QU5 has caused a fight among jury members at the Vilnius Jazz Young Power national round. Although the group did not pass to final round, its creativity was acknowledged. QU5 was invited to appear at the final round of the competition as a guest.
The unusual formation – two vocalists/improvisers and accordion trio – creates tembrically unexpected, emotional and warm musical narrative, combining elements of pop, jazz and academic music. This year, QU5 became a prize-winner of the Jazz Fountain 2007 in Panevėžys, performed in St. Christopher Summer Festival. At the Vilnius Jazz the group will be joined by percussion.
Members of QU5 are the students of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.
The group’s soul – pianist, vocalist and composer Valentina Jaronskaja – has recently been frequenting jazz scene. She composes, performs her own songs, and accompanies herself. She also works with her own quartet, Music Academy Big Band and QU5.
Currently, studying jazz piano at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Valentina Jaronskaja started piano studies at the age 8, and song writing at the age 16. She earned recognition in several competitions including Grand Prix at the Mermaids’ Song 2003 (Undinėlių daina 2003).
QU5’s other vocalist Rūta Švipaitė is also a composer, arranger and pursues her individual musical career.
Born in Panevėžys, a city nurturing vocal jazz traditions, Rūta studied at the music school and conservatoire in her native city. Presently, she studies jazz vocal at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Participant and winner of international festivals and competitions, Rūta also appears with Rūta Jazz Trio, Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre Big Band and gospel choir Sounds In G.
Accordionists featured in project QU5 also appear as an independent group – accordion trio Chill Out, formed in 2003 and concentrating on popular classics and pop music. The three members of Chill Out compose and arrange, are winners of various national and international competitions.
In addition to accordion, Nerijus Bakula studies jazz improvisation, works with QU5, Chill Out and Rendez-vous. Romas Morkūnas, a member of Chill Out since 2005, also performs as a soloist. Bass accordionist Audrius Pazniokas works with QU5, Chill Out and TrimAko, organises various musical events.
QU5 project also features drummer Andrius Kairys. He received his education at the B. Dvarionas School of Music, the Vilnius Conservatoire, the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts and the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (MM Degree). The seasoned drummer has collaborated with Vladimir Chekasin’s student ensemble, various jazz and rock groups and projects, performed with St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, gospel choir Sounds In G, Boyz meet jamiroquai, group Skamp, Julia Jazz Trio, international ensemble Easy Riders Chamber Quartet. As a member of various formations he participated in jazz festivals in Lithuania, performed abroad.
© Jūratė Kučinskaitė