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Ivo Papasov

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Ivo Papazov (Bulgarian: Иво Папазов) (born 16 February 1952 in Kardzhali), nicknamed Ibryama (Ибряма), is a Bulgarian clarinetist. He leads the Ivo Papazov Wedding Band in performances of jazz-infused Stambolovo music, and is one of the premier creators of the genre known as “wedding band” music in Bulgaria, along with saxophonist Yuri Yunakov and accordionist Neshko Neshev.

He was only nine years old when he first got involved with music. At first he learned the accordion, but in linve with his family of tradition he moved on to the clarinet. His great grandfathers were zurna players, but his grandfather became the first clarinet player in Thrace. His father and his musician collegaues were so impressed by the mastery and skills which Ivo showed as the taught himself the clarinet that they sent him to a children’s music school to study with the clarinetist Peter Filipov.

But his real school turned out to be the multitude of weddings where Ivo went with his father, and where he learned to master the instrument and develop his virtuoso technique. For a short time Ivo Papasov became the uncrowned King of wedding music. Because of his origins and his popularity among the Turkish population in Bulgaria, in 1982 he was arrested, beaten and held in custody. He was sentenced to work in a labour camp.

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