35th Vilnius Jazz Festival. 13-16 October, 2022

Dainius Pulauskas Group

Dainius Pulauskas Group (Lithuania):

Dainius Pulauskas - keyb
Valerijus Ramoška - tp, flhn
Vytautas Labutis - ss, as, bcl
Rimantas Brazaitis - ts
Leonid Šinkarenko - b
Arkady Gotesman - perc
Linas Būda - dr

Since 2004, the Dainius Pulauskas Group (DPG) has become an umbrella-title for various formations led by Dainius Pulauskas, a celebrated Lithuanian jazzman – keyboardist, composer and arranger. DPG performs his music exclusively.

In Vilnius Jazz the DPG introduces its new program.

In the past decade, Pulauskas’ compositions were performed in more than 30 concert tours. His music enchanted the audiences of Jakarta Jazz festival in Indonesia, the International Jazz Festival in Malaysia and Big Band Jam! festival in Washington DC. Pulauskas’ groups have travelled to Asia four times.

Pulauskas made his Birštonas Jazz debut as a leader of his Quintet in 1994. In two years Birštonas Jazz saw the debut of his Sextet, which became one of the leading and most widely internationally recognised Lithuanian jazz collectives. The group performed in more than ten European countries, two Asian countries, and was the first to represent Lithuania in international jazz festivals in China and India.

In 2001, Pulauskas’ Sextet was the first jazz ensemble to receive Golden Disc awarded to the best musicians of the year by the Lithuanian Musicians’ Union. In 2004, the Lithuanian Institute presented the ensemble with LT tapatybė (LT Identity) award for promulgation of Lithuanian jazz abroad.

His music can be heard on nearly ten personal CDs, two personal jazz DVDs, and nine jazz collections. The listeners get captivated by his ability to masterly combine acoustic and electronic timbres, constructivism and improvisation.

The keyboardist is equally active as a leader and a soloist. He has given solo appearances in international jazz piano festivals in Liepaja and Prague as well as the Lithuanian National Philharmonic.

Pulauskas also works with trumpeter Valerijus Ramoška, plays as a trio with renowned Estonian and Latvian jazz masters – Toivo Unt and Maris Briezkalns, collaborates with folk singer Veronika Povilionienė, Sutaras folk music group, Čiurlionis Quartet. He is a member of L. Shinkarenko’s Quartet Jazz 4.

The keyboardist appeared in international projects with musicians from the USA, France, Israel, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Italy, Finland, Germany, Russia, etc.

He has earned a number of awards: Bravo (1999) as 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.

Valerijus Ramoška is a long-standing member of Pulauskas’ groups. He has given a number of duo programmes as well as recorded albums with Pulauskas and Egidijus Buožis.

The trumpeter has collaborated with Vladimir Chekasin, Vladimir Tarasov, Liudas Mockūnas, Petras Vyšniauskas, Vytautas Labutis and Skirmantas Sasnauskas among other Lithuanian jazz luminaries. He also plays as a soloist with the leading Lithuanian Big Bands, performs in various chamber formations, is a member of L.Shinkarenko’s Quartet Jazz 4.

Vytautas Labutis, a saxophone virtuoso, multi-instrumentalist, composer, is one of the leading figures on Lithuanian jazz scene. He joins the DPG after a longer break. Lately, the musician has been busy experimenting with diverse formations and indulging the audiences with his novel ideas.

Labutis was instrumental in a number of leading Lithuanian jazz ensembles including quintet Džiazo nublokšti, L. Shinkarenko’s Jazz 4, Dainius Pulauskas Group, Vilnius Jazz Quartet and Lithuanian Jazz Trio among other.

Flexible musician he is at home in both small-scale and monumental jazz forms. In 1997, he formed an Octet featured on his first personal album Terra Vandetuja. Concurrently, he started collaborating with double-bassist Eugenijus Kanevičius. Combining diverse music styles and expression means in its cyclic contrastive compositions the duo has harvested a conceptual, heated and playful whole.

