Any visitor is welcomed to participate in concerts organized at Café "Barista" on the Sukhum embankment" />

Impromptu Fridays

Any visitor is welcomed to participate in concerts organized at Café "Barista" on the Sukhum embankment

This cold, narrow room beside the café’s glass-enclosed veranda, brings together the musicians and those, who come to listen to them, becoming themselves participants in this mini-concert. Here stands the very tinkly piano, bought for 3,000 RUB, from which the whole story began.

That musical instrument would have probably stood there for a long time as a piece of ordinary furniture, if it had not been for café frequenter, Abzagu Maryhuba, who asked the café host to lend him the piano for a night.

Maryhuba and his friends dragged a cart with the piano to the embankment, to Brehalovka (one hundred meters away), and after removing it from the cart under the eucalyptus trees, organized an impromptu concert there. Anybody was able to play before the public that evening-and Brehalovka actually brought together a lot of people, be it a taxi driver or a cool politician.

The event went off with a bang. The next day, on numerous requests from the audience-and that’s without any exaggeration, they had to repeat the performance.

And it was so.  The concerts under the eucalyptus trees became a tradition. But then the weather intervened. A week-long rainfall made the concert organizers have to take a break. Abzagu, his companions and, certainly, the instrument (it could not have been left to become we in the rain, could it?) returned to the café. But the bad weather didn’t subside and they were so eager to play. So, the guys made an offer to the café owner.

Suat Sadzba, ‘Barista’ owner, an immigrant from Istanbul, has managed to organize a stable business in Sukhumi in just a few years. His café has a lot of frequenters. He liked the guys’ proposal to play there on Fridays. And the musicians settled in a vacant storeroom.

Abzagu Maryhuba, a culture college graduate, now works at the emergency situations department. He rescues people during working hours and he saves himself with the help of music during non-working hours. Not only does he play, but he also composes music; he is particularly interested in blues improvisation.

‘We are doing this for ourselves. Our lives have improved thanks to such evenings. I’ve realized that one needs to share music with people and so I always go home in a good mood, says Abzagu.

As of last Friday, the musicians’ already vast repertoire included Abkhaz, Spanish, Russian and English hits. The last of which were not just idly listened to, but also sang in chorus. This is already a tradition here. Anyone can come to ‘Barista’ at 9 p.m. on Friday and join the musicians’ company.

Many Sukhumi musicians and guests do not miss this chance. A well-known pop musician, Alexander Shoua (‘Nepara’), performed with them last Friday.  And just recently it was a real show when the children’s vocal-instrumental ensemble ‘Kadance’ participated.

Sometimes it happens like this. The time has come to share the music. They have just gone into the street, taking a piano and a guitar along with them, and have organized a creative atmosphere themselves. It turns out that one does not necessarily have to be a professional to do that.

In fact, it’s an ordinary event for many countries, but it’s a novelty for Abkhazia. There are plenty of cafés and quite a lot of musicians as well, but nobody had come out to perform until now. Now, after almost half a year, it is hard to imagine an evening promenade without live music that could be heard from ‘Barista’ till late into the night.


The opinions, expressed in this article convey the author’s views and terminology do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editorial staff.

Published on: 04. 04. 2016

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