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Alexander Hawkins - Sofia Jernberg (UK-SE), Reinless (LT)

Fr 12/10/2018 19:00
Rusų dramos teatras, Vilnius
Alexander Hawkins - Sofia Jernberg (UK-Sweden)

Alexander Hawkins - p
Sofia Jernberg - voc

The duo made its debut in 2016 under the name Musho, which in an Amharic (Ethiopian official language) means Sad Song. The project was inspired by Ethiopian music for which both musicians share affinity.

They have both honed their languages in the company of musical elder statesmen from that country: the pianist with Ethiopian percussionist Mulatu Astatke and the singer with Ethiopian accordionist Hailu Mergia.

British jazz pianist, organist, composer and bandleader Alexander Hawkins has appeared in Vilnius Jazz in 2015, where together with Italian saxophonist Roberto Ottaviano he introduced a project to mark the 10th death anniversary of American saxophonist Steve Lacy.

Hawkins works in a vast array of creative contexts. His own highly distinctive sound world is forged through the search to reconcile both his love for free improvisation and his fascination with composition. He keeps mesmerising the jazz community with his staggering technical ability and a fecund imagination.

Interestingly enough, the musician has graduated from Cambridge where he studied law and criminology. He decided not to study jazz academically, for he wanted to be free to play what he wanted and the way he wanted. No wonder, he is dubbed as one of the most vividly distinctive voices in modern jazz. Hawkins has been influenced by a large number of free jazz pioneers, however his main idol is American pianist Art Tatum.

Hawkins embarked on his musical career as an organ player. Indeed, that helped him to become the most interesting Hammond player. He has formed an organ trio Decoy with bassist John Edwards and drummer Steve Noble. A number of the trio’s projects and recordings feature the celebrated free jazz saxophonist Joe McPhee.

In 2006, the pianist set up Convergence Quartet with Dominic Lash and Harris Eisenstadt, recorded several CDs that earned critical recognition.

Hawkins continues to be heard live and on record with a number of contemporary leaders of all generations including the likes of Evan Parker, John Surman, Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Marshall Allen, Han Bennink, Hamid Drake, Rob Mazurek, Taylor Ho Bynum, Harris Eisenstadt, Shabaka Hutchings, Joe McPhee and Mulatu Astatke. He has also been noted for his performances in the bands of legendary South American drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo.

In addition, the keyboardist performs and records as a soloist, composes and arranges for acclaimed formations. In 2012, he was selected as one of the young composers to be part of the London Symphony Orchestra’s experimental programme; also was commissioned to write almost an hour-long composition for BBC Radio; and did a collection of arrangements for London’s Dedication Orchestra.

As a composer and arranger Hawkins has been commissioned by the London Jazz Festival and the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. He was voted the “Instrumentalist of the Year” in the 2016 Parliamentary jazz Awards.

Concert appearances have taken him to festival stages and major clubs worldwide.

Singer and composer Sofia Jernberg was born in Ethiopia, grew up in Ethiopia, Sweden and Vietnam, and currently migrates between Oslo, Norway and Stockholm, Sweden.

While still a student she received the Royal Swedish Academy of Music’s jazz award as an innovative and uncompromising artist, a fearless musician who with great curiosity and big appetite for every kind of music breaks new ground in jazz and art music.

According to the musician herself, singing and composing are deeply connected venues of self-expression; and the opportunity to create ‘new’ music is her main source of inspiration.

Jernberg is active in a wide range of music – from contemporary academic to radical free jazz. She has performed Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and took part in Salvatore Sciarrino’s chamber opera, collaborated with Mats Gustafsson’s Fire! Orchestra.

One of her deepest interests is to develop the ‘instrumental’ possibilities of the voice. She has been experimenting in this direction in several formations. Together with pianist Cecilia Persson she formed modern jazz octet Paavo. The group received the “The Jazz group of the Year” award from the Swedish Radio. She also co-leads contemporary quartet The New Songs, performs as a duo with cellist Lene Grenager. Her radical interests do not put a limit on her collaboration with the most diverse projects.

