Having performed together since the age of seven, The Jolly String Quartet has developed a musical synergy that is rich, expressive and rare. They are classically-trained, vibrant musicians who incorporate vocals, mandolin, guitar, and piano into their performances, creating a colorful repertoire that extends beyond classical to pop, jazz, folk, gospel, and newgrass. This combination of skillful musicianship and diversity of styles produces a musical experience that is certain to delight any audience.
Extraordinary skill and synergy are evident when one first encounters these young musicians onstage, but there is also an unseen, uncommon bond shared by these Russian-born siblings that extends far beyond their beautiful music. It is their beautiful story.
A poignant adoption story is the tie that binds them both on and off the stage and compels them to share their music. It is the inspiring story of God’s incredible love, His divinely orchestrated plan for giving hope to the hopeless, redeeming the abandoned, and creating beauty from ashes.
Each exceptionally talented member of this musical ensemble began life in the direst of circumstances, endowed with a future that would be bleak at best. Life in a Russian orphanage is a poor substitute for family, offering little love, opportunity, or hope. Each of these precious souls was abandoned, discarded, forsaken — but not forgotten.
A glorious God intervened.
Through adoption, each life was redeemed — twice. First into a loving family, and then into the family of a loving God. Their story itself is a beautiful ensemble, resplendent with the beauty of redemption and re-creation. Is it any surprise that such a story would give way to song?
Family and Musical Background
The Jolly String Quartet is comprised of the four oldest children of Jeff and Elaine Jolly of Mount Juliet, Tennessee. They are Viktor, Gorsha, Yara, and Kristina. All four children were adopted from Russia, and the three older children just happen to be the same age. Viktor and Gorsha, who are biological brothers, came home in 2001. The girls joined the family is ten years old. He came home from Russia in 2010. In 2014, the Jolly family grew by two more. Joseph, who is eighteen, and eight-year-old Theo came home from China to be Jolly sons and brothers.
Viktor, Gorsha, Yara, and Kristina were introduced to music at an early age. All four began their musical studies at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. A few years later, they had the privilege of furthering their studies with members of the highly-acclaimed Annie Moses Band. For three years (2012-2015), the quartet also made the long trek between Nashville and Cincinnati (Whew!) to study at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. In addition to their other studies, they have had the opportunity to learn ropes of improvisation with country fiddler and jazz master Billy Contreras.
The Jolly String Quartet has received numerous awards for their musical accomplishments, both individually and as a quartet, and has performed for a wide variety of audiences. They have been privileged to grace the stages of the Opry House, Ryman Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, Cannery Ballroom, and The Country Music Hall of Fame. The family often makes public appearances to tell their adoption story, raise awareness of the plight of orphans in the world, and encourage others to consider adoption.