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Playlist: Georgian Top Musicians

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Georgian music and dance are well admired for their historic depth and diversity. The lively and distinctive traditional music is one of Christianity’s first polyphonic traditions. Current musical trends in Georgia draw from a wide range of sources, including European harmonic languages, Middle Eastern monophony, and indigenous polyphony. Throughout the world, Georgian artists are renowned for their monumental performances on stage.  Here is a selection of the top Georgian songs currently available on Spotify.


Mariami – Isev

Inspired by the power of music to change lives, Mariami combines urban soul, contemporary R&B, and Indo-European melody to create music that does just that. Her songs always seem to have something to say, her voice can cure you, and her energy is contagious. Mariami graduated from Emerson College and Gates, and her 2015 album, is full of smooth, personal songs that deftly combine organic and electronic instrumentation.


Mgzavrebi – Vazi

Since its inception in 2006 by Gigi Dedalamazishvili, Mgzavrebi has come a long way from its humble beginnings of only three musicians. The band’s membership has grown to 15 people throughout the course of these years. There are currently seven people in the band. In 2008, the band published their first album, titled “Me Movigone” (which translates to “I made it up”), and quickly went on to win several awards in competitions both in Georgia and outside. Mgzavrebi has made a name for themselves with their own brand of emotional, improvised Georgian folk/rock.


Jansug Kakhidze – Mukhambazi

Jansug Ivanes dze Kakhidze was a famous Georgian musician, composer, performer, and conductor. He was sometimes referred to as “the Georgian Karajan.” Kakhidze led the Georgian State Symphony Orchestra for 20 years, commencing in 1973. Vakhtang Kakhidze, the renowned composer and conductor, is his son. The highlights of Kakhidze’s career were his many conducting performances throughout Europe and Australia. Critical acclaim for his 1990 performance of Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust with the Orchestre de Paris propelled him to greater international success in countries like the United States, where he guest conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra.


Nini Badurashvili – Menatreba

Nini Badurashvili, Stephane Mgebrishvili,  Tako Gachechiladze, and Kristine Imedadze make up the Georgian pop trio Stephane & 3G. In order to represent Georgia in the Eurovision Song Contest, Stephane & 3G competed in the regional finals on February 18, 2009, and they won. Therefore, the group should have performed “We Don’t Wanna Put In” in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, Russia, to represent Georgia. Georgia announced their decision to withdraw from Eurovision 2009 on March 11, 2009, claiming that Russia had exerted pressure on the EBU to request that they modify the lyrics. Nini Badurashvili’s first solo album was released in 2006 to rave reviews from critics and fans.


Niaz Diasamidze – Meskhuri

Niaz Diasamidze is a well-known Georgian musician, singer, composer, calligrapher, and actor who is also credited as a founding member of the band 33a. Established in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1994, 33a plays traditional folk rock. Their sound is a fusion of Georgian and French folk with pop and reggae. Most of their performances are in Georgian and French. The band’s name, “33a,” is an anagram of the location at which Niaz Diasamidze, the group’s creator, resides: 33a Paliashvili Street.


Utsnobi – Samartali

Utsnobi, whose actual name is Gia Gachechiladze, is a popular alternative musician, activist, and celebrity in his home Georgia. The lyrics of his songs often address important societal issues.


Megi Gogitidze – Ertad Viarot

When it comes to the landscape of contemporary music, Megi Gogitidze defies categorization. A singer and composer who pioneered her own sound, which is a spectacular fusion of current production values with traditional Georgian melody and passionate poetry lyrics. Remarkably, Megi is able to seamlessly blend folk, rock, jazz, and dream pop into her music. In this day of musical carbon copying, her uniqueness as an artist stands out as a refreshing novelty. She has an alluring voice, performance energy, tenacity, and a certain lack of fear that makes you want to crank up the volume on your feelings.


Basiani Ensemble – Gandagana

Basiani, a Georgian folk music ensemble, was founded at the Georgian Patriarchate in the year 2000. In 2013, it was designated as a State Ensemble. Since its inception, Basiani has worked tirelessly to spread Georgia’s traditional polyphony to a wider audience. The group has taken concert tours across the country, resurrected long-lost recordings of Georgian folk songs and church hymns, presented at prestigious international festivals and conferences, and performed at some of the most prestigious venues in the world.


The Shin–Black Sea Firedance

In 2002, Mamuka Ghaganidze (vocals, percussion), Zurab Gagnidze (bass, vocals), and Zaza Miminoshvili (guitars, panduri) formed The Shin. Georgian fusion jazz group The Shin was founded in Germany in 1998. Georgian traditional songs with jazz, well-known local polyphonic singing with scat, tunes from the nearby Orient, and flamenco with a contemporary Western sound are all seamlessly blended into The Shin’s music.


Kolkheti – Popurri

Kolkheti Ensemble performances and recordings have helped to keep the music and dance traditions of Soviet Georgia alive and well. Shavtvala Gogona’s trio has been drawing crowds since 1987 when they took first place at a folk event in Austria. The group not only performs music from their culture’s past, but also exhibits their expertise in traditional dances including the courageous tiptoe dances of the men, the virtuosic warrior dances, and the elegant dances of the ladies.


Final Thoughts

The Georgian music scene is certainly unique, and it reflects the heritage and long history of the nation. For more curated playlists featuring Georgian hits, both traditional and modern, make sure to follow Gia Janashvili on Spotify.

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