Short Biography

Referred by the media as one of the newest and most innovative voices in modern jazz guitar and voted “Rising Star on Guitar” by DownBeat Magazine, Hristo Vitchev’s music has been captivating audiences all across the globe. At age 42, he has already released ten critically-acclaimed albums as a leader, four releases as a co-leader and more than 190 books and studies on modern jazz guitar concepts.

Originally from Bulgaria, but now based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the impressionistic guitarist combines elements of classical, modern jazz, folk, and avant-garde sonic hues in his music. He has performed at some of the most prestigious jazz clubs and festivals in the world, and continues to amaze both critics and audiences alike with his imaginative, lyrical and illustrious writing.

Vitchev’s sophisticated and adventurous work is imbued with shimmering harmonies and lyrical improvisations.


Vitchev’s multihued compositions are like impressionistic sound paintings.


Hristo Vitchev may be one of the best kept secrets in jazz today. He is the epitome of sonic gold.


Bulgaria-born, Bay Area-based guitarist Hristo Vitchev, having firmly established himself as a gentle giant in the contemporary jazz scene, seems always willing and able to reinvent himself while holding true to the integrity of his artistry.


Vitchev is a master of the creative musical statement and every phrase and line that he plays reeks of innovation. His notes are slender and he casts them in melodies that arch and curve like wonderful and timeless architecture. His lines lope and gambol in dramatic parabolas as they shape the songs he makes so memorable.


My favorite guitar/piano team since – and heretically, including Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays. The symmetry and synergy of these four is remarkable and almost-telepathic. The musicianship and artistry, with a heart full of love, has brought forth an album that speaks from the soul to the soul and we are made better by the hearing from a soul such as Hristo Vitchev.

Travis Rogers (The Jazz Owl)

Full Biography

Referred by the media as one of the newest and most innovative voices in modern jazz guitar and voted “Rising Star on Guitar” by DownBeat Magazine, Hristo Vitchev’s music has been captivating audiences all across the globe. At age 42, he has already released ten critically-acclaimed albums as a leader, four releases as a co-leader and more than 190 books and studies on modern jazz guitar concepts.

Originally from Bulgaria, but now based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the impressionistic guitarist combines elements of classical, modern jazz, folk, and avant-garde sonic hues in his music. He has performed at some of the most prestigious jazz clubs and festivals in the world, and continues to amaze both critics and audiences alike with his imaginative, lyrical and illustrious writing.

Vitchev’s sophisticated and adventurous work is imbued with shimmering harmonies and lyrical improvisations.


Vitchev’s multihued compositions are like impressionistic sound paintings.


Bulgaria-born, Bay Area-based guitarist Hristo Vitchev, having firmly established himself as a gentle giant in the contemporary jazz scene, seems always willing and able to reinvent himself while holding true to the integrity of his artistry.


You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers.

Improvijazzation Nation Magazine

This is an album of beauty and inspiration and one that will last in solid popularity for a very long time.

Grady Harp

Hristo Vitchev may be one of the best kept secrets in jazz today. He is the epitome of sonic gold.

Digital Jazz News

Hristo Vitchev plays as the cultural end result of his life experiences. Simply put, Vitchev plays more so from the heart than he does the head.

Critical Jazz

Hristo is now looked upon as one today’s finest jazz guitarists around the world. He’s a creative artist with a strong passion and endless originality. His music has magic powers since he can bring listeners’ emotions to a far deeper place that few people ever reach.

Andrea Nardini (The Noodle Chronicle – Shanghai, China)

Song for Messambria

As jazz critic Edward Blanco describes: Vitchev is the newest guitarist to enter the national jazz scene and does so with a stunner of a recording in Song for Messambria, one of the finest debut albums I’ve had the pleasure of appraising this year. He is a gifted composer and master guitarist whose stylish approach to the music makes him a hidden wonder of the jazz world.

