Dovydas Stalmokas - saksofonai
Horny Horns was formed three years ago by Dovydas Stalmokas, a graduate of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, uncompromising improviser, saxophone innovator, and the winner of the Vilnius Jazz Young Power 2009 (with Yrinauda). But this group appears on stage rarely – only when the group’s drummer Dalius Naujokaitis pays the visit from New York.
The band chooses to perform in non-formal venues for they fit best for its rebellious music inspired by the Chicagoan free jazz movement of the ‘80s – ‘90s. Perchance, it is the only representative of this music style in Lithuania.
According to Stalmokas, his music is not tailored for concert stages, thus the saxophonist is active on club music scene as a leader and member of various formations from pop- and metal to jazz and academic music. However, he is most interested in untraditional saxophone sonorities and new playing techniques.
Stalmokas is the leader of The Honkin’Dudes Brass Band, The Yrinauders, Aprašymaa, Yrinauda, Horny Horns and The Lawn Mowers Electric Brass Band, a member of Vilnius and Klaipėda jazz orchestras, Šiauliai Big Band, The Indirtibles and Electric Potato. In 2012, he represented Lithuania in the European Saxophone Ensemble.
Stalmokas appeared in all jazz festivals in Lithuania as well as Indianapolis, New York and Umbrella Jazz (Chicago).
Multi-instrumentalist, composer and group leader Liudas Mockūnas is one of the most creative representatives of the Lithuanian contemporary jazz and improvised music. Upon graduating from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LAMT) and the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, he took active stance on the scene of European improvised music.
Today he is possibly the most dynamic Lithuanian jazz master, constantly migrating to European festivals and jazz clubs, discovering new creative partners in Scandinavia, Baltic States, Poland, Russia, Portugal and other countries.
The musician is the leader of Mockūno Nuclear and Traffic Trio, co-leader of various international collectives such as Toxikum, electro-acoustic trio Red Planet and Lithuanian Saga Quartet, a member of Copenhagen Art Ensemble, Markus Pesonen’s Hendecet, Stefan Pasborg’s Free Moby Dick and Odessa 5, international groups Dirty Mountain, Heavy Beauty, Vladimir Tarasov Trio, contemporary music ensembles Gaida and Konvoj Art. In addition, he is an associate of the Lithuanian Ensemble Network.
He has taken part in programmes of Andrew Hill’s Jazz Par octet, Ibrahim Electric, British TrioVD, Mikko Innanen’s Innkvisitio, Free Tallinn Trio, Mats Gustaffsson, Raymond Strid and Frank Gratkowski among other jazz innovators.
In 2004, Mockūnas and Stefan Pasborg received the Danish Music Award for Toxicum’s album. The saxophonist is a prize winner of various competitions in Lithuania, Latvia and France; a recipient of Vilnius Jazz and Birštonas Jazz prizes for contribution to Lithuanian jazz, as well as Gold Disc awarded by the Lithuanian Musicians’ Union. In 2011, he was decorated with a Golden Cross of the Stage (award for achievements in the Lithuanian theatre field) for the best music for theatre production.
In addition, he is famed not only as an exponent of improvised music and avant-garde jazz, but also as an expert of contemporary academic music. His repertoire includes works by such composers as Bronius Kutavičius, Anatolijus Šenderovas, Arvydas Malcys, Vyacheslav Ganelin, Dietrich Eichmann, Vykintas Baltakas, Raminta Šerkšnytė and Giedrius Puskunigis.
As a soloist the saxophonist has performed with Kralovy Hradec Symphony Orchestra, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra and Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra as well as St. Christopher and Klaipėda chamber orchestras and Chordos String Quartet. With various formations he has toured in Europe, the USA, China, Japan and Israel.
Mockūnas’ discography amounts to around 60 albums. He has contributed greatly to the production of experimental jazz recordings – he is a co-founder and co-strategist of an independent record label NoBusiness Records.
Currently, Mockūnas is an associate Professor at the departments of jazz in the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, and Kaunas Vytautas Magnus University Music Academy.
