Bon Ton (Lithuania):
Simona Smirnova – voc
The group was established less than a year ago. Almost all of its members have taken part in Lithuanian jazz festivals and competitions in the past. For Vilnius Jazz Young Power the Sextet presents S.Smirnova’s composition Somewhere.
Simona Smirnova studied kanklės and choral singing at the music school in Ignalina. Currently, she furthers her education at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LAMT) where she studies jazz vocal under Skirmantas Sasnauskas. The singer took part in several competitions including Baby Sing (Anykščiai), Jazz Voices (Klaipėda) and Jazz Fountain (Panevėžys).
Leonardas Bėkša graduated from Eduardas Balsys Gymnasium of Arts in Klaipėda where he studied classical trumpet under Virgilijus Nemaniūnas. He also studied jazz piano with Saulius Šiaučiulis, a jazz pianist and pedagogue. Currently, the trumpeter is a last-year student in Jazz Trumpet Bachelor Degree program at the LAMT.
Leonardas has appeared in Vilnius Jazz, Birštonas Jazz and Klaipėda Jazz festivals. He was recognised as a discovery of Vilnius Jazz Young Power 2006, and in 2008 received a nomination for “Actualisation of the Tradition” in the same competition.
Simonas Šipavičius studied saxophone at the School of Arts in Kretinga and Stasys Šimkus Conservatoire in Klaipėda. Currently, he furthers his education under assistant Professor Petras Vyšniauskas in the Jazz Department at the LAMT.
The saxophonist has appeared in several projects in Vilnius Mama Jazz and Birštonas Jazz festivals, took part in Vilnius Jazz Young Power in the past. He is a five-time winner of J. Pakalnis Wind Instrument Competition.
Manvydas Pratkelis started his music education at the School of Arts in Jonava. Later he graduated from Juozas Tallat-Kelpša Conservatoire where he studied under Jan Maksimovich. Currently, he studies saxophone under John Ruocco at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague (the Netherlands). The saxophonist has appeared in Birštonas Jazz Festival.
Paulius Vaškas graduated from Juozas Tallat-Kelpša Conservatoire, and currently furthers his education at the LAMT where he studies electric guitar under Jaroslavas Cechanovičius.
Živilė Kazlauskaitė studied choral conducting and drums at Karoliniškės Music School. Currently, she studies drums under Arkady Gotesman at the LAMT. As a member of the Big Band of Karoliniškės Music School she has appeared in Kaunas Jazz and Birštonas Jazz festivals.