The record presents a unique blend of ECM-style modern jazz, classical, and Brazilian tone textures, and showcases the completely unique and masterful interpretation of the jazz idiom by each one of its members.

As jazz critic Brent Black describes: This 2009 debut from Vitchev is a breath of fresh air. Transcending musical genres into a lyrical painting as full of motion and beauty as the cover art. A deep rich sonic tapestry held together with a unique harmonic and chordal approach that brings together bits and pieces of cultural texture and flavor into one brilliant mosaic. Vitchev proves less is indeed more with clean and precise runs and a remarkable melodic sense of direction. From a compositional standpoint alone, this release is a sonic exploratory of cultural richness.

The Secrets of an Angel

In late 2009, Hristo Vitchev released his second studio album featuring Latin Grammy-nominated pianist Weber Iago. The Secrets of an Angel (First Orbit Sounds Music) is an impressionistic landscape painted by the delightful and graceful conversation between the two instruments (guitar/piano).

The Secrets of an Angel is a stunning work of jazz impressionism that is a myriad of musical textures coming together as one. There is a wonderful use of lyrical focus and clarity, notes are not wasted but instead caressed.

Digital Jazz News

It is easy to become addicted to the unique sound of the combination of Hristo Vitchev, guitar, and Weber Iago, piano. It seems impossible to achieve the range of color, the spectrum of sound, and the unity of message these two amazing artists bring to each recording they make.

Grady Harp (

As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: On the heels of his impressive debut recording, Song for Messambria, guitarist Hristo Vitchev returns along with pianist Weber Iago for a wonderful guitar/piano duet recording – The Secrets of an Angel. While the gentle title track shimmers like a glistening iceberg on a cold sea, the delightful two-part “The Last Pirate” is a highlight – brilliantly showcasing the exciting romantic bend inherent in Vitchev’s music, while the nostalgic lullaby “Leka Nosht (Good Night)” recalls a faraway youth and rounds out this fine release.

The Perperikon Suite

In 2010 Hristo Vitchev wrote a large scale jazz work (The Perperikon Suite) especially to be premiered at the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival. This 7 movements jazz suite is inspired by the ancient Thracian city of Perperikon (located on the territory of Bulgaria and dating back to 5000 years B.C.) and combines orchestral, classical, jazz, and fusion elements depicting the history and mystery of this enchanting place. The release of this record (February 2011) marks Hristo Vitchev’s third studio album and one of his most sophisticated and adventurous works up to date. For the recording of this project the Hristo Vitchev Quartet is joined by virtuoso vibraphonist and multi-instrumentalist Christian Tamburr.

A richly textured album full of strong melodic and rhythmic ideas and with some superb playing throughout.

The Jazz Mann (England)

As jazz critic Bruce Lindsay describes: The music, performed by a terrific quintet, is beautiful; it captures images not of a city in ruins but of a city full of life, of vibrant activity. The Perperikon Suite is an impressive creation. Each individual tune is beautifully crafted, but so, too, is the Suite as a whole. Vitchev’s response to the ancient city is remarkable in both its conception and its performance.

As jazz critic Brent Black describes: There is an incredible warmth to Vitchev’s playing, a fluidity of movement and direction held firmly in place by a stellar quintet that provides ample support for the lyrical imagery created on this release. Aside from the superior sound which almost smacks of a live in the studio recording, there is a true working band feel that Vitchev has been able to obtain. Vitchev displays an unparalleled versatility moving from the flash of “The Acropolis” to the more introspective “The Southern City” allowing for a wonderfully paced recording. The drumming of Joe DeRose creates a special dynamic tension on the tune “The Great Hall.” A release that ends far too soon. Wonderfully crafted, well paced and a sonic tapestry that stands up as well as any release for this past year.

As jazz critic Michael Bailey describes: Many time motifs are used throughout this suite. Tick-tock ascending and descending figures pass as a thread through cloth, to hold this musical garment (a coat of many colors) together. Vitchev achieves this effect with no apparent effort or change in guitar tone or approach. Merely by affecting the time signatures, Vitchev makes his magic. The Perperikon Suite is soft-spoken and brainy music that exists out of the ordinary.