Dominykas Vyšniauskas studied the trumpet at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Leipzig Music College, Amsterdam Conservatoire and SUNY Purchase College New York. He focuses on performing jazz and improvised, but also pop- and classical music.
On jazz scene the trumpeter has performed with Michael Moore, Vijay Iyer, Andreas and Mathias Pichler, Klaus Kugel, Jan Maksimovic, Liudas Mockūnas, Artūras Bumšteinas as well as Jazzwerkstatt, the EYJO Swinging Europe 2005, Mezkal Jazz Unit, GHO Orchestra and Secret Swing Society.
Vyšniauskas participated in all Lithuanian jazz festivals as well as festivals in Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, France, Estonia, Belarus, Russia, North See Jazz (the Netherlands), toured in the USA and Canada.
As a performer and composer Paulius Volkovas began participating in festivals and competitions while still a student. 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 claimed second prize together with Magic Mushrooms. In 2008, Magic Mushrooms was ranked the best funk group in the Alternative Music Awards.
Volkovas collaborated with Sheila Ray Charles, Kenny Wollesen, Jonathon Haffner, Jelle van Giel, Steve Willem Zwanink, Denise Fontoura, Dalius Naujokaitis, Liudas Mockūnas, Dmitrij Golovanov and Darius Rudis among other jazz masters.
Currently, the guitarist works with Jing’a Ling, Saulės Kliošas, Migloko, The Ditties, The Schwings, Baisios Stygos and Mad Harmonix.
With various collectives he took part in Vilnius Jazz, Kaunas Jazz, Nida Jazz and Birštonas Jazz festivals, toured in Germany, Poland, Turkey, France, Belarus, Estonia and Latvia.
Fascinated with jazz Vytis Nivinskas swapped philosophy studies at the Vilnius University for the double bass. Studied at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LAMT), the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music (Denmark) and DePaul University in Chicago (USA).
The double bassist has played jazz, rock, academic and contemporary music in Lithuania and abroad since he was a student.
While living in the USA (2001-2005) Nivinskas played with many improvisers from Chicago and New York City, together with saxophonist Rimvydas Paulikas co-founded the Baltic Asteroids band in Chicago.
Recently the double bassist has mainly worked with jazz groups Saga, Riot, Baisios stygos, CinAmono, Giedrė Kilčiauskienė and Andrej Polevikov’s projects, Pieno Lazeriai alternative music group, collaborated with Vladimir Tarasov, Petras Vyšniauskas, Dalius Naujokaitis, Arūnas Šlaustas, composer Linas Rimša, Jauna Muzika choir and Baltic Guitar Quartet, pop-singer and actress Jurga Šeduikytė, dancer Lora Juodkaitė, and other theatre personalities (theatre productions Uždaras vakaras and Geras žmogus iš Sezuano).
Nivinskas has appeared in jazz festivals and various other events in Denmark, Germany, the USA, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Luxembourg among other countries. He teaches at the Vilnius College of Higher Education and the LAMT. In addition to his personal projects, he has been playing solo.
Dalius Naujokaitis, a percussionist of avant-garde experimental music and free jazz, has resided and worked in New York for two decades. Invited by filmmaker Jonas Mekas he went and settled there in 1995. Naujokaitis founded a studio in Jonas Mekas’ Anthology Film Archives, and gradually got involved in New York’s club community.
In the beginning he had to earn bread and butter from various accidental jobs – worked for a button manufacturer, served as a porter in clubs and restaurants, a painter, an advertisement distributor. His jazz career in New York kicked-off after meeting avant-gardist drummer Kenny Wollesen. Naujokaitis joined his group. Before soon he started forming his own bands and initiating various projects.
“The extraordinarily expressive composer and performer discovers music everywhere – from sounds of nature to urban noise, and whatever he touches – dishes, staircase holders, a saw – turns into a music instrument. Dalius Naujokaitis-Naujo is a free musician playing free music, not restricted by music clichés or stylistic requirements, traditional performing techniques and typical forms of composition”, jazz critic Jūratė Kučinskaitė described the musician.
The percussionist regularly comes back to his motherland to be part of Lithuanian projects, also appears with them abroad.