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Eda Zari, born in 1971, Tirana, Albania,

Raised in a family of musicians, Eda Zari's journey into the world of music commenced at the age of six. Nurtured by the rich cultural heritage of the Lela Dynasty, an esteemed ensemble renowned for traditional Albanian music, known as “Famille Lela de Përmet,” she immersed herself in a vocal style rooted in a thousand-year tradition. In 2005, UNESCO officially recognized this unique vocal tradition, referred to as "Iso-polyphony," declaring it a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity."


Zari began her four-year classical singing studies - Bel Canto (1985-1988) at "Jordan Misja" Music High School in Tirana. Throughout this period, she actively participated in Albanian national radio and television, hosting programs for young audiences. In addition to classical concert recitals, Zari also showcased her talent at festivals organized by the Albanian Radio and Television (RTSH).


After the tragic drama that her family endured in February of 1990 (Eda's older brother, Ilirian Zari - a painter, was unjustly killed at the border by the forces of the communist dictatorial regime while seeking freedom), Eda emigrated to Germany in October 1990, at the age of 18. 


In year 1994 - she began her studies as an opera singer (coloratura soprano) and theatre performer at the Cologne University of Music (Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln) under the guidance of Prof. Natalie Usselmann-Kock, and in 2000, she attained her Master of Voice Performance with distinction. Eda completed her Master of Arts degree, specializing in Opera Singing and Theater Arts, also in Dramaturgy from the theatre class of Prof. Ursula Albrecht.


Due to the diversity of singing and styles covered by Eda Zari (operatic and sacral repertoire, film music, jazz, world music, folkloric repertoire from the Balkan regions as well as the Mediterranean, pop music, and avant-garde), she was sought after for various projects.


In addition to her classical studies and concert commitments, Eda initiates her first jazz trio in collaboration with the German pianist and producer, Mark Joggerst. Together, in year 2000, they founded the music production company “Neon Media Production GmbH” in Cologne, Germany.


Eda Zari, the visionary founder of the "Jazz & Wine International Festival Albania" since 2014, is a multifaceted artist. With roles spanning from music producer and singer to composer, festival curator, project manager, and activist, she has made indelible contributions to the arts. Beyond the festival's success, Eda has organized the acclaimed Hemingway Jazz Fest in Tirana, now in its 10th edition, earning a reputation for excellence. Her collaborative efforts extend internationally, encompassing festivals like "Jazz Festival Prishtina" in Kosovo, "Jazz Festival Tetovo" in North Macedonia, and "Etno Fest."


Recognized as the Official Ambassador of Albanian Culture globally, Eda spearheads initiatives, showcasing artists and festivals on the international stage. Her influence extends to Germany's NRW region, where she plays a pivotal role in fostering cultural exchanges and connections between diverse global cultures.

Through projects like "DIALOGTAGE," Eda facilitates dialogue among Albanian, Kosovar, and North Macedonian cultures, seamlessly integrating into NRW's vibrant cultural landscape. As the founder of Kaba Music label, she has reached renowned artists, theaters, cultural centers, and media outlets.

Her dynamic vision opens doors for remarkable collaboration, capitalizing on NRW's substantial economic potential and a population of 18 million for cross-border initiatives. Eda fosters unity among institutions from NRW, Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia, creating a dynamic ecosystem of artistic and cultural exchange.

Navigating roles as an ambassador, curator, and visionary, Eda's tireless efforts foster understanding among diverse cultures, championing the preservation of nature and heritage. Her commitment to artistic expression, collaboration, and advocacy continues to reshape the cultural landscape, leaving a lasting and positive impact.


Eda's dynamic vision opens doors for remarkable collaboration and cooperation, capitalizing on NRW's population of 18 million and substantial economic potential for cross-border initiatives. Her endeavors facilitate connections across sectors such as tourism, cultural activities, festivals, and workshops. Through her involvement, she fosters unity among institutions from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia, nurturing a dynamic ecosystem of artistic and cultural exchange. 