As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: Shimmering harmonies resonate throughout these modern jazz marvels, and the soloists work their way around and through this accessible and exciting music with equal measures of taste, technique and spirit. Vitchev’s pieces are peppered with signpost sonorities and ideas that often reappear throughout a given song, creating a sense of continuity and thematic steadiness that develops around individual soloists. While this group ably establishes its own aural identity, which threads its way through the whole album, each movement of the suite has different strengths and a unique sonic footprint. Brought to life as a tale of two cities, The Perperikon Suite ultimately occupies its own wondrous world within the confines of its jazz borders.

As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: The new songs are the strongest Vitchev has written yet, and the addition of Tamburr serves to take the music to an even higher level. Vitchev, meanwhile, continues to impress the listener with his addictive blend of jazz with touches of classical, Brazilian and Eastern European influences in both his playing and songwriting. In lieu of visiting the legendary site yourself, listeners are urged to take a musical journey to the ancient location as seen through the senses of Hristo Vitchev and shared with you through his highly satisfying musical presentation.


In 2012 Hristo embarked on yet another musical chapter of his life. Heartmony is the long awaited and highly anticipated follow up to the first duet recording by the guitarist and pianist Weber Iago (The Secrets of an Angel). As the title of the record will suggest, Heartmony explores a truly intimate, honest, and emotional conversation between the two instruments. The music, which transports you from impressionistic landscapes to folkloric tales and from melancholic memories to meditative trances, is simply the purest harmonious sounds Vitchev has put on tape up to date. Straight from the heart, healing energy that will embrace you long after you listen to it.

An absolutely wonderful recording.


If ever there were a marriage between classical music and jazz then this Heartmony is it. Hristo Vitchev and Weber Iago have created a very special experience.

Grady Harp (

Both on and off the bandstand, Vitchev is an artist who wears his emotions on his sleeve. His new “Heartmony,” a duo session with his frequent collaborator, Brazilian pianist Weber Iago, provides a master class in the way a chord or harmonic progression can evoke a flood of sensations.

Andrew Gilbert (San Jose Mercury News)

Guitarist Hristo Vitchev and longtime collaborator, pianist Weber Iago, have created a work of sublime musicality with Heartmony. Exquisitely lyrical, although a bit too sweet, this opus brings together multiple musical influences into a coherent and cohesive, multilayered narrative, the momentum of which does not slack from the first few notes to the very last. Vitchev and Iago interweave long musical threads into a shimmering soundscape of serene beauty.

Hrayr Attarian (All About Jazz)

Heartmony is an intelligent musical statement and gentle follow up to his previous works, a relaxing soulful musical experience sure to touch a piece of your heart.

Edward Blanco (E-JAZZ NEWS)

Vitchev and Iago reveal the intimacy of their musical vision through the hand-in-glove simpatico they share. Vitchev’s gentle guitar tone melds with Iago’s light, percussive playing, making one golden tone.

Michael Bailey (All About Jazz)

As jazz critic Brent Black describes: Heartmony is a sonic mosaic pieced together from heartfelt feelings and emotions carried through time and communicated in an incredibly heartwarming and emotional presentation that exemplifies the zen concept of less is more perhaps as well as any recording of the last decade. The musical sound of one hand clapping. Vitchev and Weber’s music transcends the more traditional jazz idiom in much the same fashion that their recorded work here is that of a more cohesive unified voice with subtle shadings, lyrical swells and the textured nuances that creates music that is to be experienced. An incredibly beautiful artistic statement of personal experience.

Guitarist Hristo Vitchev and pianist Weber Iago sounds like a perfect match in a musical heaven, if such things exist. What I’m saying here is that this is a duet album that sounds perfect, music made from the heart and soul. There’s warmth, there’s care, and there’s a human quality to this that no machine can replicate, and it is that Heartmony that makes this a powerful album worth listening to repeatedly.

