31st Vilnius Jazz Festival. 11-14 October, 2018
Baltic Asteroids Vilnius Jazz'2004
Baltic Asteroids (USA / Lithuania):

Liudas Mockūnas - saxes
Jan Maksimovich
- saxes
Vytis Nivinskas
- double bass
Brahm Fetterman
- drums

The central figure of Baltic Asteroids is the upright bassist Vytis Nivinskas. In 2002 together with Rimvydas Paulikas, the saxophonist who studied in Chicago, they formed trio, in which by turns used to play American drummers Jim Stamison and Brahm Fetterman. In 2003 the group expanded into quintet. Baltic Asteroids gave concerts in Chicago, New York, Washington D.C. as well as in other cities of the USA.

The Lithuanian audience had an opportunity to listen to the band during the Birštonas 2004 Festival.

In Vilnius Jazz Festival arrives only the rhythm group of Baltic Asteroids and, together with their Lithuanian colleagues, the leaders of Lithuanian young jazz generation, the saxophonists Jan Maksimovich and Liudas Mockūnas they are planning to prepare the unique festival project.

Liudas Mockūnas plays with V.Nivinskas in various projects since 1996. In Vilnius Jazz 2004 Festival he is playing with the legendary Dutch drummer Han Bennink and Estonian guitarist Jaak Sooäär.

One of the most prominent Lithuanian jazz saxophonists Jan Maksimovich is joining Baltic Asteroids. The saxophonist gave new impulses in the music of the group during Birštonas jazz festival. For the past few years J.Maksimovich also leads bands.

J.Maksimovich studied in Balys Dvarionas higher music school, Vilnius Conservatoire and The Lithuanian Academy of Music (P.Vyšniauskas's class). The musician has participated in a number of different contests and competitions where he was awarded a number of excellent prizes. He performed together with a number of Lithuanian jazz grands, e.g. V.Labutis, P.Vyšniauskas, O.Molokojedov, D.Pulauskas, A.Anusauskas, D.Praspaliauskis, A.Šlaustas, A.Gotesman and others. In 2000 J.Maksimovich performed in V.Nivinskas project Coltrane Impressions. As a member of various different ensembles he participated in jazz festivals all over the Lithuania and abroad. J.Maksimovich plays solo, takes part in various different music projects with both jazz and academic music performers. The saxophonist also is engaged in pedagogic activities. Having appeared on the Lithuanian jazz stage in 1996, for several recent years J.Maksimovich also leads bands. In the summer of 2004 the quartet that the saxophonist led, took part in Pori Jazz festival.

The leader of Baltic Asteroids upright bassist and composer Vytis Nivinskas says that Asteroids is not only a team but also the style and the way of life. Vytis was born and raised in Vilnius. From the age of fourteen he began to play guitar, later he became involved in jazz and began to play the upright bass. He studied the secrets of the upright bass in Vilnius Conservatoire, The Lithuanian Academy of Music, Carl Nielsen Academy of Music, Denmark and DePaul University in Chicago where he received MA.

V.Nivinskas gives concerts from 1994. During the decade of his concert activities, the musician participated in a number of various jazz, rock, academic classics and contemporary music projects; performed in Lithuania, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Moldova, and Russia. In 2000, during Vilnius Jazz Festival, presenting his project Coltrane Impressions V.Nivinskas debuted as a leader. From 2001 the musician resides in the USA. For the recent for years his main project is Baltic Asteroids, which was established in Chicago in 2002.

Brahm Fetterman's drums make an excellent 'tandem' with V.Nivinskas's bass. B.Fetterman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied drums and composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He also studied multimedia arts in Rhode Island Design School in Providence. This excellent drummer has played together with Sun Ra Solar Arkestra, The Wintermute Society, DJ Soulslinger, Ken Vandermark, and Fred Anderson. B.Fetterman currently resides in Chicago and from the very beginning plays with Baltic Asteroids. The drummer also regularly joins such groups as Bed of Nails Trio, Dr.Brahm's Travelling Medicine Show, and Nerves and participates in various theatre projects and performances.

© Jūratė Kučinskaitė

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