Folklore group SHALVA CHEMO
 Group leader Kukuri Sikharulidze

In 2006 an expert in folklore and performer Kukuri Sikharulidze together with his colleagues Guri Sixarulidze and Merab Kalandadze have founded a trio “Shalva chemo”. The group performs songs from various regions of Georgia, though the basic part of the repertoire consists of songs of Guria, the western region of Georgia. The trio has recorded 2 CDs presenting 40 traditional songs. The third record is now underway. The trio seeks to revive ancient songs of the Guria region and transmit them to the generations to come. It promotes not only songs, but also performance art of traditional string instruments – chonguri and panduri. The chonguri is a plucked four-string music instrument common in Western Georgia, played by both women and men. From 12th to 16th centuries it was wide spread in the Caucasus region as an instrument used to appeal to God and to create a high battle spirit among the soldiers. The panduri is a traditional three-string plucked instrument common in all regions of Eastern Georgia.

The trio “Shalva chemo” of the Azurgeti Culture Centre is a laureate of the National Preemie. The group has given concerts in Poland, France, Norway and USA. The concert tours in Italy and Canada are planned in the future.