Chamber-music band "Optimisti" was founded in 1983 by two brothers Janis Smilskalns and Martins Smilskalns (the violin + alto), incorporating into it a group of students from the Latvian Academy of Musical Education.  

In the 90ies, the band toured, giving concerts, through all Latvia. Their first rehearsal place was based at the House of Art People, later it was at the Kekava Town Culture Club, and now it is Riga Latvian Society House. 

In 1987, "Optimisti" went on their first tour abroad in the former state of Yugoslavia, giving concerts in Horvatia, Bosnia and Serbia. It was followed by a tour in Bulgaria in 1988 and a tour in Finland in 1989, together with Egils Silins (Bass) who, at that time, launched his career and who now is a soloist with Vienna Opera House and a multiple laureate of international music competitions as well as a frequent guest-artist at the world’s top opera houses. 

"Optimisti" have given several concerts in St Petersburg (Russia), Sweden, Switzerland and Germany. 

They have made several recordings with the national television of Latvia, including TV musical release "Optimistic Retro" in 1986.  

Currently, the group’s activities are being managed by Janis Smilskalns (April 10, 1960). He has graduated from the Latvian Academy of Musical Education, Prof. B. Tiltins’ Alto Class, and, since 1981, he has been working with the symphony orchestra of Latvian National Opera. As a student, he participated in one of the honourous musical competitions of the former USSR and has been a successful participant of musical competitions in Latvia. 

Chamber-music band "Optimisti"The group plays 3 violins, the alto, cello, contrabass, piano, flute and clarinet. In few cases, a programme of dance music is accompanied by the percussion instruments. 

In the beginning of the band’s career, they often collaborated with the internationally acknowledged ball-room dance partners (A.Bremane and A.Dekmeijers). 

The band has worked together with well-known Latvian singers and opera soloists, such as Aivars Krancmanis, Valda Dzene, Indra Jenca, Ugis Roze, Ingus Petersons, Dace Volfarte, Ieva Kepe, Karmena Radovska.

The concert posters for the band have been created by artists Aija Zarina, Artis Rutks, Dace Liela.