Georgian Public Broadcasting GPB has announced that ethno-jazz band Iriao will represent Georgia in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest!
Iriao was founded in Tbilisi in 2013. The group's name is derived from a phrase, “Iriao-uruao” which comes the famous yodeling singing style "Krimanchuli" of Georgian traditional polyphonic music.
Iriao’s distinct repertoire is based around authentic folk music though its goal is not to modernize unique Georgian polyphonic music - recognized internationally by UNESCO as a masterpiece of oral immaterial heritage - but to saturate and adorn it with jazz elements. You can find an example of one of their live performances below.
Over the years Iriao has been invited in a number of important musical festivals around the globe. The band has performed at the Java Jazz Festival in Indonesia, Borneo Jazz Festival in Malaysia, Alfa Jazz Festival in Ukraine and other festivals in Austria, Poland and Baltics. Their song for Eurovision 2018 will be released at a later date.
Georgia first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007 and has also won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest a record three times.