Dimitar Liolev is a second generation professional musician. He is the son of Kostadin
Liolev - an accordeonist, classical clarinetist, composer and arranger of Bulgarian folk music.
Dimitar began studying music at age of five, and saxophone – at age sixteen.
He is a graduate of both the Secondary Music School and the Academy of Music in Plovdiv, with piano and fagotto as his majors. His first professional experience followed over a ten year period of working as a musician in pubs, restaurants and wedding celebretaions, performing Bulgarian, Serbian, Turkish and Greek folk music, together with popular music and jazz.
2000: Dimitar became a member of the young folk-fusion band “Brainstorm”. The band performed at numerous jazz clubs, festivals, TV and radio shows across Bulgaria.
2002: accepted at the Prins Claus Conservatory in Groningen, the Netherlands.
There he graduated from the “New York Comes To Groningen” program, under the expertise of such American and Dutch jazz educators, as: Ralph Peterson, Don Braden, David Berkman, Conrad Herwig, Brian Lynch, DenaDeRose, Joris Teepe, Miguel Martinez, Yuri Honing.
2004:reached the finals of the concours “Dutch Jazz Competition”, where he presented his first group“Rakia” on the stage of the prestigeous North Sea Jazz Festival.
2005: won second prize at the “Leidse jazz award” and was nominated for the 'outstanding young
performer award': “Harten Aas jazz award”.
2006: established himself in Bulgaria and began a busy recording and performing career with some of the most recognized Bulgarian and world artists – Dianne Reeves,Don Braden,Ralph Peterson,Conrad Herwig,JorisTeepe,Theodossi Spassov, Angel Zaberski Jr., Anthony Donchev,
Hristo Yotsov, Stoyan Yankoulov, Hilda Kazasyan, Lili Ivanova and many more.
Started a number of projects under his leadership – a quartet, a quintet and a septet.
2008: Taught at the Academy of Music in Plovdiv.
Currently, he is a member of the renown National Radio Big Band, the Brass Association Big Band and sat as a musical director of July Jazz Festival for a few years.
2014: Recorded and released his albums “The Other Side”and “Rhodopology”,2017”Eastern Shadows”.
Points the following Bulgarian artists as major musical influences:
Kostadin Liolev, Theodosii Spassov, Ivo Papasov, Ivan Milev, Miltcho Leviev, Anthony Donchev,
as well as the American legends: Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt, John Coltrane, Michael Brecker, Kenny Garrett, Chris Potter, Miguel Zenon,erbie, David Binney, David Berkman, Herbie Hancock among others.