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"JAZZING UP GEORGIA" ARTICLE - MAY 2007

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"JAZZING UP GEORGIA" ARTICLE - MAY 2007

Postby samantha1170 on Sat May 05, 2007 9:18 am

Hi everyone, here's an article that mentions when JMQ played in Georgia last year...

Jazzing up Georgia

There was a time when if you said James Brown, Ray Charles, or BB King was coming to Tbilisi, people thought it was a silly joke, but fortunately, things have changed.

Some of the people responsible for changing all that are the company Eastern Promotion. Sandro Bitadze, Giorgi Kereselidze, Misha Giorgadze and Kakha Kandelaki have been friends since childhood. They used to be professional water polo players for Dinamo Tbilisi as well as the Soviet Union National Team. But since childhood, they have always been fond of music-especially jazz.

"After nine hours of training a day, we would listen to jazz to unwind," Kandelaki recalls.

Gaioz Kandelaki, Kakha's father, used to be the director of the State Concert Hall and was responsible for organizing special festivals and events. In 1989, he organized the largest International Jazz Festival in the history of Soviet Union. The four friends volunteered to help put on these events, kind of like a hobby. They would meet the famous stars at the airport, lug their baggage for them and do all the other dirty work no one else wanted to do. But Kandelaki says they loved the job, because not many people got to meet the people they rubbed elbows with.

After the Soviet Union collapsed, the four friends returned to Georgia after playing water polo in Germany and they decided to create their own company that would organize music festivals and bring famous stars to their homeland. Their first big break was the late, great Ray Charles.

"Zaza Shengelia, the former director of Public Broadcasting, helped us. He is very fond of jazz. He got word that Ray Charles was going on tour and I really wanted to bring him to Tbilisi. I asked Temur Chkonia [owner of Coca-Cola] for help and he agreed. We also got recommendations from Freddie Hubbard and BB King. We also had to send them government's guarantees verifying there was no longer any war in Georgia and at last Charles agreed to come to Tbilisi," recalls Kandelaki.

Ray Charles' concert was an enormous event in Tbilisi, crowds gathered awaiting him at the airport and Kandelaki says they were very nervous and anxious before they saw Ray Charles descend from the plane.

The concert was sold out at USD 150 a pop. The New York Post mentioned in an article about the concert that in the country where the monthly wage is USD 7-8 people are paying USD 150 for tickets to a Ray Charles concert, but mind you, he did sing 'Georgia on my mind'.

This was Eastern Promotion's first concert and it was a great success.

In 1998, they invited The Manhattan Transfer then the Maceo Parker Band and finally the 'godfather of soul' James Brown came to Tbilisi in 1999.

The James Brown concert was held at Laguna Vere, a large outdoor swimming complex. "It was very tricky to do this concert: there were 38 people on stage and tons of equipment." Brown was pleasantly surprised that so many people had turned out to see him, Kandelaki says he's heard tell of people exchanging family heirlooms to get tickets-testament to Georgia's love of good music.

"The concert was incredibly lively and Brown got so into the music that at one point he threw himself into the pool-the crowd went wild! It was incredible! No one will ever forget that concert-it really went down in history not only for Georgia but apparently for Brown as well as he had never jumped in a pool at his own concert before!"

This concert helped establish a reputation for the company and they were able to attract other great performers as Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Jamiroquai at the 2006 Jazz Festival.

"When world famous stars come to Georgia, it is not only good for the reputation of our company it is very big honour for the country and helps with its popularization around the globe," says Kandelaki.

According to Kandelaki, before the Rose Revolution it was really hard to get people to Georgia.
He said it was a time of unrest and many people were not willing to come. But all that has changed as evidenced at the Jamiroquai concert, when the hall was packed and people were dancing on the chairs.


The company has had their share of strange requests from the stars they've hosted. Giorgadze said James Brown requested a special kind of hair dryer which was practically impossible to find in Tbilisi. But they searched almost every hair salon in Tbilisi and finally they found one and borrowed it. But still fortune in the end was not on their side. When Brown tried to use it, he ended up breaking it.

Manhattan Transfer asked for unused porcelain dishes to eat their food on that was prepared by their own cook. They also wanted two, black, high class limousines for the four members of the group. This was not as hard to find as their other strange request: non-alcoholic beer.

"Manhattan Transfer wanted non-alcoholic beer. You can imagine how difficult that is to find in Georgia. We finally found some at Big Ben-but their were only three bottles in the whole store." Giorgadze remembers.

"Jamiroquai wanted Benson and Hedges cigarettes and M-group had to help us find them. They sent someone all the way to Baku to retrieve the request," said Giorgadze.

Eastern Promotions is planning, in addition to their 11th annual jazz festival in Tbilisi this year, the first jazz festival at the Black Sea.

"For the first time at the end of August we will organize a Black Sea Jazz Festival in Batumi. It will be held at the Gonio fortress which we think will be a great place for a festival. There will not only be jazz musicians but also some DJs that will play jazz, club music, hip hop. The DJs will also perform with our jazz musicians which should make for some exciting shows." Kandelaki says they've invited Fred Wesley, a former band member of James Brown's, as well as others with the project Tribute to James Brown.

"Water polo and jazz have similar properties-they're both an acquired taste. But we fell in love with jazz and this motivates us to keep building a company that not only gives us great pleasure, but brings great pleasure too many, many Georgians at the same time."


Source: http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/1350 ... 1350_3.htm

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Postby Jameerica on Sat May 05, 2007 11:20 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: i wonder how they found those ciggies here LOOL
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Noooooo!

Postby xenoabe on Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:24 pm

Are you telling me they came to Atlanta and I didn't know about ? WTF?
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Postby dargelita on Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:43 pm

lolz.. i used to smoke those... now i think they suck lol
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Postby rocket man on Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:55 pm

xenoabe wrote:
Are you telling me they came to Atlanta and I didn't know about ? WTF?


No, not Atlanta Georgia but Georgia the country that was part of the Soviet Union.
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Postby dargelita on Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:26 pm

ohhhhhhh i thought the US !
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Postby NATALIAAA on Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:49 am

hi everybody,those names and surnames are so close to me ,i'm from gorgia and i live in tbilisi.every year we have great jazz festivals but last year festival was absolutely amazing,(cause it was jamiroquai gig) :D :D and now we are waiting for earth wind and fire,joe cocker ...etc..
last year i couldn't believe that i was standing and wathcing to jay and his band,me and my friends were shocked!!!and most important is that there was after party ...and i was there with my friends...he was so lovely and so funny that hole evening i was watching only at him!!!and than jay told to my friend that he and his few friends were invited to his house in buckingemshire....i'll never forget those days....if you want you can see nice pics on that site www.easternpromotion.com :wink:
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Postby Jameerica on Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:41 pm

ImageImageImageImage
:)
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Postby NATALIAAA on Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:49 pm

here are my friends with jay in hotel!!!and also there is standing mr coca cola president :) and our first lady,she's one of organizator of jazz festivals
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Postby dargelita on Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:10 pm

haha nice pics !!!!!!! 8) 8)


i love that t-shirt from prada 8)
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Postby Jameerica on Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:02 am

Auughh yees...He once made a joke about it...Black humor,you might say
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