36th Vilnius Jazz Festival. 12-16 October, 2022
Dainius Pulauskas Group Vilnius Jazz'2004

Dainius Pulauskas Group (Lithuania):

Dainius Pulauskas - piano, sythesizers
Valerijus Ramoška - trumpet, flugelhorn
Vytautas Labutis - saxes, bass clarinet
Rimantas Brazaitis - tenor sax
Vladislav Borkovski - bass
Linas Būda - drums
Arkadi Gotesman - percussion

Dainius Pulauskas Group was formed on the basis of D.Pulauskas' sextet. The saxophonists R.Brazaitis and V.Labutis who in different stages performed together with the Sextet play in the current group.

With no doubt, one of the most distinct and active teams of Lithuanian jazz, D.Pulauskas' sextet was gradually formed from 1994. The group debuted as a quintet and in 1996 it began to perform as a sextet, however it sometimes expands into larger groups.

D.Pulauskas' sextet rapidly entered the area of Lithuanian jazz and over a very short period of time it became one of the most significant Lithuanian jazz groups. Soon the group was acknowledged internationally. Over the years of its activities, the Sextet has performed in a number of European countries as well as in jazz festivals in China and India.

Currently Dainius Pulauskas Group is well known not only for Lithuanian but also for foreign audience. Currently the group performs more abroad than in Lithuania. Its performances are usually well received by audience and critics. The Finnish jazz critic R.Haapsamo called their music "a powerful pulse of the modern jazz". The Swedish critic Bo Levender states that "Pulauskas, together with his colleagues creates the best fusion as it can be. The variety of their musical expression is 'giddy'. These are the somersaults of tearaway swinging and rhythms, and… the most genuine, pure and unembellished jazz."

The group represents the Lithuanian jazz not only in the tours: the Sextet has released a number of albums, including EU Rhythms, the newest jazz collection released by Universal Music. Among the 25 examples of jazz pieces from different European countries is D.Pulauskas's composition from their newest, number four album the Colours. In the concert Dainius Pulauskas Group present the new CD and TRAJECTORIES, the first DVD of Lithuanian jazz released this year.

Dainius Pulauskas Group is distinguished by its stylistics as the group using electronic and acoustic instruments creates a very eloquent music space, a very peculiar version of fusion. Also the Sextet is very unique because of its extreme ensemble and mastership of all the members. All the members are professional musicians, who very frequently appear on Lithuanian jazz stage and who are excellent when performing together with different groups.

The leader of the Sextet, the keyboarder and composer Dainius Pulauskas is one of the most significant contemporary Lithuanian jazz musicians. His original compositions are the guaranty of the uniqueness of the Sextet.

The pianist graduated from Vilnius Conservatoire and the Lithuanian Academy of Music, where in 1980 he won the Piano Improvisation Contest. D.Pulauskas had toured a lot all over the World with the Oktava Orchestra, in which he played from 1981 and from 1990 he is a regular jazz performer. D.Pulauskas has collaborated with a number of Lithuanian jazz musicians. He is a member of L.Shinkarenko Jazz 4 and the soloist of the LRT Big Band. From 1994 he has been a leader of Dainius Pulauskas Quintet which in 1996 expanded into the sextet. D.Pulauskas was very successful to gather one of the most prominent Lithuanian jazz bands, which performs only the leader's pieces.

D.Pulauskas, who is a distinct leader and unique composer, is also distinguished as a prominent piano soloist. This witnesses his solo album Moods (2000) as well as excellent solo concerts given during an international jazz pianist festivals. D.Pulauskas 's way of composition 'thinking' is very original and intriguing; the musician is an excellent master of piano techniques and electronic instruments, his music space is colourful, and he is excellent at harmonious tuning of acoustic an electronic timbres.

For his activities D.Pulauskas received a number of different awards, including the one and only Bravo award granted for Lithuanian jazz, which in 1998 D.Pulauskas received as the best Lithuanian jazz musician; in 1999 the version of John Lennon's and Paul McCartney's Yesterday that D.Pulauskas arranged and performed together with his sextet and Neda was granted the Grand Prix of an International Yesterday - Pärnu'99 Contest; in 2000 the musician was awarded the Grand Prix of Birštonas Jazz Festival, and in 2001 D.Pulauskas and his Sextet received the Golden Disc of Lithuanian Music Association .

The trumpeter Valerijus Ramoška regularly performs together with D.Pulauskas's ensembles from 1994. The musician plays jazz from 1990, and currently he is one of the best Lithuanian jazz trumpet masters. Besides D.Pulauskas Sextet V.Ramoška plays together with E.Buožis', D.Praspaliauskis', V.Labutis', V.Chekasin's, V.Tarasov's, P.Vyšniauskas's, S.Sasnauskas's, etc. ensembles; he is a soloist of the LRT Big Band. V.Ramoška teaches in Vilnius Conservatoire.

