Iriao ethno jazz band to represent Georgia at Eurovision 2018

  • The Tbilisi-based band will perform in Lisbon in May. Photo: Iriao band Facebook page., 2 Jan 2018 - 18:39, Tbilisi,Georgia

Ethno jazz band Iriao , known for their fusion of jazz and Georgian folk music elements, will be Georgia’s bid for a win at next spring’s Eurovision Song Contest in Portugal’s capital Lisbon.

The seven-member group that debuted in 2013 will bring their distinctive style of "adorning” Georgian polyphonic singing with jazz elements to the contest in May.

Led by composer and folk jazz pioneer David Malazonia, Iriao released their maiden recording in Poland in 2015.

The band perform in a range of musical events in Georgia, recently taking part in a show celebrating the legacy of celebrated late Georgian composer and conductor Jansug Kakhidze in Tbilisi.

They have also appeared at international events including Borneo Jazz Festival and Open Liepaja Festival.

Malazonia, performing on keyboard, is joined in the roster of the band by Nugzar Kavtaradze on Georgian folk instruments, Levan Abshilava on drums and percussion, and Shalva Gelekva on bass.

Vocals involve George Abashidze, Mikheil Javakhishvili and Bidzina Murgulia.

The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest will run in Lisbon on May 8, 10 and 12.