Jernberg has composed for several established ensembles such as Duo ego and Norrbotten NEO. Her voice can be heard in albums of Paavo and Fire! Orchestra. With the latter she appeared in Vilnius Jazz in 2017.

Reinless (Lithuania)

Jievaras Jasinskis – tb
Liutauras Janušaitis – ts
Valerijus Ramoška – tp
Laurynas Lapė – tp
Vytis Smolskas – keyb
Tomas Dičiūnas – p
Pranas Kentra – g
Paulius Volkovas – g
Paulius Vaicekauskas –b
Jonas Gliaudelis –dr
Vytis Vainilaitis – perc

Reinless made its debut in Broma Jazz festival in Kėdainiai in 2014. It was Vitalis Vidikas, the organiser of that festival, who offered Jievaras Jasinskis to form a collective that would play Jievaras’ music.

The trombonist gathered together his favourite musicians in order to realise his most daring creative visions. Not in vain, the group chose Reinless name, which means unrestrained. The members of the group might not agree with that for Jievaras notates their parts considerably precisely, but the leader’s vibrant music – a blend of funk, soul, rock and jazz improvisations – justifies the name.

The collective has taken part in majority of Lithuanian jazz festivals including Nida Jazz Marathon, Birštonas Jazz, Šiauliai Jazz, Vilnius Mama Jazz and Ragas Jazz in Kaišiadoriai; annually appears in Broma Jazz.

In 2017, Reinless released a debut album Sus Signal. In 2018, it has developed a new program involving not eight but eleven musicians – keyboardist Tomas Dičiūnas, guitarist Pranas Kentra and percussionist Vytis Vainilaitis joined the regular members.

Jievaras Jasinskis studied trombone in Balys Dvarionas Music School and the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LAMT). For ten years he composed for and played in Bekešo vilkai, was a member of InCulto, Saulės kliošas and Skamp, and in 2014 he formed Reinless.

Jievaras has arranged over 400 songs for different collectives. Currently, he is the principal trombone of and arranger for Kaunas Big Band sometimes even gracing the Big Band’s podium. In addition, he plays in Vilnius Jazz Orchestra; partakes in various TV projects as an arranger and musician.

Trumpeter Valerijus Ramoška is a recipient of Birštonas Jazz’s Grand Prix 2014. He regularly participates in jazz festivals with various collectives. He is a member of Kaunas Big Band and DPG. With the latter he performed in more than 120 festivals, toured 30 countries.

He also plays as a soloist with the leading Lithuanian big bands, performs in various chamber formations, takes part in the LRT group’s projects and contemporary academic music events. Valerijus devotes much time to pedagogical work.

Laurynas Lapė studied trumpet at the Stasys Šimkus Conservatoire in Klaipėda, the LAMT, and Malmö Academy of Music (Sweden). While in Sweden, he played in Aero Brass, Helsingborg and Malmö symphony orchestras as well as Malmö Opera Theatre orchestra.

Since 2008, he has been a member of the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Vilnius Brass Quintet, Protoberus Brass and Gaida Ensemble. In 2009, he joined the staff of the LAMT.

Saxophonist and composer Liutauras Janušaitis is the first Lithuanian to graduate (2011) from Berklee College of Music in Boston, the American jazz smithy. Before that he has studied the jazz saxophone at the LAMT.

Liutauras has appeared with many Lithuanian jazz, funk and pop music groups including Saulės kliošas, A.I.R., Skamp, InCulto, D’Orange; also arranged for them. In addition, the saxophonist collaborates with academic musicians. He was among the founders of the first salsa orchestra in Lithuania. This year Janušaitis’ song Amžinai (Forever) was awarded second place in the Radio Lithuanian song contest. Yet another significant achievement is his personal jazz album Two Different Sides. Currently, he is also active as a leader of jazz quartet.

In autumn 2013, he joined Dainius Pulauskas Group (DPG), with it participated in Ottawa and London festivals as well as main jazz festivals of Africa, India, China and Japan; appeared in other countries. The saxophonist regularly collaborates and tours with Japanese and Scandinavian musicians with whom he recorded several albums.