John Books

As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: The eleven originals are all musical offerings from the heart and soul, but this isn’t a one-dimensional recital. Some songs are full of life and positive energy, while others have a sense of regret and nostalgia sewn into their being, but they’re all painted in sharp, vivid colors, thanks to the skills of both artistic practitioners at play.

This set of guitar-piano duets is quietly emotional, always intriguing and quite original. Vitchev’s clear toned guitar blends in perfectly with Iago’s powerful piano and the two musicians often seem to think as one. Heartmony is quite thought provoking and well worthy of many close listens. Highly recommended.

Scott Yanow

Both Vitchev and Weber play as extensions of each other, individually and collectively guiding each piece with increasing but subtle complexity. They skillfully suppress and build momentum within rich, shadowy twists of their main theme. These are compositions in which improvisation is as prevalent as the profound musical and harmonic insights.

Karl Ackermann (All About Jazz)

Vitchev and Iago play together with the assurance born of long and fruitful collaboration. They know each other well, and it shows in the skillful way they complement each other. They take a beautiful melody and run with it. They wring every bit of emotion out of it. There are passages in a composition like Memories in Black and White, nocturnal moments in The Last Leaves which Fell in Fall, that sound like they could have been written by a nineteenth century Polish Romantic. Then there are moments in the same songs where there are glints of French Impressionists.

Jack Goodstein (

Familiar Fields

In January 2013, Hristo Vitchev released “Familiar Fields” – his 5th record as a leader. The music presented in this session clearly displays the multidimensional tonal evolution of the band and each one of its individual members. The addition of drummer extraordinaire Mike Shannon to the quartet establishes a portal to new sonic landscapes and emotions to be explored in this collection of 9 original pieces by the guitarist. The music, which takes the listener through the realms of impressionistic, classical, jazz, experimental, and new age, always retains the unique sonic footprint that has brought critical acclaim to the quartet all over the world.

“Vitchev paints a vivid pastoral landscape with epic sweep, often recalling the big-sky sound of Pat Metheny. Obviously, these musicians are more than comfortable with one another, as one delicate solo seamlessly segues into another.


Once again Vitchev has produced an immaculately crafted, often supremely beautiful album.

The Jazz Mann (England)

If Pat Metheny and Larry Carlton are considered the kings of impressionistic jazz guitar, then certainly Hristo Vitchev is a crown prince and ready to lead a palace coup. In fact, “Familiar Fields” easily stands equal to even their greatest albums. Part of the reason for that has to be credited to Hristo’s choice of musicians in the quartet. The musical affinity and effortless grace shines forth on this album like few recordings I have ever heard. They share a single heart and mind that bursts forth in illumination on every track. There is no weak moment or weak player on this album.

Travis Rogers (JazzTimes)

Over the past few years, Bulgarian-born, Bay Area-based guitarist and composer Hristo Vitchev has consistently crafted music of great lyrical beauty. With his self-named quartet or quintet, or in duet with pianist and frequent collaborator Weber Iago, Vitchev has advanced a sound that manages to sound intimate and epic at the same time. He does so again on Familiar Fields (First Orbit Sounds), his latest recording with his quartet, which welcomes new member Mike Shannon on drums. As he has on previous recordings, Vitchev makes use of classical imagery and narratives in song titles such as “The Prophet’s Daughter,” “The Mask of Agamemnon” and “Wounded by a Poisoned Arrow,” the last of which is our selection. Vitchev’s instrumental voice bears echoes of the tonal warmth and big-sky sweep of Pat Metheny, as he and Iago, his beyond-simpatico musical compatriot, switch off on leads, riding the rolling hillocks of rhythm provided by Shannon and acoustic bassist Dan Robbins. Shannon proves an exceptional addition to the group, responding to and driving his companions in equal measure.


