36th Vilnius Jazz Festival. 12-16 October, 2022

Baltic Jazz Trio

Baltic Jazz Trio (Lithuania / Latvia / Estonia):

Dainius Pulauskas - p;
Toivo Unt - db;
Maris Briezkalns - dr.

This trio involving outstanding jazz musicians from Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia debuted on October 2 in Paris. The trio makes its second appearance in “Vilnius Jazz”.

Dainius Pulauskas, a keyboardist, composer and leader of various groups, one of Lithuania’s most active and superlative jazz musicians, has kicked off his jazz career on the “Vilnius Jazz” stage in 1990. In four years Pulauskas made his leader debut with his Quintet at the “Birštonas Jazz”, where he introduced his Sextet two years later.

The latter collective has become one of the leading and widest known Lithuanian jazz groups in the world. Pulauskas’ Sextet received the Golden Disc awarded by the Lithuanian Musicians’ Union, and the Lithuanian Institute’s “LT identity” award for promulgation of Lithuanian jazz.

From 2004 on the “Dainius Pulauskas Group” became an umbrella-title for his Sextet and various other formations.

Pulauskas’ collectives perform exclusively the leader’s fusion music, which mesmerises with rich imagination, an array of acoustic and electronic timbres, and expressive dramaturgy. His music is immortalised in seven albums, two DVDs, and is included in nine jazz collections.

Over the past five years, Pulauskas has presented his music in over 20 concert tours, visiting 14 countries. His formations were the first to represent Lithuania in international jazz festivals in China, India and Indonesia.

Pulauskas collaborated in international projects with American, French, Israeli, Japanese, Korean, Philippine, Italian, Finnish, German and Russian musicians.

The musician has earned a number of awards: “Bravo” (1999) given to the best Lithuanian jazz musician; Grand Prix for the best arrangement of “Yesterday” by J.Lennon and P.McCartney at the International Competition Yesterday Pärnu'99 (Estonia); Grand Prix at the “Birštonas Jazz” (2000)

Pulauskas also collaborates with academic musicians and folk music performers.

In 2005, “Vilnius Jazz” presented Pulauskas’ innovative “Suite for jazz group and symphony orchestra”, last year – Octet project. This time he will see his old dream come true – performing his new compositions with a traditional jazz trio.

Toivo Unt is known as one of the top double bass players in Estonia. He is the organiser of the annual Nõmme Jazz festival, a jury member of several international competitions, a pedagogue and a bass player at the Estonian National Opera Symphony Orchestra.

He has played with well-known international jazz artists and participated in different jazz festivals around the world. He has recorded over 30 CDs.

Maris Briezkalnis is one of the most estimable Latvian jazz personalities. He runs the Contemporary Music Centre, and is the producer of the International Music Festival “Rigas Ritmi” and International Jazz Artists Competition “Sony Jazz Stage”. He is the director of the Sound Recording Studio of the Latvian Radio.

The drummer has played with a number of jazz celebrities including Grover Washington Jr., Ted Curson, and Frank Foster. He has performed and given master classes in UK, France, Germany and Falkland Islands.

Briezkalnis’ Jazz Quintet often represents Latvia in international jazz festivals.

The drummer has recorded over 60 CDs.

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