releasing a debut album, the band toured successfully throughout Europe and the US, winning European and international awards. "Lilly of the West" has a large repertoire, including country, bluegrass, swing, jazz and folk music. The band has released nine CDs to date; the latter ("Swings & Heartaches") is a retro album, with jazz & swing standards from the 1940s. Lilly has written many songs and has arranged most of the band's material. She is the lead vocalist, guitarist, violinist and mandolinist.

Career as a solo artist
Lilly Drumeva performs also as a solo artist and as a duo with guitarist Yassen Vassilev. She has collaborated with some of the best musicians in Europe and the US: Jessie Brock (US), Marshall Wilborn (US), Al Goll (US), Lubos Malina (CZ), Jakub Racek (CZ), Zsolt Pinter (HU), Roberto Dalla Vecchia (IT), Andy Glandt (GR), Michal Barok (SK), Gerhard Jung (AU), Dorian Ricaux (FR), Chris Schut (NL), Rick Townend (UK) and many others. She has recorded several duets and has featured guest musicians on her albums. Lilly is a versatile singer with a huge repertoire. She feels comfortable in the genres: country, bluegrass, swing, Irish and Bulgarian folk music. On her latest project Lilly experiments with a new sound - acoustic pop. Her tenth album "Strong Machine" features original songs written by Lilly and some gifted Bulgarian Writers: Nikolai Peev, Stamen Yanev, Dessi Sofranova and Grisha Trifonov. The songs are often played on Bulgarian radio.

Career as radio and TV presenter
Lilly's career on radio began in 2001 in London, where she took a position with the BBC World Service. She has worked as a music journalist and reporter for the weekly program "Mega Chas". In 2003 she returned to Bulgaria and started hosting music shows on "Retro Radio" and "Horizont", together with Bulgarian radio legend Toma Sprostranov. In 2007 she took a position as music editor on Radio Sofia, part of the Bulgarian National Radio. She currently hosts a weekly music shows "In the mood with Lilly". Between 2006 and 2011 Lilly has had her own country music show on Balkan Bulgarian Television. The program was broadcasted nationwide, as well as in the neighboring countries. Lilly's shows on radio and TV are educational and entertaining. Every issue presents the story and roots of American music, from traditional to modern. The material for it is provided through Lilly's personal labor and contacts. She receives regularly material from Aristomedia and the Country Music Associations. Guests on the shows are music celebrities as well as diplomats from the US embassy, introducing their valuable music collections. In 2015 Lilly received an award for professional brilliance by the Bulgarian radio journalists' society.

Career as a writer and Fulbright scholar
Since 1999 Lilly has been writing for several music magazines ("Bluegrass Europe", "Country Music International", "Country Music People"). She has written reviews of numerous CDs and concerts attended. She has conducted more than fifty interviews with professionals in the music industry and has written several articles. In 2013 Lilly received a Fulbright scholarship to study country and bluegrass music in the US. She researched authentic American music genres during her stay in Kentucky and Tennessee. Some of her stories have been published in the magazine "Bluegrass Europe". In 2014 Lilly released her first book "In The Mood With Lilly - 50 Music Themes". It is a music encyclopedia in Bulgarian language, focusing on country, bluegrass, swing, blues, rock and roll, jazz, soul, new wave and disco. The book is available in all Bulgarian book stores and received favorable reviews.

Career as a music promoter
Since 1996 Lilly has worked as a booking agent of her band Lilly of the West. She has organized concerts and tours throughout Europe and the United States. In her home country Bulgaria Lilly has hosted and promoted a large number of events: theme shows, anniversaries, special evenings, new release parties, conferences and music gatherings. In 2013 Lilly organized her first country and bluegrass festival in Bulgaria "Country West Fest" in Bankya. Lilly has worked closely with the Culture Department of the US embassy, co-organizing several concerts: The Ebony Hillbillies, The Dust Busters, Steve James, Laurie Lewis and others. In 2015 Lilly worked on the project "Cowboys and Indians - In Song And Verse" - an American show featuring music, poetry and story-telling. Lilly organized a Bulgarian tour for the group including twelve concerts in Sofia, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Burgas, Kurdzhali, Blagoevgrad, Lovech and Bankya. She booked also radio and TV appearances for the show on prime time programs. She publicized and promoted it with great success. Her work received positive feedback and Lilly is currently preparing for a new tour.

Career mission:
Lilly Drumeva's mission is to introduce and promote quality American music to a wide number of people in her Home country Bulgaria and around the world. Her personal efforts and dedication deserve support!


Last updated: 15-Jan-2016 5:03 PM