ILUSHA with Srazhalys

The Cedar Presents

ILUSHA with Srazhalys

Fri, January 27, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Cedar Cultural Center - Global Roots

Minneapolis, MN

$15 Advance / $18 Day of show

This event is all ages

This is a seated show.

Tickets are available online, by phone, ​and at Depth of Field, Electric Fetus, and The Cedar during shows.


Georgian born singer and guitarist, Ilusha ცინაძე [Tsinadze], brings his life story to the stage through a captivating take on Georgia’s venerable folk traditions. Born in Tbilisi and raised in New York, Ilusha introduces mountain songs and village dances into conversation with the global city, connecting two worlds separated by mountains and seas, history and culture.

Since Ilusha’s debut album Mother Tongue / დედა ენა, he has performed the repertoire on both sides of the Atlantic. His festival and TV performances in Georgia have won him national fame. Likewise, his appearances in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. have allowed American audiences to experience his emotional renditions of Georgia’s beautiful and little-known musical traditions. With Ilusha’s warm stage presence, audiences see through the eyes of an immigrant with one foot in New York City, and the other in a little nation on the Black Sea.

His band features some of New York’s vibrant world music players— joining Ilusha at The Cedar will be clarinetist Peter Hess (Balkan Beat Box, Slavic Soul Party, and more) and percussionist Sergio Krakowski (Cyro Baptista, Anat Cohen and more).
The group Srazhalys was unwittingly formed in 2002 when J Roth mistook a domra for a balalaika. He’d been traveling across Russia looking for an affordable balalaika to bring home with him. It wasn’t until his final destination: St. Petersburg that he found a secondhand shop selling folk instruments. After carefully scrutinizing each instrument, he made his choice and took it to the counter to purchase only to be informed that it was not a balalaika but a domra. This was a dilemma. J had really wanted a balalaika, but he’d already developed an attachment to the domra he’d chosen. Defying reason and practicality, he bought both instruments and thus the band Srazhalys was formed, for these instruments – more than their players – are the heart of the music and the ensemble.

It’s a working-class hero story (post-Soviet collapse style) of how the instruments made it safely to
the U.S., but that’s a tale for another time. Suffice it to say, they arrived after many months and almost immediately the song Bala was composed with Mags following not long after. J couldn’t play both the balalaika and domra at the same time so he recruited his cousin-friend Paul Cameron to see if he
could make sense of these three-stringed instruments. Paul was instantly hooked. Starting in 2004, the four of them (J, Paul, domra, balalaika) began to make musical appearances around Minneapolis. Guest guitar players including Steve Siekennin, John Knauss, and Tony ‘Sir Anthony’ Sandusky joined them for shows.

It wasn’t until 2009 though, that Srazhalys found it’s next core member: Ryan Murphy. Ryan was the younger cousin of J & Paul and, though originally recruited to play guitar, Ryan soon got his hands on the balalaika and domra and was instantly coaxing new rhythms and melodies out of them. It wasn’t long before he began writing new songs for the group.

The next year, bassist Matt Ides was added to the group. Matt brought a sense of purpose and organization to the ensemble and has been responsible for Srazhalys’ recent emergence into the wider public sphere. He’s a solid, versatile bass player, using bow and fingers to give the sound of Srazhalys a richer texture.

In 2014, three new instruments were added to the ensemble: Paul acquired a bouzouki; Ryan brought in a tenor guitar; and J added his mandolin to the mix.

Instrument members of the group:
guitars (acoustic, classical, tenor)
double bass
Venue Information:
Cedar Cultural Center - Global Roots
416 Cedar Ave S
Minneapolis, MN, 55454


Ticket options and info

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets are not always available at Depth of Field, Electric Fetus & The Cedar.

Check the top of this page under the “Buy Tickets” button for up-to-date ticket information.

  • Phone: 612-338-2674 ext 0 between 12 noon and 4pm M-F ($2 fee per ticket)
  • In person: Tickets can be purchased at The Cedar when we are open for shows. Check our calendar for show dates and door times  (no fee; cash, check, credit card). Our other ticket outlets are Depth of Field (no fee; cash or check only), and Electric Fetus (approximately $2 fee).
  • Online: (On Ticketfly, typically $2–$3 fee/ticket + $1 restoration fee) until 2 hours before door time on day of show
  • The Cedar is an all ages venue
  • Discounts: Students with ID, seniors over 65, and children under 12 may purchase tickets at a discount at the door (subject to ticket availability).
  • Access: The Cedar strives to make our facilities and programming available to as many community members as possible and will accommodate special requests to the best of our ability. To request special accommodations or seating at an upcoming Cedar show, please contact our box office at 612-338-2674 or