Ilusha Tsinadze
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Ilusha Tsinadze

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
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"Time Out New York, Sept 7, 2012"

Dashing young songman Ilusha Tsinadze hails from the Republic of Georgia and plays pleasingly twangy songs that draw heavily on Georgian traditional music but also sound a little like golden-age country. - Time Out NY


"NJ Folk Project, September 2011"

Already famous in his native county, Georgia, Ilusha Tsinadze merges traditional music from his homeland with a top notch jazz and bluegrass band from New York. "Their debut performance at NYC's prestigious Joe's Pub brought the packed house to its feet with well-deserved applause." - NJ Folk Project


"Beacon Pass CD Release Review, May 2011"

Though still somewhat unknown in the United States, Ilusha Tsinadze is already a celebrity in his home country, the Republic of Georgia. The reason for his fame lies in the way Tsinadze walks the tightrope between Georgian tradition and American influence, in particular the bedrock sounds of jazz and folk — creating something that's both musically intriguing and culturally unprecedented. Born in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, Tsinadze moved to New York at age eight and quickly became enraptured with American music, especially jazz. His debut album, Mother Tongue, features a jazz-based band that serves as a lush backdrop to Tsinadze's Georgian folksong interpretations. Tonight's release party should be a rousing celebration of sounds both strange and familiar, a soulful merging of far-flung cultures that only music can accomplish. -Beacon Pass - Beacon Pass


Discography

Ilusha Tsinadze - Deda Ena ("Mother Tongue")

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Bio

If you walk down the streets of Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, the city where Ilusha Tsinadze was born, you're likely to hear one of his band's recordings blaring from a taxi cab, a youngster's cell phone, or over the old speakers at the bazaar. Step into New York City, where Ilusha lives now, and you can catch one of his sold-out performances at jazz clubs and folk music venues alike, where enthusiastic folkies, jazz-heads, and immigrants gather to hear his take on Georgia's ancient folk traditions. His band's recently released debut album, Deda Ena/Mother Tongue, brings mountain songs and village dances into conversation with the global city, featuring blazing fiddle solos, African and Brazilian percussion, and jazz improvisation.

Ilusha Tsinadze came to the U.S. with his family at the age of eight, and wouldn't return to Georgia until 2005, by which time he had already earned a bachelor's degree in jazz guitar. There, he rediscovered his musical heritage, lost to him for so many years. It became a bridge between cultures and lands, between his family in Georgia and himself.

Ilusha was inspired to share this music with an audience in the U.S. But rather than combing the diverse New York City music scene for Georgian traditional musicians he opted to call on some of his accomplished friends, creative musicians recognized for their talents in jazz, American roots music, and other music traditions from around the world. Deda Ena, or "Mother Tongue", named after the primer that all young Georgians use when they first learn to read and write, is the product of this inspiration. The project features Jean Rohe (guest vocals), Richie Barshay (drums), Chris Tordini (bass), Rob Hecht (violin and bass clarinet), Liam Robinson (accordion), who all bring their unique voices to the music. "I wanted to be true to the music but also true to myself," says Ilusha, referring to his own diverse musical history.

Since the release of the album in May 2011, Ilusha has performed the repertoire on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. His festival and TV performances in Georgia have won him a nation worth of fans. Ilusha hopes his project will further connect him to other members of the Georgian Diaspora through song and wishes to share this beautiful and little-known musical tradition with Americans, through the eyes of an immigrant with one foot in New York City and the other in a little nation on the Black Sea.