The Introduction of Georgian Culture to Indonesia and the Creation of Musical Ties

Along with the promotion of constructive political dialogue and mutually beneficial economic cooperation between Georgia and Indonesia, boosting cultural exchanges and people-to-people contacts is another utmost important direction among the main priorities of the Embassy of Georgia in Jakarta.

It gives me great pleasure to note that since the establishment of the Georgian Diplomatic Mission in Jakarta, during the last three years, the Embassy of Georgia with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and the National Wine Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia hosted a number of large-scale events in Jakarta, which consisted of several components and aimed to promote simultaneously the Georgian cuisine, music and wine in Indonesia.

Among a series of various cultural events and activities organized in Indonesia, I would like to particularly highlight successful participation of the Georgian ethno-jazz band “Iriao” in the “International Java Jazz Festival” in March, 2015. Java Jazz Festival is a well known and worldwide recognized prestigious musical event, which is annually held in Indonesia and represents the best international stage for young jazz musicians to show their musical skills and performance.

The Georgian band was given the privilege to participate in the event after they visited Jakarta for the first time in 2014 and successfully performed in the frames of the Georgian food week held in Jakarta in May, 2014. The Georgian band also performed at the diplomatic reception held on the occasion of celebrating the Independence Day of Georgia. The presence of the Georgian musicians enriched the event and created a very special environment.

During those days the Georgian musicians, thanks to the active efforts of the Georgian Embassy, were also given the opportunity to perform at other occasions, at one of the most prestigious places of Jakarta, the Black cat Jazz Club and Jakarta performing arts theatre. The performance was attended by a very narrow circle of jazz experts and lovers and among them the Director of the Java Jazz Festival. He was really impressed by the performance of the Georgian band and that evening gave birth to the idea of extending an official invitation to “Iriao” to participate in the 2015 edition of the international festival.

I would say without exaggeration that the introduction of “Iriao” to the Java Jazz Festival was one of the most tangible achievements on the path of promoting Georgian culture in Indonesia, with a very special regard for the Georgian polyphony that is considered a unique phenomena in the world musical heritage.

I am deeply confident that Java Jazz Festival will open many other attractive prospects and possibilities for young Georgian musicians in the future as well.

Zurab Aleksidze
Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Republic of Indonesia