About The Shin and Mariko
The Shin is a Germany-based band that became famous for their creative ways of interweaving traditional Georgian music with influences from pop and world music. For their performance in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest they are joined by vocalist Mariko Ebralidze. Their Eurovision entry Three Minutes To Earth reflects this idea: "It describes the last three minutes of a long walk back to Earth, back home." Shin also means "home", so the band name is linked to the lyrics.
Mariko Ebralidze (Vocals)
Mariko Ebralidze was born in 1984 in Tbilisi. She graduated from a music school, piano department, and in 2000, she was enrolled at #2 Music College named after Zakaria Paliashvili pursuing the specialty of a pop singer. In 2008, she received a bachelor's degree as a soloits and teached from the Pedagogical Institute of Music Arts. Until 2013, Mariko Ebralidze participated in several high-ranked festivals in Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Germany.
Mamuka Gaganidze (Vocals, percussion)
His parents said that, already at the ripe age of three, Mamuka would spend hours lost in song—he could perform nearly every popular Georgian tune on cue. Mamuka himself recalls frequently performing in front of the mirror in his childhood, imagining a full auditorium and the applause of a captive audience. At the age of six Mamuka began to study the piano and was invited to join the children’s vocal-instrumental ensemble “Nergebi” [The Saplings]. The ensemble toured in Georgia, Russia – the whole of Europe. Determined to start their own band, Mamuka and his friends raised money for guitars and equipment and began to play in the streets, at parties—anywhere they could find an audience. After pursueing a musical career even while he was in the army Mamuka began to study at the Tbilisi State University, first Oriental studies, then cinematography, finally graduating in law. In the 1990s Mamuka met up with his friend Zaza Marjanishvili, who was obsessed with jazz and infected Mamuka with the bug. They founded a quartet which quickly found popularity. Everything went well until 1993, when Zaza emigrated to America and the group fell apart. In Georgia civil war had broken out. Now there was neither room for ideas, nor the opportunity to realize them - the circumstances were grim. But on one otherwise dark, hopeless day, Mamuka received a phone call that would change the course of his life. It was Zaza Miminoshvili, one of the leaders of the Adio group. Zaza invited Mamuka to join the band as a vocalist. At that time Adio was a legend, and to join the band was the dream of many musicians. And so in 1996 Mamuka found himself in Germany, where Adio was based. During his tenure with Adio Mamuka first realized that in music it was possible, indeed, necessary, to find his own voice, and not to feel compelled to imitate other musicians. Indeed, the musicians of Adio had achieved a rare synthesis of Georgian traditional music and contemporary forms. The ensemble performed at festivals and recorded an album. But precisely at the moment when Adio seemed to be taking off toward a tremendously promising future, it fell apart at the seams. In 2002 Mamuka was invited to join The Shin, which had been founded by Adio members Zaza Miminoshvili and Zurab Gagnidze. Mamuka contributes to The Shin as a vocalist, percussionist and composer. He has played a vital creative role in all of the ensemble’s projects to date.
Zaza Miminoshvili (Guitars, composition)
Zaza was born to a family of writers, mathematicians and artists. At a young age he was already spending hours at the neighbor’s piano, absorbed in his own musical tales and directing an invisible orchestra - all of his own will. His formal musical studies began much later, at the age of fourteen, when his mother first took him to guitar lessons. Several months later he began to play in several ensembles at school, performing western popular music. He enrolled as a mechanical engineering student at Tbilisi State University, then as a Ph.D. student, afterwards he received a Humboldt fellowship for post-graduate work in Germany. But all this was secondary to Zaza. Even in his student years, music came first. Zaza began studying classical guitar with the real master Vladimir Giorgadze, later Zaza studied jazz with Lavrenti Jinch’aradze. In 1990 Zaza and Zurab founded the group Adio. This was the culmination of a long search for a compelling synthesis of traditional Georgian and contemporary music. In 1993 Adio was invited to record an album and tour in Germany; the musicians remained there for several months. Zaza stayed in Germany, where he still lives and works today, gaining invaluable experience as a performer on western stages and working with world-renowned musicians. In 1998 Zurab and Zaza formed the duet The Shin. Vocalist-percussionist Mamuka Gaganidze joined them in 2000. As a member of The Shin Zaza has taken part in numerous international projects and festivals, led seminars on polyrhythm, polyphony and improvisation theory, and shared stage bills with greats Jorge Pardo, Randy Brecker, Giora Feidman and many others. The Shin launched their latest project, “EgAri,” in 2005. In Georgian, “EgAri” means “that’s it!” For Zaza and Zurab this was the result of many years of experimentation and creative thinking about Georgian traditional music. The project required that Zaza and Zurab work meticulously with musical material, trying at once to preserve its originality and instill it with a fresh sound. This is Zaza and Zurab’s perspective on tradition in general, and on how to ideally practice it not only for an elite circle, but for young and old, for Georgians and for people from many countries who, just now finding out that a country called Georgia exists, respect and even love it thanks to the music of The Shin. Since January 2009, Zaza has been playing a new, unique guitar called JaZZ. This guitar was created respecting Zaza’s special requests by the young luthier.
Zurab J. Gagnidze (Bass, vocals)
They say that Zurab began singing at the age of three. Actually, he didn’t have much choice - almost everyone in his family sang. Zurab could stand listening, transfixed, for hours. He could recognize nearly all the album covers and knew all the best-loved melodies by heart. When he was ten years old, Zurab began to study voice with one of his grandmothers, a Georgian song enthusiast. Zurab spent several months studying with a prominent rock guitarist, and then switched to bass. In the tenth grade he formed his first band. They covered Deep Purple and the Beatles, then when the first jazz-rock bands appeared, they fell in love with Chicago. Zurab enrolled as a student of information technology at Tbilisi’s Polytechnic Institute. The university was rich with musical and artistic life: Each year the Institute held an inter-faculty music festival; nearly every faculty had its own ensemble. Zurab took part in the festival beginning in his fourth year, as a member of the Institute’s big band. Zurab was later invited to play bass in the university ensemble Khomli, whose repertoire included original compositions based on Georgian traditional music. Zurab graduated from the university with honors and began graduate studies in London. One fine day, guitarist Zaza Miminoshvili suggested Zurab that they play together. That moment initiated a long friendship and creative collaboration between these two musicians, and they started to work together in the group Adio. A tour to Germany with that very group ended up lasting till today for Zurab, where he later also joined The Shin.
Alexander Chumburidze was born in Tbilisi, Georgia on May 29, 1979. His longing for music and Georgian national dance at an early age determined his interests in life. He started attending dance studio Orbi in 1988. In 1994 he entered the Tbilisi Zakariadze Culture College. Starting 1997 Alexander joined ensemble Erisioni and participated in well-known shows such as The Legend of Tamar and Georgian Legend. Alexander participated in various shows and plays. In 2003 he discovered his interest in pantomime, being invited by mimodrama theatre. In 2008 Alexander founded the ensemble Samaya, where he acted as a stage choreographer and dancer as well. Alexanders has been the member of The Shin since 2009.