Ivo Papazov (or Papasov; 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 the violinist Georgi Yanev, saxophonist Yuri Yunakov and accordionists Neshko Neshev, Ivan Milev and Peter Ralchev. Together with Emilia they are known as Mames 2001. An orchestra that had great success in the TV show Познай кой е под масатаn (Guess who is under the table). According to Garth Cartwright, he was "the first Balkan Gypsy musician to win a wide international following with his two Joe Boyd-produced albums for Hannibal Records in the early 1990s." Papazov and his Wedding Band have toured the United States several times. In 2005 Papazov won the Audience Award from the BBC's Radio3 World Music Awards. Ivo Papazov is a Bulgarian Gypsy and his original name is Ibrahim (Turkish name). Papazov has stated: "I am one of the few light skinned people in my family but I know I am Romani." As a result of the extensive programme of forced nationalisation of ethnic minority groups during Bulgaria's communist rule, Papazov changed his first name to Ivo (adapted from Ibo, short for Ibrahim). He speaks Turkish and comes from Kardzhali, a city close to Bulgaria’s Turkish and Greek borders. He grew up in a musical family and followed the Balkan Gypsy tradition of leaving school at a young age to focus on playing music for a living.
Links To Peel
Peel discovered Papazov's music through Hannibal Records, whose founder Joe Boyd had produced many of Peel's favourites from the 1960s and '70's including Fairport Convention, the Incredible String Band, Sandy Denny, Pink Floyd, Richard Thompson and Nick Drake and had continued to work with artists Peel was interested in, such as 10,000 Maniacs.. (Boyd visited Peel Acres after Peel's death in order to compile a Record Box of his own choices from Peel's collection, as part of The Space project).
Peel would continue including Papazov's music into the early 90's in his playlists, but seemed to have lost interest in the artist's music by the mid-90's. Papazov was not the only Bulgarian artist Peel featured on his show, as he had previously played traditional Bulgarian folk music sung in choral style on the Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares albums, which became popular with his listeners in the late 1980's and made the indie charts after being issued on 4AD Records. On his 16 August 1991 (BFBS) show, Peel mentioned visiting Bulgaria and not playing any records he received from there, due to many of them sounding soft rock or heavy metal, instead he played a Bulgarian track from Papazov, which was not brought from that country.
- 24 October 1989 (Radio Bremen): Byala Staia (album - Orpheus Ascending) Hannibal
- 26 October 1989: 'Mamo Marie Mamo (LP-Orpheus Ascending)' (Hannibal)
- 28 October 1989 (BFBS) (Peel 121 (BFBS)): 'Mamo Marie Mamo (LP-Orpheus Ascending)' (Hannibal)
- 04 August 1991: Hristianova Kopanitsa (album - Balkanology) Hannibal
- 10 August 1991: Song For Baba Nedelya (album - Balkanology) Hannibal
- 16 August 1991 (BFBS): Hristianova Kopanitsa (LP - Balkanology) Hannibal
- 31 August 1991: Kasapsko Horo (album - Balkanology) Hannibal
- 14 September 1991: Song For Baba Nedelya (LP - Balkanology) Hannibal