IRIAO is an ethno jazz band founded in Tbilisi, Georgia. Its members are professional musicians and singers with experience in various music genres.

IRIAO’s singers – Bidzina Murgulia, George Abashidze and Micheil Javakischvili have been participating in several Georgian choirs and ensembles, including the state choir Rustavi. Bidzina is also leading the Georgian Iberi choir and the Alaverdi band. Micheil and George are masters of Georgian traditional yodelling technique, called Krimanchuli. The band multi-instrumentalist Nugtzar Kavtaradze was once a chello player and orchestra capellmeister, but at some point he decided to swich to folk music and now plays all traditional instruments. The drummer Levan Abshilava and the bass player Shalva Gelekva perform in several rock and jazz bands in Georgia. David Malazonia is the composer and arranger of IRIAO. He has been composing music for acclaimed Georgian theatres, film productions and theatres in Germany.

The name IRIAO comes from the common phrase “IRIAO-uruao” of the famous Georgian yodelling singing style Krimanchuli. IRIAO’s repertoire is built on jazz, traditional Georgian music and unique Georgian polyphony music which has been broadly recognized by UNESCO as a masterpiece of oral immaterial heritage. IRIAO’s goal is not to modernize traditional music, but to saturate and adorn it with jazz elements.

IRIAO’s international debut was in 2013 at the Estonian showcase festival Tallinn Music Week. Since then the band performed at Borneo Jazz (Malaysia), Java Jazz (Indonesia), Alfa Jazz, Odessa Jazz festival, Vinnitsa Jazz festival (Ukraine), Tbilisi jazz (Georgia) and others.

IRIAO’s blend of unexpected vocal techniques, Georgian polyphonic harmonies, traditional lutes adding exotic colour, a funky rhythm section fascinates audience in different countries. This year they represent Georgia at the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon.


For You (song for the Eurovision Song Contest)