Jazz revival in Tbilisi - Young Georgian jazzmen bring great tunes to the city
15 December, 2016
When the city sleeps or some of us prefer to stay home and warm ourselves up with a hot cup of tea, young jazzmen light a real fire on the stage of Movement Theatre, hidden in Mushtaidi Park, Tbilisi. Every week ordinary school boys Giorgi Kapanadze and Luka Topuria play their role in bringing modern jazz culture and great music to the city together with famous Rezo Kiknadze’s band, that counts many incredible musicians such as Misha Japaridze, Lasha Sakvarelidze and others.
Once you listen to this lively and heavenly music performed by these gifted people, you will ultimately fall in love with jazz and the magical atmosphere created in Georgia’s modern cultural hub.

Young jazzmen Giorgi Kapanadze and Luka Topuria

Georgian Journal talked with young jazzmen and Rezo Kiknadze himself, an acclaimed musician, composer and principal of The Tbilisi State Conservatoire, to uncover the story of fledgling musicians.

Giorgi Kapanadze, 15 years old, plays drums
“I have been playing drums 5 years up to now. I got interested in music since early childhood. When I learned to talk I told my father that I wanted to take up doli (Georgian type of drum) or Georgian dancing classes. First I used to play doli in Erisioni ensemble and then I shifted to drums, I was 10 years old back then. I performed together with famous Georgian pianist Beka Gochiashvili at Jam Session in Tbilisi Event Hall in 2012. Since then I have become captivated by jazz. There I got acquainted with acclaimed jazzman Rezo Kiknadze and then through drummer Irakli Choladze, who was my tutor, I started practicing with Rezo. Then we started delivering concerts time by time. Since then we have been performing together.

I always loved music, but I seriously started listening to and playing jazz when I was 13. Thanks to Rezo Kiknadze, I became familiar with jazz and realized that I liked this type of music very much. The first jazz piece I played was Herbie Hancock - Cantaloupe Island. Before I started performing at Movement Theatre in January 2015, I have been performing at various clubs as well.

To me music is everything. In the first place I am a musician and then a drummer. Now I am learning how to play on bass and I extremely enjoy it. I draw my inspiration from many things and I cannot single out one musician who could be my role model. As for my future plans, I dream to go to the United States of America and study at Berklee College of Music.

Those who want to learn how to play jazz, firstly they must listen to it and get used to this music. And, of course, they must practice a lot. For instance, now I am so passionate about playing on bass guitar that I can spend whole day practicing it”, - Giorgi Kapanadze said.

Luka Topuria, 17 years old, plays piano

“Music has been part of my life since I was 6 years old. Originally I played classical music and at the age of 12 I shifted to jazz. I was used to jazz since my early childhood, because thanks to my family I was constantly surrounded by this music. Subsequently, I always loved jazz. When I finished my classical music classes, I made a decision to connect my life to jazz and my family approved my decision too. I have joined Rezo Kiknadze’s band since September. I got in touch with Rezo Kiknadze, who is the principal at Tbilisi State Conservatoire through my teacher Zura Ramishvili, the head of Jazz Faculty.

To me Jazz is associated with freedom. As for my future plans, I’m going to enroll at Tbilisi State Conservatoire when I graduate from school and if everything goes well, then I hope to continue my studies in the USA. Although, I listen to various musical genres be it rock, pop, rap and classic, yet jazz is my favorite and that is why I want to advance myself  in this kind of music.

I call on everyone to come on jazz evenings every Tuesday and Thursday. It should be noted that on Tuesdays we have Jam Session, that means that other musicians are more than welcome to come and perform with us” – Luka Topuria noted.

Rezo Kiknadze, musician, saxophonist, principal of The Tbilisi State Conservatoire

“Luka is taking lessons from Zura Ramishvili, who is the tutor of Beka Gochiashvili and Papuna Sharikadze(young successful Georgian musicians) so we have considerable doubt that Luka will take same route. The one who is lucky enough to be in Zura’s class and who performs with our band has serious perspective. Same can be said about little Giorgi Kapanadze, who grew up in Rustavi and who has performed together with many outstanding musicians. This little boy suddenly appeared in the peak of jazz music, since we never had such jazz drummer ,gifted with such a rare talent, so he is a real discovery for us”, - Rezo Kiknadze elaborated.

Author: Lika Chigladze
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