Joelle Leandre & Vladimir Tarasov Project (France / Lithuania):
Joelle Leandre - db;
Double bassist and composer Joelle Leandre (b. 1951) is one of the dominant figures of the new European music. She is an outstanding improviser and performer of academic music, and a colleague of many a coryphées of the 20th century music.
Composers such as John Cage, Giacinto Scelsi, Philippe Fenelon and Betsy Jolas have composed especially for her. She has also worked with a legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham, played with Itinéraire, 2e2m and Pierre Boulez’s Ensemble Intercontemporain.
From the age of 9 to 14 J.Leandre studied both piano and double bass in her hometown of Aix-en-Provence, later at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique in Paris. In 1976, she received a scholarship to the Center for Creative and Performing Arts in Buffalo (USA), a time that was to prove particularly influential due to encounters with Morton Feldman, and the music of John Cage and Giacinto Scelsi. At the same time, she was able to experience the downtown New York music scene and continue her involvement in improvised music.
The double bassist calls J.Cage her spiritual father who made her listen to the world around her. Derek Beley, Anthony Braxton, George Lewis and Irene Schweizer had nearly the same impact on her as meeting Cage. These people encouraged her to get involved in improvised music scene.
J.Leandre has worked with a wide range of improvisers including Evan Parker, Steve Lacy, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Maggie Nicols, Lindsay Cooper, Eric Watson, Peter Kowald, William Parker and Barre Philips, and recently has formed The Canvas Trio with long-term associates Rüdiger Carl and Carlos Zingaro.
The double bassist collaborates with dancers, writes music for theatre, stages multidisciplinary performances, gives recitals. She performs on the most prestigious stages of Europe, the Americas and Asia, teaches and gives master classes at academic institutions in Europe and the USA.
J.Leandre has more than a hundred recordings to her credit. Vilnius Jazz has hosted her performance in 1993.
Born in Arkhangelsk composer, percussionist and visual artist Vladimir Tarasov (b. 1947) settled in Lithuania in 1968.
In 1972, he was one of the three initial members of Viacheslav Ganelin Trio (saxophonist Vladimir Chekasin being the third) – the originator of the Lithuanian jazz school.
As a Trio member V. Tarasov presented 21 programme, toured in Europe and the USA, and authored an autobiographical book “Trio” (1998). In 2002, after 16-year interruption the Ganelin Trio reunited for several performances.
V.Tarasov spent many years working with various symphony, chamber and jazz orchestras in Lithuania, Europe and the USA. For more than a decade he has led his own The Lithuanian Art Orchestra.
In 1991 V.Tarasov joined the Lithuanian Composers’ Union. He composes for orchestra, writes music for film and theatre. The musician has collaborated with Staatstheater in Stuttgart (1995), Majestic Theatre at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York (1995), Josef Nadj Centre Choreographique National Orleans in Orleans (1998) among other performing art institutions. Between 1999 and 2002 he was in charge of the Russian Drama Theatre of Lithuania.
V.Tarasov also writes for percussion, and often gives solo recitals. His discography amounts to 10 solo and about 100 collaborative albums recorded with Lithuanian and foreign jazz and classical musicians.
Since 1991, V.Tarasov has participated in personal and collective visual art exhibitions. He has displayed his works in Kunsthalle in Düsseldorf, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Centre Georges Pompidou and Galeries nationales du Grand Palais in Paris, Venetian Biennale, Kulturhuset in Stockholm, Centre of Contemporary Art DOM in Moscow, etc.
V.Tarasov taught in Bremen Music College, Podevil Art Centre in Berlin, Visual Art Institute in Orleans, and art academies in Düsseldorf and Vilnius.
The artist regularly participates in various theatre, jazz and visual art projects in France, Italy, Germany, Russia and the USA.
V.Tarasov has collaborated with Andrew Cyrille, Rova Saxophone Quartet, Anthony Braxton, Lauren Newton, Butch Morris, Thomasz Stanko, Gyorgy Szabados and Masahiko Satoh among other luminaries of jazz and improvised music.
The musician has initiated a number of projects involving people of letters from Lithuania and abroad.
Vilnius Jazz project will feature Kerry Shown Keys, an American poet living in Lithuania, and double bassist Vytis Nivinskas.