By Erin Levi

Diana Bagrationi with NYC Mayor Eric Adams

A Georgian jazz singer dazzled the audience as she scatted on stage. The unique performance, accompanied by piano, unfolded on April 24, 2024 at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music within the Mikhail Baryshnikov Art Center in New York City. The audience was enthralled by the multifaceted talent of Nutsa Shanshiashvili, a singer, actress, and painter who masterfully blends European and Georgian artistic traditions.
This special evening was proudly organized by the Diana Bagrationi Foundation (, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting children battling cancer. Founded 17 years ago by artist Diana Bagrationi, a cancer survivor, the foundation provides financial assistance to families and raises awareness about childhood cancer through events and collaborations with other NGOs.
In keeping with the foundation’s mission, proceeds of ticket sales from Nutsa’s performance were donated to the pediatric unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The remaining funds will support the restoration of the house museum dedicated to Nutsa’s father, the renowned Georgian sculptor Jemal Shanshiasvili.

Jazz singer Nutsa Shanshiashvili

«For me, this is all about helping children afflicted with cancer,» said Diana Bagrationi, an opera singer named Honorable Artist of the Republic of Georgia, and a curator of many musical events in the U.S. and abroad. As such, she was easily able to tap Nutsa for this charitable event.
Nino Djemalovna Shanshiashivili, known as Nutsa, is a multitalented artist born in Tbilisi, Georgia. Trained at the Georgian State Academy of Arts under Zurab Nijaradze, she gained acclaim as a painter with successful exhibitions in Tbilisi, St. Petersburg, Paris, and New York. In 1995, she won first prize at the Yalta-Moscow Transit contest for young performers and began her solo vocal career, receiving recognition for her song «Lonely Candle.»
She is renowned as a Renaissance Artist, excelling in acting, painting, and singing. Her portrayal of Edith Piaf in «Edith Piaf: My Legionnaire» earned her love from audiences in Georgia, Russia, Israel, and America. Headlining world tours and starring in notable films like «March Turetskogo» and «Amapola,» Nutsa has garnered praise for her extraordinary performances. Critics admire her ability to blend Georgian and Western European musical traditions with jazz, creating deeply personal narratives on stage.
«Nutsa is an amazing jazz performer, she stands out from others with her unique style of singing,» said jazz singer Nina Simone.
The audience was captivated by Nutsa’s performance, a vibrant fusion of jazz, folklore, and theatrical elements. It was an unforgettable evening that combined artistic brilliance with a charitable cause.