MainWeltmusik Festival 2019 | © SuArts e.V. | Foto: Omar Valentin Navarette Sims

Valeriya Shishkova – Vocal
Sascha Skripka – Violin
Oleg Matrosow – vocals, guitar, balalaika

ZARIZA GITARA plays gypsy music from Russia, the country over which the travelling people have been travelling for centuries. Their songs and dances, in which love and sorrow, dance and survival, warming sun and cutting winds lie so close together, move with the gypsies. A Russian singer, Ukrainian violinist and guitarist play with temperament and passion. The sages, which consist exclusively of Russian gypsy songs, seem as old as the journeys of this people and yet as fresh as any new departure.
Zariza Gitara play their songs so expressively and cheerfully, as if they were sitting at the campfire, while the girls dance around the listener wrapped in colorful, waving fabrics.

Zaritsa (Russian: tsarina, queen) is what the gypsies call the most adored beauty of the camp. They love their guitars just as much. Especially the songs of the Russian gypsies express the bittersweet pain and the exuberant joie de vivre of this people like hardly any other music. Music from the depths of the soul!
Rarely is music as sensual, original and pictorial as this music: the songs begin with restraint and silence, only to increase and become faster and faster until the passionate and stirring finale.
Melancholic sadness, deep sorrow and overflowing joie de vivre are so closely interwoven within a single song that even laughter and crying seem only two sides of a human emotion.

Since 2006 the quartet has been presenting the traditional songs in Russian and Roma, incorporating modern playing styles into the arrangements. There is always room for improvisation in this music anyway.

In 2008 the group was nominated for the competition creole – World Music from Central Germany. It has participated in numerous world music festivals (Fest der Kulturen Dresden 2006; Liederflut Grimma 2007; Festival für Folk, Lied und Weltmusik Perleberg 2008; masala Hannover 2009 and others).

The Zariza Guitars both CDs under the title „SOVNAKAJ PE TSCHAR“ (Gold on the Grass) and „Pashe yagorya“ (With the Eyes of Fire) were presented with great success at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden in 2007 and 2010 as part of the international concert series „Music between the Worlds“.


The audience is very enthusiastic. They push each other to draw attention to a particularly spectacular violin cascade, exchange meaningful looks when hits like „Schwarze Augen“ are announced and thank the audience for the pleasure with roaring applause.

This sounds powerful and original, full of pride and attitude – it is not for nothing that „Zaritsa“ means tsarina and in Roma „indomitable beauty“.
The perfectly played instruments sound traditional and transport a special mood. The two singers in oriental-looking robes, attractive to look at anyway, are the centre of the ensemble, their full-sounding, throaty voices fit together perfectly.

Songs full of pride, sensuality, joie de vivre and longing. Every heart, no matter how deep-frozen, thaws.

The songs of ZARIZA GITARA tell of the vastness of the Russian steppe, of the life of the gypsy peoples, of the festivals, of longing, of mourning. „If I had wings…“ Valeriya and Olesja sing with a variety of voices. The music is infectious, tempts to hum along, the body swings to the rhythm of the spirited music.

The eyes were shining, the feet were bobbing: with their friendly manner and rousing joy of playing, the group reached the hearts of the listeners effortlessly.

ZARIZA GITARA managed to capture and enchant their audience with rhythm, melancholy and longing songs.

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