| Liudas Mockūnas / Marc Ducret (Lithuania
Liudas Mockūnas - reeds
Marc Ducret - g
As a tradition, Vilnius Jazz presents international projects. This time it is a tandem of two ingenious personalities: French guitarist Marc Ducret, also appearing with his trio at the festival, and Lithuanian saxophonist Liudas Mockūnas, regular member of various international projects. These musicians have collaborated for several years already - they both are featured on Toxikum album, and both appeared with Toxikum group in Birštonas Jazz festival in 2004.
Educated in both jazz and academic music, the saxophonist is famed for his considerable artistic experience. He made his jazz debut at the age of 8, and since the age of 15 has regularly appeared in jazz festivals, performed with many Lithuanian jazz musicians, and since 1996 has been active as a bandleader.
Liudas Mockūnas is called an ambassador of Lithuanian jazz deservedly - he often appears with international groups, and initiates various international projects. His international career has accelerated a great deal after he started his studies in Copenhagen in 1999. Together with Danish drummer Stefan Pasborg he formed a group Toxikum in 2000, whose album Toxikum has earned Danish Grammy (Jazz Discovery of the Year 2004).
L.Mockūnas is a co-leader of Red Planet, Baltic Trio, Artomic and Revolver ensembles, plays with Copenhagen Art Ensemble, Pierre Dørge and New Jungle Orchestra, appeared with Swinging Europe Big Band and took part in the international La Villet Jazz Festival big band project with World Saxophone Quartet. His partner list includes Marc Ducret, John Tchicai, David Murray, Oliver Lake, Mart Eilertsen, Jaak Sooäär, Mikko Innanen, Jeff Arnal, Dietrich Eichmann, Scott Colley, Ryoji Hojito, Nasheet Waits, Mats Gustafson, Chris Speed, Mike Svoboda, and Andrew Hill (in 2003 he played in the Andrew Hill's Octet, which garnered the JAZZPAR award). As a member of various ensembles, the saxophonist toured in Europe, the USA and China. In 2004 he formed Lithuanian musicians group Traffic Quartet, lately he has been collaborating with Vytis Nivinskas and Andrė Pabarčiutė, among others.
Liudas Mockūnas was a prizewinner at the J.Pakalnis Wind Instrument Competition in 1993 and 1995, and as a participant of the Berklee in Germany seminars (led by Gary Burton) he earned the scholarship for studies at the Berklee Collage (USA). In 2000 he captured prizes in both the International Saxophone Competition Brilliant Note in Latvia and the International Jazz Soloist Competition in Klaipėda. In 2001, together with the trio MAP (Liudas Mockūnas, Jacob Anderskov, Stefan Pasborg) he won first prize at the European Tournament for Improvised Music in France. In 2004, for his artistic involvement Liudas Mockūnas was awarded the Mūzų malūnas prize.
In addition to jazz, L.Mockūnas plays contemporary academic music (works by B.Kutavičius, G.Puskunigis, L.Rimša, and A.Martinaitis), has performed with Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, St.Christopher Chamber Orchestra, and contemporary music ensemble Gaida. He also writes music for theatre and film. Since 2004, he has been on a faculty of Jazz division at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.
L.Mockūnas' discography amounts to 10 albums, 3 of which are solo.
© Jūratė Kučinskaitė
For more information on Marc Ducret see Marc Ducret Trio.