As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: Bulgaria-born and San Francisco-based Vitchev has established himself as a modern day troubadour. His enchanting and fantastical tunes have the feel of medieval ballads abundantly peppered with futuristic sounds. His sixth release, Familiar Fields, presents nine impressionistic originals that showcase his maturing compositional skills as well as the superlative, improvisational talents of his working quartet. With each album Vitchev’s oeuvre ripens and becomes more sophisticated without losing its delightfully spirited edge. Familiar Fields not only stands on its own merit as sublime music but also whets the appetite for what is yet to come.

Familiar Fields is a highly intelligent, thought-provoking Impressionistic escapade.

Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)

This release is a clear statement from an artist comfortable with who he is and where he is going. There are no absolute truths in music but instead there are shades of gray which Vitchev and his quartet fill in with the precision of a surgeon and the soul of a true artist. Never caught up in the academics of his works, Vitchev instead conducts a sonic exploration with the end result being a release that gives up something new with each subsequent spin. An ebb and flow unmatched, or perhaps unlike Vitchev, an ebb and flow that other artists simply can not match. As close to perfect as it gets!

Brent Black (

The Hristo Vitchev Quartet, ladies and gentlemen, is in peak form. They have no competition: no other music in the jazz idiom is quite as satisfying.

Grady Harp (

The musical bond between guitarist Hristo Vitchev and pianist Weber Iago is as strong as that of Chick Corea and Gary Burton, with proof being their two sublime duet recordings, The Secrets of an Angel and Heartmony, as well as three small group sessions under Vitchev’s name. For the Familiar Fields quartet date with regular bassist Dan Robbins and new drummer Mike Shannon, Vitchev chose nine gems to play from his vault of more than 270 original compositions. As usual, as one listens to Vitchev’s music, the words lyrical, impressionistic, spiritual, and passionate come to mind, and also Vitchev’s term “heartmony,” which he defines as the simultaneous combination of feelings and emotions, especially when produced by experiences, memories, and stimulations pleasing to the heart, body, and soul.

Scott Albin (JazzTimes)

The emotional essence of any Hristo Vitchev recording can be seen before it’s heard via the distinctive oil paintings the guitarist creates for his CD jackets. Vitchev’s artwork for Familiar Fields is impressionistic, haunting and autumnal, the same qualities that characterize his latest collection of tunes. The foursome’s interplay is highly intricate, resulting in emotive tunes that wax and wane in intensity. Whether you call it post-bop or post-fusion, Vitchev’s brand of jazz is passionate and ethereal. He has developed into a formidable guitarist and intelligent composer, and since he’s only 32 years old, his best work may be yet to come.

Ed Kopp (Jazziz)

Within Vitchev’s tone and technique, it’s not difficult to hear the influences of Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny and Lee Ritenour. He is adept at the full range of extended techniques but is most often described – justifiably – as an impressionist.

Karl Ackermann (All About Jazz)

Of the many attributes that Bulgarian (San Francisco based) guitarist Hristo Vitchev possesses – refined technical abilities, warm tonality, and expressive soulfulness – his gift to convey beautiful stories through intricate composition is always at the heart of his appeal.

Mark F. Turner


In October 2013, Hristo Vitchev released his 6th album as a leader. “Rhodopa” is a beautifully crafted sonic pairing of the extremely emotional and lyrical Bulgarian folklore and the multidimensional and deeply textured world of modern jazz harmony. On his new music journey, the guitarist is joined by virtuoso Bulgarian clarinetist Liubomir Krastev. As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: Hristo Vitchev and Liubomir Krastev cover everything from the mystical to the mournful and the grim to the gleeful on this absorbing duo date.

Hristo Vitchev takes improvisational music to a third dimension of texture you can feel. Rhodopa is my selection for album of the year for 2013. Critically acclaimed guitar virtuoso Hristo Vitchev started the year with the release of the highly regarded Familiar Fields. With Rhodopa, Vitchev has now assumed his rightful place as a global virtuoso of unrivaled talent and ability. As artistically gifted as he is technically proficient, Hristo Vitchev moves to the head of the pack with this stellar outing.