Not to forget, since 2013, along with Elina Duni (another talented Albanian artist) and Albanian Jazz Musicians, Zari has organized impactful awareness-raising concerts for causes such as "Save the Blue Heart of Europe” - "Vjosa River for the National Park"  and the protection of Valbona River. Their activism has borne fruit, rallying 700 activists and amassing over 7,000 participants in public squares. 


In March 2023, the Vjosa River was declared a national park by the Albanian government. 


Eda Zari's legacy radiates as she adeptly navigates her roles as an ambassador, curator, and visionary. Her tireless efforts foster understanding and appreciation among diverse cultures, while also championing the preservation of nature and heritage. Her initiatives have garnered support from prominent organizations and cultural bodies, establishing her as a significant presence in the global cultural arena. Through unwavering dedication to artistic expression, collaboration, and advocacy, she persistently shapes and influences the cultural landscape on a global scale. 

Career Highlights


Cologne Philharmonic, Germany
World Trade Center, New York, USA 

Blue Note, New York City, USA 

The Palace of Congresses in Tirana, 

Albania The Albanian Opera Hall in Tirana, Albania 

Beethoven Hall in Bonn, Germany
International World Fair Festival "Expo 2000" in Hanover, Germany 

The Düsseldorf Philharmonic Tonhalle in Germany 

The Theatre of Algeria in Algiers
Antic Amphitheatre, Cyprus
Theatro Celso Garcia, São Paulo, Brazil 

SESC Theatro Pinheiros, São Paulo, Brazil 

Bubble, Shanghai, China 

Tel Aviv, Israel 

This is just a glimpse of her extensive stage presence. 


Eda Zari has collaborated with internationally acclaimed musicians, conductors, and artists such as John Cashmorem, Sir Helmut Froschauer, Mike Stern, Al Jarreau, Abdel Rhani Krija Dominic Miller, Ibrahim Maalouf, and many others. 


TV and Radio Collaborations: 

She collaborates with various international TV and radio stations, contributing to a wide range of productions and projects. Additionally, she has been invited to perform as a soloist at national and international music festivals. 

Eda Zari has performed on various esteemed broadcasting networks, such as 

WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln, Swiss TV Broadcasting, MTV Balkan, Deutsche Welle- Cologne, WDR Funkhaus Europa, Radio Multikulti, National TV & Radio RTSH Albania, RTK TV Kosovo, TV 21, and Channel 3 Athens. WDR (West German Radio), RTSh (Albanian National Broadcasting TV & Radio), Arte TV France, FOX TV, TV Klan, TV Algeria, Broadcasting Warszawa - Poland, TV & Radio Chanel Elenica - Greece, TV Broadcasting São Paulo/Brasil, Broadcasting of RTV Cyprus, RTK - TV Kosova, TV21, and Top Channel Albania.


Highlights Festivals:

Triennale Music Festival in Cologne, Germany

Triennale Music Festival in Duisburg, Germany

Music Festival - Festspiele, Dresden, Germany 

Open Air International Rein Kultur Festival, Bonn, Germany  

NRW Music Festival, Bonn (Awarded), Germany 

Le monde Festivals d'Algeri, Algiers, Algeria 

International Music Festival in Ohrid, Macedonia 

WDR Jazz - Zakk, Düsseldorf, Germany 

22nd International Jazz World Pop Festival in Getxo & Bilbao (Awarded) 

Leverkusen Jazz Festival in Leverkusen, Germany 

Open Air International Summer Jazz Pop Festival in Bonn, Germany 

Eda Zari Band Concert Tour USA (New York City, Boston) 

