Zina Pavlova and Sasha Polinoff
This 1993 Monitor release is a compilation of two previous Monitor recordings: Sing Gypsy! (1967), by Zina Pavlova, and Russian Cabaret (1965), by Sasha Polinoff and the Russian Gypsy Ensemble of Kostya Poliansky. The vocals, sung by Russian-American singer Zina Pavlova, are a selection of traditional and popular Russian songs that tell of joys and sorrows in the lives of the Roma people in Russia. The ten instrumental tracks are Russian folk dance tunes with solos by Sasha Polinoff on the balalaika, a traditional Russian three-stringed instrument with a triangular body. Liner notes include English translations of the lyrics.
*Content Advisory: Many Roma consider the term “Gypsy” an offensive identifier or a racial slur. Some Roma, however, have used “Gypsy” as a self-identifier and continue to do so. Roma have been a marginalized group for centuries, and the term “Gypsy” has been used in violent and racist ways. We encourage the listener to learn more about Roma history and culture, and the continued fight for Roma rights. For more information, please see these resources from the European Roma Rights Centre, the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, and Amnesty International.
- Anna Kate Cannon, 2021–22 Dumbarton Oaks Fellow at SFR, and Dr. Adriana Helbig, professor of Music at the University of Pittsburgh, contributed to the research and writing for this statement.
For our policy on controversial recordings, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.