Brent Black (

Hristo boldly departs from the group setting and gives the audience even more of what they crave – soulful arrangements and virtuosity with heart. There is a beauty and an elegance that comes through on each and every one of Hristo Vitchev’s recordings. The music he composes, the arrangements he crafts, the musicians that he assembles together and the dignity and reverence of his musicianship speak of the heart of the man and his love of life.

Travis Rogers (JazzTimes)

As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: The warm, poetic tunes are like fairy tales in verse. They are imbued with nostalgia, and shimmer with a variety of muted colors and sentiments. Krastev’s softly undulating tones waver against Vitchev’s vibrating strings in a spiritual celebration of abstract beauty. This thematically unified work is a genre bending, elegant and satisfying opus and a new high for Vitchev who continues to excel himself on each fresh release.

Modern jazz guitarist, pianist and composer Hristo Vitchev always refreshes the ear and the soul with his inordinately sensitive, mesmerizing, and beautiful approach to music. He is unique – and artist who explores every avenue of approach to both folk music and jazz and the result is an experience that simply no one else can match.

Grady Harp (

With Rhodopa, guitarist/composer Hristo Vitchev and clarinetist Liubomir Krastev meld musical minds, dive exuberantly into an array of earthy Bulgarian folk material and come up with four hands of beauty. The result is a panoply of aural color, emotion, and technical artistry.

Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)

As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: Rhodopa is an instrumental serenade of Bulgarian folklore music interpreted by a world-class guitarist and clarinetist. Hristo Vitchev and Liubomir Krastev deliver an enchanting and relaxing escape from reality with a fifty-three minute encounter of soul-reaching music.

You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers.  With Liubomir’s reeds, they form a cultural jazz experience that can’t be compared with anything else!

Dick Metcalf (Improvijazzation Nation Magazine)

In Search of Wonders

In January 2016, Hristo Vitchev released “In Search of Wonders.” The highly anticipated double album by the impressionistic Hristo Vitchev Quartet marks the 7th release as a leader for the internationally acclaimed guitarist. The new compositions and sonic textures explored here, catalog the evolution of this award winning group over the last decade, and present a sound and style that is completely unique and truly identifiable with the quartet. For the recording of this project the group decided to first take the music on the road all around the world, and let each piece evolve night after night, letting it settle naturally and effortlessly into its final shape and place, which you can now experience on this marvelous release.

Beautiful. Complex. Aerial. Solid. Listening to guitarist Hristo Vitchev is like waiting for blessings, and watch them as they come rushing in to the soul, making it brighter.

Esther Berlanga-Ryan (Jazz Journalist)

Vitchev and Singh (Iago) seem to be telepathically linked, their phrasing and tones completely compatible, as heard on the album’s title track, our selection. Where one mind leaves off and the other begins is difficult to ascertain, as they eloquently converse, trading solos and comps, while Robbins and Shannon beautifully anchor and fluidly propel the proceedings.


As jazz critic Grady Harp ( describes: For those who have discovered the compositions and artistry of Bulgarian American Hristo Vitchev, congratulations! This new recording is a gift to you. For those who have yet to experience the manner in which this gifted guitarist and composer brings a new vitality and globally significant response to jazz, this is as fine an aperitif as any of his six CDs. The sound we hear here is a mysterious mixture of classical line, jazz technique in approach, new age, and experimental/spiritual – blended in a manner that is immediately recognizable as the sound of Hristo Vitchev – Impressionism.

In Search of Wonders is more than one-hundred minutes of diverse, accessible and engaging music. As he has long been, Vitchev is beyond proficient in his array of techniques while remaining an overall impressionist; both being characteristics he shares with Singh. At their improvisational best, Vitchev and Singh are like two streams of thought at a confluence; each bringing their own charisma and exquisite style to a place that enhances both players and conveysÑas the title suggestsÑa sense of wonder to the listener.

