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Legendary Georgian music trio "Saunje" from New York City

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Georgian music trio Saunje World-known legendary Georgian traditional music trio "Saunje" is available for booking for all kind of events in all five boroughs of New York City (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island), in states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C., and others. TRIO "SAUNJE" (Russian: «Ńŕóíäćĺ») was formed in 1972 in the city of Tbilisi, the Republic of Georgia by famous Giorgi Nadirashvili and Eva Bichinashvili. Trio's repertoire includes Georgian National melodies “Tunes of Tusheti”, “Mtskemsuri”, “Kalakuri”, “Satsekwao”, popular and classical hits.


For booking info email or call Mikhail at (201) 981-2497.


Initially the trio consisted of young boys who enjoyed playing Georgian music instruments. The young musicians grew up, and had earned 30 years of professional experience by now. The members of trio “Saunje”: Niko Nadirashvili, born on March 27, 1959; instrument: salamuri (a shepherds’ instrument). Raul Nadirashvili, born on October 5, 1963; instrument: panduri prima (a three string instrument). Gia Asanashvili, born on Ocotber 11, 1959; instrument: panduri tenor (a three string instrument, lower tone). Mr. Giorgi Nadirashvili and Mrs. Eva Bichinashvili are the parents of Niko and Raul. Gia is their best friend since early childhood. October 4, 1972 was an important day in trio’s history. “Saunje” performed on the stage of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre of Zakharia Paliashvili. They had a tremendous success! Spectators admired the young trio and since then they became one of the public’s favorites. It was Georgian prominent art producer, Mr. Dorian Kitia – general director of the State Philharmonic Society, who contributed efforts into making “Saunje” recognized by the public. He “opened a curtain” to a professional stage. With Mr. Kitia’s assistance trio “Saunje” was invited to perform at prestigious concerts in Georgia. A famous Russian records company “Melodia” released trio’s gramophone records. “Saunje” appeared on Russian TV in shows such as “Blue Screen”, “Music Kiosk”, “Music Post Office” and Russian radio live broadcasting programs as well. Trio’s activity was always highlighted on the pages of the Russian Press. Every political office representative who visited Georgia was familiar with trio “Saunje.” Time was passing by. The young boys grew up and so did the popularity of “Saunje.” Performing skilled were polished and improving due to boundless audience’s love and devotion to their songs. Initially, the repertoire of “Saunje” included only Georgian National melodies, which were featured by Niko Nadirashvili especially for the trio. “Tunes of Tusheti”, “Mtskemsuri”, “Kalakuri”, “Satsekwao”, “Popuri” and many others – are the melodies that will endure forever in the history of Georgian National Music. Trio “Saunje” were playing Georgian National tunes more in a regular custom manner; then, the members decided to vary their repertoire. Virtuous performing skills gave the trio entire abilities to make a bold step forward to higher level creativity. Niko Nadirashvili, Raul Nadirashvili and Gia Asanashvili were the first ones to play classic compositions of world known composers on Georgian National instruments. “Turkish March” by Mozart, “The 4th Act” of the “Carmen” opera by Bizet, Rossini’s “Tarantella”, “Neapolitan Dance” by Tchaikovsky, Oginsky’s “Polonez”, Enesco’s “Lark”, Aliabiev’s “Nightingale”, Gershvin’s “Summer Time”, “Prelude” by Bach, “Ave Maria” by Shubert and some pop melodies “Saunje” included into their repertoire. Trio “Saunje” proved enormous abilities of Georgian National instruments. Musicians established a creative style – “pop music” – and made it their own image. This brought popularity and recognition in Georgia and abroad as well. Foreign impresarios became interested in trio “Saunje” and some of them invited musicians to participate in serious projects. Rostislav Ordovski-Tanaevski was the first impresario who arranged several concert tours for the trio in Venezuela. Performing in the famous concert halls of Venezuela, Niko Nadirashvili was named “Paganini of Salamuri.” America Alonzo, well-known movie star, was an MC of the concerts. Hugo Blanco, the author of renowned “Moliendo Cafe” arranged a special reception for “Saunje” at his house. They formed good music relations, and the trio added “Moliendo Cafe” to its repertoire. Another impresario was a famous Canadian musician George Zukerman, President of the “Vancouver Concert” company. In 1989 Zukerman invited “Niko and Company” to Canada, where Niko Nadirashvili received another nickname – “Caucasian Nightingale.” Trio “Saunje” visited many countries in the world. And everywhere they achieved a great success and appreciation of high-level performing skills. In 1991 Niko, Raul and Gia decided to reform “Saunje” into a private company and named it “Trio Saunje.” The goal of this company was to share Georgian culture all over the world. Mr. Dorian Kitia, who imposed desire to become a consultant, supported “Trio Saunje” very much. It appeared to be the company “Trio Saunje” that made a great contribution into spreading Georgian culture. Niko, Raul, and Gia invited the most famous Georgian musicians, singers to share their art with the world. Or course, trio’s creative work was always in the focus, and in 1992 the company arranged a Festival of Ballet Art in the greatest hall of the Mediterranean Conference Center in the Republic of Malta. The “Trio Saunje” company brought 140 actors from the National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Z. Paliashvili from Tbilisi to Malta and presented three ballet plays: “Zhisel”, “Silphida”, and “Swan Lake.” In 1993 the company organized one more Festival of Opera Art in the same hall, in Malta. This time 158 performers from Tbilisi presented two operas: “Tosca” and “Madam Butterfly.” “Trio Saunje” provided both events with all necessary decorations and equipment.Company “Trio Saunje” is also an initiator and a producer of today very popular Georgian show “Singing and Joking Movie and Theatre Stars of Georgia”, and took an active part in arranging the “Azerbaijan Music Evening in Tbilisi” show. Since December 1998 TRIO SAUNJE live and conduct their music activities in the USA.

