daugiau
33rd Vilnius Jazz Festival. 15-18 October, 2020

Low Blow

Lithuania-USA

Dovydas Stalmokas - bss
Aaron Keane - bg
Simonas Kaupinis - tba
Gediminas Stepanavicius - sousaphone
Lukas Pivoriunas - sousaphone
Ignas Kasikauskas – dr

Recently formed by versatile saxophonist Dovydas Stalmokas, this ensemble of non-traditional line-up set out to reveal the enormous possibilities of bass saxophone, sousaphones and tuba, the wind instruments often considered to be accompanying.

The band’s frantic improvisations surprise with a wide palette of low frequencies and moods, virtuosity, the flair of experiment and positive energy. The sextet’s element is spontaneous exchanges, in which the arsenal of expression means ranges from rock to folk music and colourful jazz.

Dovydas Stalmokas is an uncompromising experimenter, initiator and participant of various improvised music projects.

Having received his first jazz skills from his father saxophonist, Dovydas became more seriously interested in jazz while studying at the Stasys Šimkus Conservatoire in Klaipėda. Later, he completed his Bachelor and Master studies under professor Petras Vyšniauskas in the Jazz Department at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, studied under the “Erasmus” exchange program at the Conservatoire à rayonnement régional de Boulogne-Billancourt in Paris, so he mastered his instrument and different jazz styles to perfection.

According to the saxophonist, jazz needs to be played the way no one has played before. He searches for interesting sounds using unconventional extended techniques, by preparing instruments, playing two saxophones at once, and more.

In 2009, Stalmokas was recognized as the best instrumentalist of the Vilnius Jazz Young Power competition and won the Grand Prix with his group Yrinauda. In 2012, Dovydas toured the Old Continent with the European Saxophone Ensemble, and in 2013 performed at Chicago’s Umbrella Jazz festival in Indianapolis and New York, USA.

The musician is actively involved in Lithuania’s music life appearing with formations of various genres. He is the leader of Horny Horns, The Honkin’Dudes Brass Band, The Yrinauders, Aprašymaa, Yrinauda and ​​The Lawn Mowers Electric Brass Band, a member of Improdimensija, Vilnius and Klaipėda jazz orchestras, and Šiauliai City Big Band, plays in MozX trio and other bands.

Dovydas is convinced that jazz needs constant change. Fuelled by enthusiasm, with no funds, he was able to organize the Temafest festival in Klaipėda featuring finest groups, and had already twice assembled the entire saxophone orchestra Baritone Saxophone Army on the occasion of the birthday of saxophone inventor Adolphe Sax.

Aaron Keane is an American bassist and disciple of the famous jazz double bassist Dave Holland. For a quarter of a century, he has been playing in jazz and rock groups on various New York stages, often collaborating with drummer Naujokaitis.

Simonas Kaupinis earned Bachelor Degree in tuba and Master Degree in contemporary music and improvisation from the LAMT. As an exchange student he honed his skills in Gioachino Rossini Conservatoire in Italy.

He collaborates in projects with composers, plays in various improvised music ensembles including trio Ąžuoliniai berželiai, Improdimensija orchestra, Laivo Troupe and Kanalizacija, is a member of Rakija Klezmer Orkestar.

The tuba player takes part in jazz and academic music festivals in Lithuania and abroad.

Gediminas Stepanavičius is a multi-instrumentalist playing the sousaphone, tuba, double bass, trumpet and live electronics. He is at home in a wide range of music – from academic classical and ethno- to jazz origins and free improvisation. Gediminas appears on the Lithuanian and Dutch music scene.

Lukas Pivoriūnas also does not acknowledge genre and stylistic constraints in music. He has been playing the sousaphone and tuba for 17 years, is a member of Mood Sellers, The Honkin’ Dudes Brass Band, Los Secretos de Pablo, MozX and Trimbao.

Ignas Kasikauskas has graduated from the Jazz Department at the LAMT. In addition, the drummer has taken part in master courses in Italy, Denmark and Finland.

Ignas is well versed in a broad range of music – from pop- to free jazz. He has collaborated with many a renowned jazz performer including Kenny Wollesen, Drew Gress, Dalius Naujokaitis, Arkady Gotesman, Juozas Milašius, Eugenijus Kanevičius and Arnas Mikalkėnas, appeared in Vilnius Mama Jazz, Kaunas Jazz, Peronas Jazz, Saulkrasti Jazz Festival and Roma Summer Jazz Festival, toured in Italy, Germany, Slovakia, Austria, Russia and other countries.

In 2017, as a member of Džiazlaif the drummer won Grand Prix of the VJYP competition. In 2018, with Mantvydas Pranulis trio Parxess600 he reached the finals of the VJYP, and in last year’s final round competed with two groups – I’m Out and Kanalizacija.

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