29th Vilnius Jazz Festival. 13-16 October, 2016

Vyacheslav Ganelin - Petras Vyšniauskas - Arkady Gotesman

Israel-Lithuania

Vyacheslav Ganelin - keyb
Petras Vyšniauskas - saxes
Arkady Gotesman - dr, perc

This concert will begin quite differently than planned in the beginning. Distinguished Lithuanian jazz groups, involving the recipient and nominees of the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Prize, were to be introduced by a renowned philosopher, a member of jazz community Professor Leonidas Donskis, who once named jazz “a part of the Lithuanian identity”. It was with his assistance one Mexican University bestowed the honorary degree on Vyacheslav Ganelin: the Professor met a passionate connoisseur of Maestro’s art.

However, on September 21st Lithuania has lost the illustrious thinker, and Lithuanian jazz – a part of itself. The trio of jazz greats dedicate this project to the memory of Leonidas Donskis.

Trio Alliance made its debut in 1993. Now and then its concerts are separated by several years, thus every appearance of the Trio becomes an intriguing event: with changing line-up changes the music. And it is always spontaneous, for it is an alliance, which takes shape here and now.

The Trio gave concerts in majority of Lithuanian concert venues, Israel, Pori Jazz festival in Finland; released an album (Leo Records).

The jazz greats meet when jazz keyboardist and composer Vyacheslav Ganelin returns to Lithuania. Since 1987, Maestro has resided in Israel. Hitherto, he served as a Music Director of the Russian Drama Theatre of Lithuania for almost 20 years (1968-1984). During those years he wrote an array of academic works, music for film and theatre; was awarded a number of prizes. Vyacheslav Ganelin composed soundtracks for more than 60 films and music for more than 40 theatre productions as well as three operas, several ballets, 6 musicals, concertos for various instruments.

However, jazz community best knows Maestro as a leader of the legendary GTC Trio (Vyacheslav Ganelin, Vladimir Tarasov and Vladimir Chekasin). This ensemble was active in 1971-1986 and was seminal to the formation of the Lithuanian jazz school. The GTC Trio’s traditions are still pursued by today’s jazz musicians in Vilnius.

The GTC Trio was the first collective in the Soviet Union to gain popularity in Europe due to its authentic vocabulary, rather than imitation of American jazz. It has earned a reputation of one of the best non-American jazz groups of all times.

Ganelin’s Trio has toured the entire Old Continent, the USA, South America, Canada and Cuba. Producer Leo Feigin established Leo Records in order to promote the GTC Trio. To this day the label released 19 albums by the GTC Trio and its leader.

The GTC Trio’s activity was suspended when in 1987 Ganelin immigrated to Israel. In 2003, the musicians met on stage again at the Frankfurt Book Fair, gave several concerts afterwards.

Ganelin is successfully pursuing his career in Israel. In 1988, he joined the Israeli Composers’ League, started working at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance where he became a Professor and the head of Jazz Department.

As ever, Maestro composes, initiates free jazz and multi media projects, organises Jazz Globus international festival in Israel. He tours internationally with Ganelin Trio Priority, which involves saxophonist Petras Vyšniauskas and German drummer Klaus Kugel, collaborates in trio with bassist Victor Fonarov and drummer Misha Markovitch, plays duo with both of them as well as vocalist Esti Kenan-Ofri, oud virtuoso Gershon Waiserfirer, saxophonist Ned Rothenberg, double bassist Vladimir Volkov among others.

In 2014, the keyboardist was honoured with Vilnius Jazz Award for contributions to Lithuanian jazz. In 2010, the Lithuanian Musicians’ Union endowed him with Gold Disc. In addition, Maestro was decorated with the Knight’s Cross of the Vytautas Magnus Order for contributions to Lithuanian culture (2003) and was awarded Landau Prize for contributions to Jewish jazz (2005).

Saxophonist, the Professor at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Petras Vyšniauskas is one of the most important creative partners of the other members of the Trio. His PetrArka duo with percussionist Arkady Gotesman has been active for 27 years, and Ganelin Trio Priority is one of his most widely touring groups.