Karl Ackermann (All About Jazz)

Original world-tinged modern jazz delivered in the same creatively unique style this guitarist, is known for. Intellectual, soul-searching, harmonically-rich and thoroughly enchanting.

Edward Blanco (All About Jazz)

Vitchev is a prolific and talented composer with a rare gift for melody, a quality that he shares with the great Pat Metheny. Vitchev’s writing is melodic, intricate and sophisticated with each piece telling a story, this is music with a strong narrative arc and an almost cinematic quality.

Ian Mann (

Vitchev plays in a very lyrical and somewhat ambient style reminiscent of Pat Metheny and Steve Khan, with the elegance of Joe Pass.

Music Connection Magazine

As jazz critic Scott Albin describes: This two-CD set is perhaps Vitchev’s finest recording to date, featuring as it does 12 more lyrically resplendent tunes by the prolific composer, played by a group whose cohesiveness, commitment, and artistry continues to grow and flourish. The centerpiece remains the rapport between Vitchev and Iago, rivaling that of such pairings as Jim Hall and Bill Evans, Julian Lage and Fred Hersch, and Gary Burton and Chick Corea.

Vitchev has become one of the truly great contemporary jazz guitarists. There is such rare elegance and subtlety in his playing. He has established a graceful, exquisite style that’s essentially unique. And this album is, indeed, filled with wonders.

Paul Freeman (

Few guitarists have carried the torch of Pat Metheny so humbly as Hristo Vitchev, and never with such brightness of purpose as on his latest quartet album, In Search Of Wonders. The Bay Area-based musician and producer has since 2009 put out a consistent, top-flight catalog of records, ranging from explorations of his Bulgarian roots to straight-ahead jazz road trips, but always by original design. With Wonders, he has at last tackled that most risky of studio ventures: the double album. The result is not only a magnum opus, but his most emotional work so far.


Of Light and Shadows

In January 2018, Hristo Vitchev released “Of Light and Shadows.” The music presented in this chapter of Hristo’s musical story catalogues and showcases the artistic evolution and synergy that the internationally acclaimed quartet
has developed with countless touring, recording, and performances over the last decade. This offering is the most adventurous and exploratory work that the guitarist has recorded so far and the session is followed up with a second chapter which would be released in May of 2018 that features the group in a completely free jazz improvisational territory (the second part is titled “Behind the Shadows” and will also be available through First Orbit Sounds Music).

The Hristo Vitchev Quartet is truly setting the scene for cutting edge jazz on a global scale. Pick up this current snapshot of their visionary music and you will not be disappointed.

Eric Harabadian (Jazz Journalist)

Once again, graceful lyricism, harmonic depth, and diverse rhythms are combined to luminous effect. As for Vitchev’s nine well-conceived tunes on this recording, his quartet arguably saves the best for last with the closing “Partial Darkness,” what with its intense rhythmic fluctuations, acute group interaction, and a jaw-dropping, relentlessly sustained solo by the leader.

Scott Albin (

As jazz critic George W. Harris ( describes: Guitarist Hristo Vitchev continues to create an impressive and wide ranging catalogue with this latest album. He’s with his regular quartet of Jasnam Daya Singh/p, Dan Robbins/b and Mike Shannon/dr and they work together like the Houston Astro’s infield; perfectly in sync, letting nothing get by.

The extraordinary Bay Area guitarist Hristo Vitchev and his superb quartet return with another outstanding album. Vitchev’s imaginative, elegant and fluid guitar work stands out. But he allows ample space for his fellow musicians, particularly Brazilian pianist Jasnam Daya Singh, to shine on such enchanting compositions as “Of Light and Shadows,” “Prismic Dance” and “A Portrait of Love Forgotten.” Bassist Dan Robbins and drummer Mike Shannon are impressive, as well. This tight-knit, inventive combo deserves to be at the top of the jazz world.

