"...the women of Zhena sing like angels"
- John Henken of the Los AngelesTimes
"Zhena was my favorite and I especially appreciated the explanation into the folklore and stories of the old world. It added so much to each piece."
- Music Director for St Mary's Star of the Sea
"The singers of Zhena Folk Chorus were dressed in colorful native costumes of Croatia and Bulgaria: bright embroidery over flowing white dresses, distinctive headdresses, some starched to impressive heights. They sang music from Bosnia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Dalmatia and Herzegovina, music that traditionally was sung by groups of women (zhena means wife or woman in several Slavic languages). They are songs celebrating love and dreaming, history and even chicken-plucking.
The close harmonies of the voices reflect the traditions and talents of groups of women who spend their lives together singing for recreation. The ganga style, for instance, involves complex dissonance, while other songs were richly melodic. This was folk music presented with enthusiasm and with rich vocal detail and it received enthusiastic support from the audience."
- John Farrell, Reviewer for Long Beach Press-Telegram
"Zhena spotlights the classic Rhodope style with its pentatonic melodies, stunning octave leaps and unearthly glissando effects. The mostly a cappella performances are every bit as stirring as the straight-from-Bulgaria releases I remember, which is no surprise, since Zhena has serenaded the King-in-Exile of Bulgaria and other visiting dignitaries. In addition to Bulgarian songs, the group also performs folk songs from other Balkan nations, plus Russia, Turkey and the Ukraine."
- Bob Tarte, World Music Reviewer for Technobeat Magazine
"I recently attended a performance by Zhena Folk Chorus at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center. The singers wore authentic, elaborate ethnic costumes, very detailed and beautiful. The music and costumes are an authentic mix of Slavic cultures such as Russian, Croatian, Polish, Czech, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Ukrainian.
They sing a cappella a variety of themes and tempi in wonderfully blended voices. The soloists are all excellent.
Each song is a traditional village story, prefaced by a brief introduction by their director.
I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and heartily recommend them to you as colorful entertainment. "
- Edee Craig, Editor of Orange County Mensa’s newsletter Oracle
"You must be so proud of your library concert last Sunday - have never heard you all sing with such beauty and clarity.
- Ann, a fan in response to our San Pedro Library Concert in May 2016
"This group is fantastic!! Such a treat to have this level of singers at a small venue. It was sold out- so get tickets early the next time they play anywhere. The harmonies are so RICH! You do not need to understand the lyrics to feel this music in your heart"
"We (the Oceanside Music Festival) invited Zhena to perform for us. We were delighted with their performance. The ladies have incredible voices and stage presence. They immediately established a rapport with the audience, and kept them enthralled. They explained the history and cultural relevance of their songs, so the audience understood and enjoyed the humor or poignancy of the story, even though they could not understand the language.
We would highly recommend Zhena for any event and/or grant opportunities. They are a treasure that needs to be supported and celebrated."
- M. Eliane Weidauer, OMFest, Chair Oceanside Cultural Arts Board Member
"If you are a fan of Eastern European ethnic music -- this is a group you should know about. The Zhena Chorus is eight women who take this music very seriously. They sing a variety of authentic Bulgarian, Georgian, Romanian, Polish, and Anatolian songs a capella in lovingly preserved authentic regional costumes. They truly love this stuff and communicate their warm enthusiasm to the audience. The gist of each song is explained in English before being sung, so you can sit back and enjoy the exotic harmonies and musicality".
- Cindy Skale