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).
“…Tsinadze walks the tightrope between Georgian tradition and American influence, in particular the bedrock sounds of jazz and folk — creating something that’s both musically intriguing and culturally unprecedented … a rousing celebration of sounds both strange and familiar, a soulful merging of far-flung cultures that only music can accomplish.
Vocals, guitar, banjo and drums by Ilusha Tsinadze
Synth and electric bass by Kyle Sanna
Double bass by Chris Tordini
Vocals by Ketevan Mindorashvili, Stephanie Hemshrot, Alex Kutubidze, Giorgi Tsertsvadze, Jean Rohe, Tornike Kandelaki, Giorgi Manoshvili, Beka Khutsishvili, Giga Chkhapelia and Ako Gagoshidze
Clarinet by Peter Hess
Violin by Dana Lyn
Accordion by Vitor Gonçalves
Percussion by Richie Barshay
Lap steel by Myk Freedman
Produced by Kyle Sanna and Ilusha Tsinadze
Engineered by Kyle Sanna, Ilusha Tsinadze and Liam Robinson
Mixed by Kyle Sanna and Don Godwin
Mastered by Mat Leffler-Schulman