Who are we and why "Joyous Host"?
Our company name Jouous Host comes from a Georgian Folk song "Maspindzelsa Mkhiarulsa" which in English literally means "Joyous Host". The song, as well as our company name is inspired by commonly known Georgian concept of loving guests and always being very welcoming to them. That is why we used this name as a symbol of the country spirit which loves guests!
Joyous Host is a travel company which operates in Georgia since 2012. Initially company focused specifically only on (cultural) ethno tourism. We provided cultural - rural and folk music tours (ethno tours) which include teaching Georgian polyphonic singing and experiencing local cultures of Georgian villages and rural areas, such as winemaking, wine and food tasting, singing, dancing, sightseeing etc. The inspiration came from Malkhaz Erkvanidze, which is one of the founders of the company and one of the few folk music and church chanting experts in Georgia. His love of local music and culture was shared and spread throughout numerous foreigners who were astonished by the music and were eager to learn it. We, the founders of the company all come from Georgia and deeply understand our roots, value and admire our small country and are willing to share the spirit with everybody else. After couple of years, we decided to grow and started providing luxury tours and different interest tours to people with different interest rather than local culture and music only. We never stop growing, creating and thinking, so our guests can always expect new tours and new activities from Joyous Host. Life is all about memories, memories are created by great experiences - We create your best experiences! Everything else that is material and tangible can disappear.
Tekla Erkvanidze - Founder and CEO of Joyous Host Tours.
Born on 21.06.1993 in Tbilisi, Georgia. In 2015 Tekla graduated Free University of Tbilisi, majoring in International Relations. In 2019 got master's degree from Peking University Business School , majoring in Management.
Giorgi Alania - Founder and Head of Sales department at Joyous Host Tours. Giorgi is a professional Marketing and Sales consultant.
Malkhaz Erkvanidze – Founder of Joyous Host and director of FOLK TOUR department; Folk music expert; instructor at Joyous Host tour.
Background: Georgian ethnomusicologist, scholar and researcher, Professor at Georgian State Conservatoire and St. George the Athonite University of Chant and Singing. The director of Georgian folk ensemble “Sakhioba".
MALKHAZ ERKVANIDZE is the renowned choir director of the Anchiskhati Church Choir, which has toured throughout Europe, Russia, and North America. Since 1988, Anchiskhati has been at the forefront of the revival of medieval polyphonic Georgian sacred music, with many unique recordings and publications to their credit. Malkhaz is considered the driving force behind this organization and recognized as the foremost expert of Georgian sacred music.
Born in the central mountainous region of Imereti, Malkhaz grew up singing folk music in his family and with a local masters. Graduating from the Tbilisi State Conservatory in 1988, Malkhaz formed Anchiskhati with several friends, and begun a lifelong passion to discover, research, and promote the forgotten tradition of three-part polyphonic church chant indigenous to the pre-Communist Eastern Orthodox Church in Georgia. Malkhaz is a deeply spiritual man, and has tirelessly promoted sacred music by training young chanters, editing and republishing chant books, and directing.
His unique background growing up in a family singing tradition allowed Malkhaz the opportunity to develop an ear for indigenous Caucasus tuning systems, and as a result, the Anchiskhati Choir is one of the few professional church choirs that attempts to sing in these 'old modes.'
Malkhaz teaches at the Tbilisi State Conservatory when he is not on tour with Anchiskhati, and is a consultant for several choirs including the up and coming Sakhioba Ensemble www.sakhioba.ge. In 2006, Malkhaz founded the first school dedicated primarily to the history and practical study of Georgian church singing since these schools, once widespread, were shut down by the Russian Church in the 1820s.