From 1998 together with D.Pulauskas's group performs one of the most distinct personalities of Lithuanian jazz, the saxophonist Vytautas Labutis. The musician is a member of Leonid Shinkarenko Jazz 4 and Vilnius-Jazz quartet as well as the leader of various different ensembles. V.Labutis has performed together with almost all Lithuanian jazzists; he is a member of V.Tarasov's Lithuanian Art Orchestra and Lithuanian Young Composers Orchestra, participates in various different international projects, including Jazz Baltica Ensemble (led by D.Murray, N.Pedersen M.Schneider, D.Bates, etc), Octet Ost III, East - West Vapirov Project, New European Saxophone Quartet as well as Moscow Composers Orchestra. Collaborates with academic music composers. He began to play on international stages in 1982 together with P.Vyšniauskas's quartet and since then, together with various different bands he has toured almost all over the Europe, gave concerts in the United States in Ford Montreux Jazz Festival in Detroit, toured in Australia and Asia, namely in Chinese and Indian jazz festivals. V.Labutis recorded almost 40 albums, including 4 personal ones.

V.Labutis is a prominent group leader. Somehow he always is a central figure of Lithuanian jazz events. The saxophonist is a versatile musician, original improviser, composer, educator, multiinstrumentalist who plays different wind instruments; and recently more and more he began to use keyboards and his vocal abilities (as an instrument). V.Labutis is a musician of a broad range: he is excellent at free improvisations and fixed compositions, is powerful both in chamber and in big ensemble structures. Among the small bands there should be mentioned Lithuanian Jazz Trio and the duet with upright bassist E.Kanevičius. To witness that is the most recently released their CD Concerto Grosso; the inclination of the saxophonist to larger structures is proved by the jazz star octet established by V.Labutis in 1997. The octet released personal album Terra Vandetuja, together with the young Lithuanian jazz 'grands' they prepared a project called Orkestretto, prepared programs with st. Christopher's Orchestra, and the project by Vilnius-Jazz quartet together with the Lithuanian folk group Sutaras.

Besides jazz the saxophonist, together with symphony orchestra and contemporary chamber music ensembles, performs academic pieces, participates in performances, plays in Indian music ensemble, and composes cinema and theatre music. For his merits for Lithuanian jazz in 1996 V.Labutis was granted Birštonas Jazz Festival Grand Prix.

The saxophonist Rimantas Brazaitis is a member of the first D.Pulauskas's sextet (1996. The musician is a soloist of the LRT Big Band and has performed jazz for almost 35 years, beginning with Kaunas radio studio jazz ensemble (led by R.Grabštas) and later in the leader of a number of festivals, the Oktava Orchestra. R.Brazaitis participated in various jazzist projects and in a number of jazz recordings. The musician plays tenor, alt, and soprano saxophones and electronic wind instruments.

The bassist Vladislav Borkovski is a regular member of D.Pulauskas's sextet. Having debuted on jazz stage in 1985 together with V.Chekasin's student ensemble, since then Vlad Borkovski performs together with different trend Lithuanian jazz musicians. Together with different group Vlad Borkovski participated in all Lithuanian jazz festivals, performed in various different European countries and Asia.

Since the very 1994 'the pulse' of D.Pulauskas's group is beaten by the drummer Linas Būda. Once having performed with rock bands, the musician together with S.Sasnauskas's, D.Praspaliauskis', and E.Kanevičius' ensembles plays jazz from 1987. Recently the drummer together with other Lithuanian jazzists has participated in a number of different jazz projects. He is a member of the LRT Big Band, performs in international projects, including such as the trio project with the US guitarist W.Nowik that was presented in the Summer of 2004.

Arkady Gotesman's percussion adds a lot of new colours to the fusion created by D.Pulauskas's group. The drummer an percussionist has performed on professional stage from 1982 m. He started his career in Trimitas Orchestra, then in Oktava Ensemble. The musician began to play jazz with G.Abarius's trio. From 1990 he collaborates with P.Vyšniauskas and V.Ganelin, and from 1994 - with D.Pulauskas. A.Gotesman is famous as conceptual free music creator. He has performed with a number of different musicians, including such as Ch.Bauman, R.Dahinden, J.Siron, V.Ganelin, P.Vyšniauskas, V.Volkov, V.Gaivoronski, Fr.Studer, J.Sooäär, and almost all Lithuanian jazz masters. A.Gotesman participated during a number of recordings. As a soloist and ensemble member A.Gotesman performed in various different jazz festivals. He also composes theatre music, writes scenarios for music performances and installations.

© Jūratė Kučinskaitė

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