Labutis has appeared in various projects including Vladimir Tarasov’s Lithuanian Art Orchestra and Lithuanian Young Composers Orchestra, as well as international ones such as JazzBaltica Ensemble, Octet Ost, East-West Vapirov Project, New European Saxophone Quartet and Moscow Composers Orchestra. With diverse ensembles he has performed all around Europe, toured in Asia, the USA and Australia, recorded over 50 CDs.

Besides jazz the saxophonist performs contemporary academic music, takes part in artistic performances, writes music for film and theatre.

Rimantas Brazaitis started playing jazz several decades ago in Kaunas Radio Studio Jazz Ensemble led by late Romualdas Grabštas. The saxophonist met Pulauskas when playing in the vocal-instrumental ensemble Oktava.

Brazaitis took part in a number of Pulauskas’ projects and groups. The saxophonist also collaborates with other Lithuanian jazz masters, works with Lithuanian Radio and TV Group, as well as Kaunas Big Band.

Leonid Shinkarenko, one of the most creative Lithuanian jazz exponents, is a talented bassist, composer, leader and generator of various projects.

During his professional career spanning three decades Shinkarenko played in Vladimir Chekasin and Vytautas Labutis’ ensembles, Petras Vyšniauskas’ Quartet, quintet Džiazo nublokšti, Vilnius Jazz Quartet, and Vladimir Tarasov’s Lithuanian Art Orchestra among other collectives.

As a leader the bassist made his debut with Jazz 4 in 1997. With this group he recorded three albums, performed in Lithuania, Finland and jazz clubs in London.

In 2003, he initiated the revival of the Labutis, Jofė and Shinkarenko Trio today known as Lithuanian Jazz Trio. The Trio toured in Europe. The Lithuanian Institute presented the ensemble with an award for promulgation of Lithuania abroad.

As a member of various ensembles, the bassist appeared in more than 100 jazz festivals, took part in 60 recordings.

Since 2003, Shinkarenko has organised international jazz festival in Nida. In 2006, he was awarded Grand Prix at the Birštonas Jazz.

Arkady Gotesman, Pulauskas’ long-standing stage partner, is one of the most versatile Lithuanian drummers.

In addition to playing jazz, the percussionist performs contemporary academic music, writes scenarios for performances and installations, composes, records and performs music for theatre productions, performs as a silent film taper, collaborates with dancers.

Gotesman’s percussion can be heard in Oskaras Koršunovas’ theatre productions, and Anatolijus Šenderovas’ ballet Desdemona, as well as choreographic production To Disobey by choreographer Loreta Juodkaitė.

Theatre enthusiasts were dazzled by Gotesman and actress Dalia Michelevičiūtė’s evocation of poetic visions of Wislawa Szymborska. This year the percussionist presented his first solo theatre production The Story of a God’s Man.

Inspired by J. Brodsky’s poetry Gotesman recorded solo album J. Brodsky in memoriam; his music is also featured on a CD of Rolandas Rastauskas’ poems.

Gotesman made his jazz debut in the 80s. He has collaborated with exponents of various trends including Roland Dahinden, Vladimir Volkov, Vyacheslav Gaivoronsky, Arkady Shikloper, Julian Joseph, John Zorn, David Geringas, Jack Siron, Frank London, Anthony Coleman and Charles Gayle.

For many years the percussionist has been working with Petras Vyšniauskas, Vyacheslav Ganelin and Liudas Mockūnas. In addition, he should be credited for original projects with vocalist Andrė Pabarčiūtė. He is a founder and a member of Vilnius Klezmer Orchestra, and organiser of Klezmer Music Festival.

Linas Būda, a seasoned rock drummer, has been appearing on jazz scene for almost two decades. Since 1994, he has been a member of Pulauskas’ groups, a participant of international tours. He also works with the LRT group.


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