Dr Ika aka Jango Raveheart was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. He started to play a granddad's gramophone at the age of 4, piano at 7 and classical guitar at 12. After listening to Albert King, B.B. King and Albert Collins, Ika discovered the blues and electric guitar. Later, after having heard the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, he fell in love with rock music which was a strictly forbidden fruit in the USSR. Ika started to play electric guitar and instantly got the blues, because everybody and everything that surrounded him was against it - starting with the Soviet System and ending with his parents. KGB was after him (Ika was listening to the ""enemy"" radios like BBC and the Voice of America) and police were cutting his moderately long hair short.
While waiting for a better future Ika became a Doctor of Biology and earned a Bachelor's degree in music. When the strict attitude towards the ""subversive western music"" had softened, Dr Ika started to perform on several rock and blues festivals and twice was honored as the country's best guitarist. During the 1986-1989 Ika lived and worked as a scientist in Sweden. He has played with top jazz and blues musicians such as Jimmy Smith, Richard Roberts, Tom Levin and has twice performed with the legendary B.B.King - an unusual claim to fame from a neurosurgeon. In 1990, back in Georgia, Ika continued his scientific work (research on brain tissue transplantation, epilepsy and Parkinson's disease), and in addition, started to write music for films, cartoons, TV and theater.
1991-1993 were the most difficult years in Ika's life. The collapse of the Soviet system brought about an anarchy, corruption, extreme poverty and the rise of nationalism instead of democracy, freedom and prosperity. There was no electricity, no gas, and no food or other necessary products. The members of various different gangs were in the streets robbing people and killing each other for petrol, cars or just for a cigarette. Some of the notorious members of Drug Mafia and the war lords got important posts in the government and the future was unpredictable and bleak. It is not surprising that Dr Ika got the BLUES.
Miraculously in 1993, Dr Ika and his wife, Lia, were awarded the Royal Society Fellowships to carry out research at Cardiff University. They left Georgia for good and immigrated to the UK. Along his scientific work, Ika started to play funk-fusion with the band ""The Funker"" and also totally different type of music in the rave clubs together with heavy house dance DJ Paul Lyons. Soon he was sharing the stage with such top DJs as Sasha, John Digwid, Carl Cox, Kalvin Andrews, Love Dub, Tall Paul and others. Experience he gained on the dance floor proved to be invaluable when he later produced a Future Music's platinum award winning guitar sample CD ""Guitar Odyssey"" (Zero-G Ltd.). Dr Ika now lives in Hertfordshire. He has given up his scientific career and has entirely devoted himself to music. Ika performs about 200 gigs a year with the ""Grapevine"" blues band or in duo with a singer Mike Chase. With the Grapevine Blues Band, Ika played on many blues festivals in the UK, sharing the stage with Gary Moore, Stan Webb, Papa George, Sonny Black and others. He has produced the following albums: ""Grapevine Neo Blues"", ""Dr Ika's Blues..."" and ""Dr Ika's Tribute to Miles Davis and John McLaughlin"".
In May 2002 Ika was signed by ""Blues Matters!"" label. In 2006 Ika was signed by virtuoso guitar lable ""Liquid Note Records"" and he was featured on Alchemists II album together with fifteen worlds leading virtuoso guitarists. In 2008 Ika released wonderful “City Blues” album and now he is working on new sample CD for “Neoelectronica” label.
Beside musical activity Ika in 2007 established the “Custom Cabinet Company” together with UK’s top amp cabinet builder Peter Morris. Today they build worlds most versatile and luxurious guitar amplifier cabinets.
FEW COMMENTS ABOUT DR IKA:
1. ""This boy sure can play the blues"" - B.B. King
2. ""Ika is a big ears player,...his moods and scales are beautiful, they are consistently engaging"" - John Stix,
""Guitar For The Practicing Musician"", 1994.02
3. ""Dr Ika can play with soul as well as breathtaking thchnical skill"" - Tim Slater, ""Guitarist"",1994.08
4. ""Dr Ika lets rip with some superb riffs and sequences"" - Future Music"", 1998.05
5. ""Dr Ika is the best thing to come out of Russia"" - Adam Crute, ""The Mix"", 1998.05
6. ""Guitar Odyssey is a triumph in usability"" - Big George Webley, ""Sound on Sound"", 1998.05
7. ""I would love to see Ika play live"" - Dave Stone, ""Fender Back Line"", 1999.03
The Magic Bulldog is a true, satiric pub life experience blues-rock. Song starts with Andy Thompson’s “sax orchestra” and develops to the funny story told by Dr. Ika and Helen MacDougall with the great sax – guitar interaction coda.
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