Polish singer - mezzo-soprano and vocalist
Born in Cracow, she spent the last ten years in the Caucasus, in Georgia.
Yoanna performs and promotes the music of Konstanty Gorski, a widely forgotten Polish composer and violinist – virtuoso who lived and performed in Georgia in the 19th century. She initiated and co-created jazz arrangements of the songs that Gorski had composed to the words of Polish poets.
She also sings Gorski’s religious music – accompanied by violin, organ and a choir.
Yoanna also specialises in Georgian music. She sings Georgian traditional songs, accompanying herself on a traditional Georgian instrument called ‘chonguri’. She performs Georgian classical songs and operatic arias from 19th and 20th centuries. Currently, she is working on a programme with undiscovered songs by Georgian composers in arrangements involving traditional Georgian instruments. She also collaborates with Georgian contemporary composers.
Apart from this, she is working on a CD in Russian language – with unknown songs written by Caucasian composers to the poems by Alexander Pushkin.
She is also experimenting with classical contemporary music. As part of the international project New Music Incubator, she performed at the 'Warsaw Autumn' Festival in 2017 and at the annual session of the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance in Brussels in 2018.
Jazz and Polish indie songs are also close to her heart. In 2018, she recorded a song inspired by the finest contemporary Polish Jewish writer, Bruno Schulz, in a duo with the song’s author, Jerzy Michał Bożyk, a legend of Cracow jazz.
Yoanna performs this diverse repertoire in eight languages: in Polish, Georgian, Mingrelian, Russian, English, French, German and Latin. Apart from native Polish, she speaks fluent English, Russian and French, and she communicates in Georgian.
Yoanna graduated from the Vocal Department at Sarajishvili State Conservatory in Tbilisi, where she also completed a comparative course in Georgian and Abkhaz traditional music. When she enrolled at Sarajishvili Conservatory, she already lived in Georgia, working as a political scientist specialising in conflicts in the Caucasus - in 2008 she had defended her master's thesis at the London School of Economics on the subject of secessionism in Caucasus. Yoanna is also a graduate of State Music Schools of 1st and 2nd degrees in Krakow and of Tischner European University in Cracow. She also studied part-time at Jazz Deparment at City Lit College in London.
Full biography on https://yoannaayers.com/en/biography/
More on my current project on www.DiscoverGorski.pl