The Kennedy Center

Ilusha Tsinadze


Singer and guitarist Ilusha Tsinadze was born in Soviet-era Georgia and emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 8. His second album, Yes & No, is a musical conversation between the contemporary sounds of Brooklyn and the traditional music his family left behind in Georgia.

Ilusha has become recognized for his distinct interpretations of Georgia folk music following his first album, Deda Ena (Mother Tongue), the wildly successful single, Mokhevis Kalo Tinao, and tours across the U.S., including a 2018 performance at Carnegie Hall. With a background in jazz and many years spent playing in the NYC music scene, he has found his own voice in the rich musical traditions of his ancestors.

In making his latest album, Ilusha collaborated with Grammy award-winning arranger and producer Kyle Sanna, in Brooklyn, NY. He also traveled to Georgia with a laptop and mics in hand, adding artists that have inspired him over the years. His American musical collaborators are considered some of best world and jazz musicians in New York City, including Peter Hess (clarinet, Slavic Soul Party), Chris Tordini (bass, Tyshawn Sorey) and Vitor Gonçalves (accordion, Anat Cohen).

Watch Past Performances

Video 7/10/2019: Ilusha Tsinadze

Singer and guitarist Ilusha Tsinadze immigrated to New York from the Republic of Georgia, bringing with him hauntingly beautiful Georgian melodies.  He and his trio interweave this with contemporary American rock and jazz elements: a mirror of living with one foot in New York City and one foot in a little nation on the Black Sea.