Pianist and composer Vytis Smolskas is one of the most daring electronic keyboard experimenters. He was educated as an academic pianist at the M.K. Čiurlionis School of Arts and the LAMT (Bachelor Degree). He crowned his studies with jazz piano degree at the LAMT and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.

Vytis was successful in many competitions including Jazz Improvisations in the LAMT (2007, 2011), Vilnius Jazz Young Power (2008) and Rostov on Don (Russia, 2014). With Makchu Pikchu he garnered the M.A.M.A. Metų proveržio (Breakthrough of the Year) award.

The keyboardist worked with Pieno Lazeriai, Jing’a’Ling and Soul Moustache, collaborated with jazz vocalists. He took part in Vilnius Jazz, Vilnius Mama Jazz, Birštonas Jazz and Kaunas Jazz, performed in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Iceland, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Jazz pianist and guitarist Tomas Dičiūnas teaches at the LAMT, where he also leads the Big Band. He has appeared in majority of Lithuanian festivals including Vilnius Jazz, Vilnius Mama Jazz, Birštonas Jazz, Nida Jazz Marathon and Be Together. In 2013, he was awarded first prize at the Jazz Improvisation international piano competition organised by the LAMT. Tomas is interested in fusion of jazz and contemporary music.

Pranas Kentra has studied at the University of Applied Sciences, the LAMT, and the Prince Claus Conservatoire in the Netherlands. The guitarist has collaborated with a number of Vilnius jazz musicians, Dutch, Bulgarian and Chinese musicians, as well as St. Christopher and Klaipėda chamber orchestras, Kaunas and Vilnius big bands, and composers of contemporary academic music.

In 2013, Pranas Kentra Trio won the Gitarų šėlsmas (Guitar Rampage) competition in Vilnius; in 2014, his group released its debut album Vague Memoirs in the Netherlands. In addition, the guitarist is a member of Synaesthesis contemporary academic music ensemble, with which he recorded an album. With various formations he appeared in the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Baltic States. In addition to performing activities Kentra has been on staff at the Kaunas Vytautas Magnus University Music Academy and Juozas Gruodis Conservatoire.

Paulius Volkovas studied in the Fine Art Faculty at the University of Applied Sciences. While still a student he began participating in festivals and competitions as a performer and composer. In 2006, his trio claimed first prize at the Džiazo fontanas (Jazz Fountain) festival in Panevėžys. The same year his group’s arrangement was voted the best at the Vilnius Jazz Young Power competition where he also garnered second prize together with Magic Mushrooms.

The guitarist has worked with Jing’a Ling, Saulės Kliošas, Migloko, The Ditties, The Schwings, Baisios Stygos and Mad Harmonix. With various collectives he toured in Germany, Poland, Turkey, France, Belarus, Estonia and Latvia.

Paulius Vaicekauskas studies at the LAMT, performs with jazz and pop music groups. With various collectives he took part in Vilnius Mama Jazz and Broma Jazz festivals, Vilnius Jazz Young Power and Džiazo fontanas (Jazz Fountain) competitions.

Jonas Gliaudelis is a winner of national and international (Saulkrasti Jazz 2013, Latvia) drum competitions, a finalist of Vilnius Jazz Young Power competition. He partakes in various music projects with professionals and students alike, is a member of Vilnius Vibe Trio and Woop Trio; made a stage message as a gifted composer.

Vytis Vainilaitis has graduated from the Vilnius Conservatoire, studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Mannheim (Germany), and in the Jazz Department at the LAMT. The drummer has appeared in more than 60 different projects in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Poland, Germany, France, Spain, Hungary, Slovenia and the USA, collaborated with majority of Lithuanian jazz and pop music adepts.
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Event Date / Time Venue  
Alexander Hawkins - Sofia Jernberg (UK-SE), Reinless (LT) Fr 12/10/2018 19:00 Rusų dramos teatras, Vilnius
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Venue
J. Basanavičiaus g.13 Vilnius Lithuania
Promoter
VšĮ ''Vilniaus džiazo festivalis''
VšĮ ''Vilniaus džiazo festivalis''
P. Skorinos g. 16 – 2 Vilnius
Same venue