Vyšniauskas is one of the founders of the professional saxophone school in Lithuania. His victorious music career has lasted for more than three decades. He is the most titled jazz musician in Lithuania.

The musician’s trophies include the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Prize, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania Art Prize, the 5th Class Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, the Word Intellectual Property Organisation Gold Medal, the Baltic Assembly Art Prize and many other awards.

Vyšniauskas is a musician of exceptional versatility. He is at home not only in various styles of jazz, but also academic music – from baroque compositions to contemporary opuses dedicated to him; he also has composed music for many theatre productions and feature films. His discography includes over 60 albums.

The saxophonist has collaborated with a great number of celebrated jazz, classical and folk musicians including Prague Philharmonic and New York St Luke Symphony orchestras, Paris Radio and New York Metropolitan Opera choirs, folk singer Veronika Povilionienė and birbynė player Antanas Smolskus, jazz guitarist Fred Frith, pianists Bob Stenson and Karl Berger, saxophonists Steve Lacy and Charlie Mariano, double bassists Kent Carter and Vladimir Volkov, trumpeters Tomasz Stańko and Herb Robertson, drummers Han Bennink and Klaus Kugel.

According to Vyšniauskas, jazz is, first of all, the way to communicate: the realm where one makes the most striking discoveries, thus the saxophonist never puts his music down on paper. “My music is in my head. I don’t understand when people wonder why. As if the notation upgrades it”, said the saxophonist.

With various collectives Vyšniauskas appeared in international festivals in the USA, the UK, Australia, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Finland, Poland, Russia and other countries. He took part in music programs of five Expos: Hanover (Germany), Aichi (Japan), Zaragoza (Spain), Shanghai (China) and Yeosu (South Korea).

Vyšniauskas’ disciples – Jan Maksimovic, Liutauras Janušaitis, Kęstutis Vaiginis, Remigijus Rančys, Dovydas Stalmokas, Simonas Šipavičius and others – represent today’s elite of younger jazz generation.

In his native town Plungė Petras Vyšniauskas’ National Saxophone Festival is held.

For three decades Arkady Gotesman, one of the most resourceful and versatile Lithuanian percussionists and composers, has been captivating the audiences with his fresh ideas and collaborations with artists of various other medias.

He composes, records and performs music for theatre, writes scenarios for musical performances and installations, organises projects with dancers, writers, actors and visual artists, appears in personal shows. Poet Rolandas Rastauskas is one of Gotesman’s stage partners. Both artists have recorded album J. Brodsky in memoriam.

Gotesman has a gift to discover new venues for jazz in periphery and enrich his projects with the participation of the world’s jazz luminaries. He has collaborated with exponents of various trends including Roland Dahinden, Vladimir Volkov, Vyacheslav Gaivoronsky, Arkady Shilkloper, Julian Joseph, John Zorn, Jack Siron, Frank London, Anthony Coleman, Charles Gayle, Tim Daisy, Joey Baron, Barry Guy, Dominic Duval, Dave Douglas and Albert Beger.

In Lithuania the percussionist has regularly been working with Vyacheslav Ganelin, Petras Vyšniauskas, Vladimir Tarasov, Liudas Mockūnas, Dainius Pulauskas, Tomas Kutavičius, Juozas Kuraitis, Eugenijus Kanevičius and many other Lithuanian jazz masters. He also collaborates with Vilnius Jazz Orchestra and ACCOsax Freeminded trio, and other formations. Gotesman’s latest experimental laboratory is Infiltrators trio with keyboardist Dmitry Golovanov and saxophonist Jan Maksimovic.

Gotesman is an enthusiast of silent movies, as a taper with various international musicians he promulgates the genre in Lithuania. The percussionist plays not only jazz, but also contemporary academic music. He has performed world premieres of works by Osvaldas Balakauskas and Anatolijus Šenderovas among others. Moreover, he is the founder and member of Vilnius Klezmer Orchestra and organiser of the Klezmer Music Festival in Vilnius.

Last year Gotesman was presented with Vilnius Jazz Award for contributions to Lithuanian jazz. 

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