Zara Zaharieva was born in Pleven Bulgaria and started studying the violin at the tender age of 3. There was always great music playing in her childhood and youth. From Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Janis Joplin, Yes, Chick Corea, Jamiroquai, Dave Weckl, Sepultura to Pantera, Johann Sebastian Bach and Mendelssohn, Zara was influenced by the greats from an early age. She attended the music school Panayot Pipkov in Pleven where she spent her middle and high school years training in classical music, sky diving and martial arts.
Zara moved to the United States right out of high school, and she won a full scholarship to DePaul University to study with Stefan Hersch at age 19. Later, she continued her education at Northern Illinois University where she studied classical violin and chamber music under Shmuel Ashkenasi. While at N.I.U., she was further exposed to jazz and other styles of music through her classmates and via live shows in Dekalb and Chicago. Zara drew upon her eclectic musical background to develop and showcase her wide-ranging musical talents. She played in all different kinds of groups including jazz combos, chamber groups and orchestras at NIU, thereby solidifying her skills performing in various musical genres.
Zara has shared the stage with Mana, Lowen and Navarro, Nabori, Sharay Reed, Ernie Adams, Orbert Davis Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Eldar Djangirov, Joshua Ramos, Victor Garcia, Darwin Hobbs, Richard Smallwood, Bill Dickens, Hutch Hutchinson and many more. She regularly performs with a great number of Chicago's premiere wedding orchestras and live bands. These include groups such as: Zara Zaharieva Quartet Ft. Anthony Bracco, Joshua Ramos and Anthony Capers, The Cover Girls Violin Show, Grupo Charangero, Father Michael Phleiger's St Sabina Worship Band, Gypsy Influence, and many more.
Zara has made a number of recordings, many of which utilize her own musical arrangements, and include string sections she has put together. She has recorded with Donald Lawrence, Gospel organist and singer Pierre Walker, Eddie Sea, Jack Cassidy's Symbia, St Sabina Worship Team, Mike Cunningham, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (with Orbert Davis), Latin Singing Star Jesus Enriquez, Ruben Agosto and Powerplay, Victor Garcia, Jennifer Peterson and many more. She also put together an all-star string section and arranged the music for famed Chicago organist, Charlie Johnson's wedding.
Zara Zaharieva is constantly pushing her musical envelope as she maintains a rigorous and ever-changing performance schedule and records throughout Chicago and the United States.