International Music Festival "Traum Zeit" in Duisburg, Germany 

"Supernaturale" Summer Tour, Albania - Belgium 

Balkan Fever Festival, Vienna, Austria 

Balkan Music Night Festival NRW, Germany  

Mediterranean International Festival, São Paulo, Brazil

Estival International Lugano, Switzerland  

Münsterland Festival, Germany  

Jazz Festival at Brass Group in Palermo, Sicily, Italy

Politeama Theatre in Palermo, Italy 

Opera House Tirana, Albania 

Bubble, Shanghai, China


Collaborations and Performances: 

Eda Zari's performances encompass various forms, including quartets, band formations, Big Bands, and collaborations with Broadcasting Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, as well as ethnic bands, world music ensembles, and jazz bands. She has shared the stage and worked alongside internationally renowned musicians, conductors, and artists such as Mike Stern, Al Jarreau, Abdel Rhani Krija (Sting), Dominic Miller (Sting), Ibrahim Maalouf, Hayden Chisholm, Dynasty Lela of Përmet (Albania), Melo Mafali, Florian Weber, Roland Peil, Ramish Shotham, Hans Lüdemann, Gert Kapo, Dejan Terzic, Sebastian Studnitzky, Mark Joggerst, Henning Jung and more. 

Additionally, she collaborates with various international TV and radio networks, such as RTSI TV Switzerland, Radio France, Deutsche Welle- Cologne, WDR Funkhaus Europa, Radio Multikulti, National TV & Radio RTSH Albania, RTK TV Kosovo, TV 21, and Channel 3 Athens. She also tours with her own band, which includes internationally renowned guest artists. 


Eda Zari's exceptional talent has earned her numerous accolades, including: 

Winner of the 22nd European Jazz Contest in Getxo, Bilbao, Spain 

Winner at the NRW Summer Festival in Bonn, Germany 

Honored by the Albanian President, Mr. Mejdani, with the title of "Official Cultural Ambassador of Albania" in Tirana, Albania. 


References and Productions:

Eda Zari's work extends to a variety of projects and events, including TV and radio commercials for industrial purposes. She has lent her voice and talent to various enterprises, including Enterprise Boot (Exhibition) Düsseldorf, Mercedes Benz - Card (LOY Production Cologne), Seat Mambo/Car 2000 (LOY Production Cologne), Eja - Official soundtrack at Expo 2000 Hannover (Neon Media Prod), Seat Cordoba / Car 2001 (LOY Production / Cologne), Maybach / Car 2002 (Kemper Production / Düsseldorf), MontBlanc Parfume 2004 (Oliver Heuss / Gremmy Studios / Cologne), Frutti 2004 (Berry Scot Production / Swiss), and Goodmorning Kosovo 2004 (Adria Film Prod.). Austria), Mango Fashion (Maledin Film Studios / Skopje 2004), L'Oréal (B & S Prod. Swiss (2004), Western Union (Macedonia) (2004). 

Recently, Eda Zari showcased her talents as a co-composer for the musical score of the cinematic film "The Albanian Virgin" (Virgjëresha Shqiptare) and assumed the role of the lead vocalist for its soundtrack. This collaborative German-Belgian-Albanian production has garnered acclaim, securing eight awards from diverse international film festivals.



Eda Zari Discography: 


Art of Time (Laika Records Label, Germany, 1997) 


Lazy Standard (K&K Verlagsanstalt, Germany, 1998)


The Spirit of Jazz (Greenhouse Label Germany, 1999)

Eja - Single (Neon Media Prod. Germany) 2000 


Another World (Greenhouse Label Germany, 2000) 


Statement (Intuition Music - Schott Media GmbH, Germany) 2002

Supernaturale (Labia Label - Kosova) 2004


Vita Brevis (Kaba Music Records) 2005


Toka Incognita - feat. Dominic Miller (Intuition - Schott Verlag GmbH, Germany) 2011 


Entropy feat. Ibrahim Maalouf (Enja Records Germany, 2016) 


Palimpsest (Kaba Music Rec.) Germany, 2022 Double LP - Limited Edition Deluxe

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