Paul Freeman (

This gifted guitarist and composer brings a new vitality and globally significant response to jazz. The most exploratory and creative work to date from the Hristo Vitchev Quartet and a major underline for the importance of Hristo Vitchev’s meteoric rise.

Grady Harp (

Performances and Other Projects

On top of leading his own quartet, quintet, and duo projects, as well as the modern jazz group SEVA, Hristo Vitchev also co-writes and plays guitar with Joe De Rose and Amici – an energetic jazz/fusion formation led by drummer Joe De Rose.

Hristo Vitchev has been featured as a special guest on many jazz radio stations/programs all around the world.

Past performances include: SFJAZZ, 53rd (2010) and 61st (2018) MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL (Monterey, CA), BLUE NOTE (Taipei, Taiwan), 2018 TAICHUNG JAZZ FESTIVAL (Taichung, Taiwan), BODY & SOUL (Tokyo, Japan), MOTION BLUE (Yokohama, Japan), Star Eyes Jazz Club (Nagoya, Japan), Mister Kelly’s Jazz Club (Osaka, Japan), 2016 DJD International Music Festival (Baoding, China), 11th JARASUM INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL (Gapyeong, South Korea), 2015/2016 HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL (Hong Kong), 2015/2016 BEISHAN INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL (Zhuhai, China), JZ Club (Shanghai, China), T-Union Jazz Club (Guangzhou, China), Yoshi’s Jazz Club (Oakland, CA), 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLO JAZZ FESTIVAL (San Luis Obispo, CA), Once In A Blue Moon Jazz Club (Seoul, South Korea), All That Jazz (Seoul, South Korea), B Flat Jazz Club (Tokyo, Japan), Kei Jazz Club (Tokyo, Japan), Kobe Modern Jazz Club (Kobe, Japan), Jazz Club Analog (Hamamatsu, Japan), Into The Blue Jazz Club (Machida City, Japan), Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (Half Moon Bay, CA), Catalina Jazz Club (Hollywood, CA), Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz, CA), Anthology (San Diego, CA), The Jazz Corner (Hilton Head Island, SC), Alvas Showroom (San Pedro, CA), Heidi’s Jazz Club (Cocoa Beach, FL), The Jazz Station (Eugene, OR), Egan’s Ballard Jam House (Seattle, WA), Timucua White House (Orlando, FL), Ivories Jazz Club (Portland, OR), 2009/2010/2012/2013 San Jose Jazz Festival, 2010/2012 JAZZ ON MAIN Concert Series (Redwood City, CA), SOhO Jazz Club (Santa Barbara, CA), Piedmont Piano Concert Series (Oakland, CA), The Back Room (San Diego, CA), Okazaki Jazz Festival (Okazaki, Japan), Unamas Jazz Club (Mitaka, Japan), Watts Jazz Club (Mikkabi, Japan), Mam’selle Jazz Cafe (Fukuroi, Japan), Rooster Northside Jazz Club (Ogikubo, Japan), Far Out Jazz Club (Yokohama, Japan), Relaxin Jazz Club (Sendai, Japan), Alberta Alberta Jazz Cafe (Hachinohe, Japan), The Flint Center (Cupertino, CA), The Herbst Theater (San Francisco, CA), The Hillside Club (Berkeley, CA), The River Rock Casino (Vancouver, Canada), The Wilshire Theater (Beverly Hills, CA), The Hard Rock Casino (Miami, FL), The Harris Theater (Chicago, IL) The Montgomery Theater (San Jose, CA), The Little Fox Theater (Redwood City, CA), City Lights Theater (San Jose, CA), The Modesto State Theater (Modesto, CA), The Theater on San Pedro Square (San Jose, CA), Hedley Club (San Jose, CA), V. Sattui Winery (Napa, CA), and Santana Row (San Jose, CA) to name a few.