Cherven Traktor

Cherven Traktor band

Join us for a fun evening of Balkan dancing with exciting live music!

Admission: $20

* Brief instruction before each dance
* Light snacks available
* Bring your water bottle, dance shoes, [mask]

Facebook event:

* Donka Koleva – vocals
* Nikolay Kolev – gadulka
* Belle Birchfield – tambura
* Michael Ginsburg – tupan
Nikolay Kolev, a native of the Thracian Rose Valley village of Karavelovo, has been playing gadulka since age 10. After graduating from the National School of Folk Arts in Shiroka Lŭka, Bulgaria, he performed for three years with the Sliven Folk Dance and Music Ensemble. In 1984 he founded the orchestra Sopot. In 1985 he formed the wedding-music ensemble Rozova Dolina, and in 1992 the prize-winning ensemble Balkanski Glasove. In 1994 and 1995 the latter group took first prizes at the Varna Festival. Nikolay has accompanied many well-known singers including Vŭlkana Stojanova, Roumen Rodopski, and Todor Kozhuharov. In 1999, Nikolay was the first Bulgarian to be recognized by the Slavic Heritage Council of America for his outstanding contributions to music.
Donka Koleva is a vocalist prized for her rich, clear and melodic voice. A graduate of the Folklore High School in Shiroka Luka, she worked as a soloist with the Sliven Ensemble for three years. She then directed the chorus of the Sopot Ensemble, and soloed with the wedding band Rozova Dolina.
In 1994, Donka started recording with the National Radio and Television in Bulgaria. In 1997, her recording of “Javore” was song of the year. Since she moved to U.S. in 1995, she has taught and performed traditional and arranged songs from Bulgarian Thrace and the Rhodopes at Balkan camps on both coasts. She has taught many workshops and private lessons across the U.S. and Canada to well-known singing groups such as Kitka, Planina, Chubritza, Mila, and others.
Donka graduated from the Musical Folklore High School in Shiroka Luka. She has been a featured soloist on Bulgarian Radio and Television. Since emigrating to the U.S. in 1995, Donka and her husband Nikolay Kolev have played an active role in fostering Bulgarian music across the country. Based in Wisconsin, they teach workshops in their respective fields and perform solo, together, and with their ensemble Cherven Traktor.
Michael Ginsburg and Belle Birchfield are accomplished musicians on traditional instruments, and dance instructors. They run Balkan Cafe offering live music on Wednesday evenings at Hungarian House.