Georgian Traditional Musical Instruments

SALAMURI is a brass instrument, quite common in many countries in the world. It is considered to be shepherds’ traditional instrument. The history of its origin is unknown but there are many mysterious legends that shepherds can tell. Among all salamuries that exist in the world, Georgian salamuri is unique in its own way. It is a diverse instrument: a musician can play any composition he/she wants. A regular salamuri cannot achieve the exact sound of Georgian salamuri. It is a well-known fact, which is proven not only by Georgian salamuri players. Usually salamuri is made out of walnut and apricot trees. The only high-level professional salamuri maker, who exists at the present time, is Shermadin Darchiashvil. The master follows his own original technology and creates instruments with a two-octave range, which makes the sound richer and more powerful. Shermadin Darchiashvili was very kind to make one salamuri instrument for Nico Nadirashvili. It was specifically designed for “Saunje” musician, and there is no analogy of that instrument in the world. Nico’s salamuri is dark brown, 38 cm. (about 15 inches) long and 2 cm (about 1.8 inches) wide. It has nine keys (valves): eight on the top surface and one ? inch below. There is a three-octave range with “C” – the lowest and “G” – the highest notes. The half tones are achieved by half opening of closed keys. Georgian salamuri is the most complicated instrument. One has to possess a trained ear to play it.


PANDURI is a traditional Georgian three-string instrument, originally coming from the Central and Eastern part of Georgia – Kaheti and Kartli. In 1934 Kiril Vashakidze, a well-known art director in Georgia, after prolong and intensive work with mathematic calculations presented a more advanced version of panduri. He experimented with 6 six –fret instrument, and, by adding flat and sharp halftones, he created panduri prima and panduri tenor with 12 frets. This innovation allowed Georgian musicians to use panduri not only for accompaniment melodies, but also for solo parties of classical masterpieces in various combinations. Mr. Vashakidze made a great contribution towards formation of a new experimental orchestra of Georgian National instruments. Panduri prima is tuned in such manner: “E” string - first “C- flat” string - second “A” sting - third There are twelve frets on the instrument’s neck with a two-octave range from “B-flat” to “C”. Panduri tenor is tuned the same way as a violin cello, with an exception of the fourth string: “A” string - first “D” string - second “G” sting - third There are twelve frets on the instrument’s neck with a two-octave range. from “B-flat” to “G”. One of the most professional high-quality salamuri and panduri designers is Shermandin Darchinashvili...


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For booking info email or call Mikhail at (201) 981-2497.


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For booking info email or call Mikhail at (201) 981-2497.

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