34th Vilnius Jazz Festival. 14-17 October, 2021

Kontrazztas

Lithuania

Grantas Kleinauskas – tp
Martynas Šerpytis – as
Gytis Girdauskas – tb
Vytis Kišūnas – keyb
Deividas Skridaila – bg
Mindaugas Vaškys – dr

The sextet has only existed for four months, but its members have already played a lot together: all but the keyboardist last year appeared in the VJYP finals with the Lithuanian Youth Jazz Orchestra, formed by Arnas Mikalkėnas, the founder of Kaunas Jazz Academy, and Kęstutis Sova, the leader of Klaipėda Jazz Orchestra. The young musicians also collaborated with this orchestra at the Broma Jazz and Ariogala jazz festival.

Most of the members of this group come from Western Lithuania, where they graduated from music and art schools, and now study in Klaipėda and Vilnius.

For the finals of the competition, the ensemble presents Vytis Kiškūnas’ original composition Prince.

Grantas Kleinauskas has been playing the trumpet for nine years. He has graduated from the Vytautas Klova Music School in Mažeikiai and is currently studying at Stasys Šimkus Conservatory in Klaipėda. He gives concerts with Klaipėda Jazz Orchestra and Palanga Wind Orchestra, has participated in the projects of the Lithuanian Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Martynas Šerpytis has been playing the saxophone for ten years. He has graduated from the School of Art in Šilutė and Stasys Šimkus Conservatory. The musician has taken part in the projects of the Lithuanian Youth Jazz Orchestra, is a member of the Klaipėda Jazz Orchestra, despite the fact that he is currently studying at the LAMT in Vilnius.

Gytis Girdauskas plays the trombone. Born in Vilkaviškis, he graduated from Stasys Šimkus Conservatory in Klaipėda this year and is currently continuing his trombone studies at the Klaipėda Faculty of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. He manages to combine his studies with work in Palanga and Klaipėda jazz orchestras.

With the latter, Gytis performed at Šiauliai Big Band Festival, Klaipėda Sea Festival and other events, and collaborated with the Palanga Wind Orchestra in the Amber Wind project. He also participated in all projects of the Lithuanian Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Vytis Kišūnas has been playing tenor birbynė since childhood. Later he studied classical vocal and jazz piano at Juozas Gruodis Conservatory in Kaunas. For six months he honed his jazz piano skills at the LAMT, as well as studied jazz improvisation at Kaunas Jazz Academy. Vytis collaborates with musicians from different trends, has performed with various groups at Ariogala jazz festival, Culture Night, Kombinato festival and other projects.

Deividas Skridaila graduated from Gymnasium in Mosėdis and majored in bass guitar at Skuodas Art School. He is currently studying bass guitar at the Klaipėda Faculty of the LAMT. The performer has taken part in the projects of the Lithuanian Youth Jazz Orchestra and collaborated with other groups.

Mindaugas Vaškys has been drumming for seven years. A graduate of Skuodas Art School, he continues to study drums at Stasys Šimkus Conservatory in Klaipėda. The drummer played with the Klaipėda Jazz Orchestra and Plungė Symphony Orchestra, the Lithuanian Youth Jazz Orchestra, and the group Gal (Maybe), appeared in the Ukraine as a member of the Ethnobook project. The drummer earned laurels in Jazz Fountain (first prize) and Music Invites (Grand Prix) competitions. He was voted the best instrumentalist in this year’s VJYP competition. 

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