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

Petras Vyšniauskas - Juozas Milašius

Petras Vyšniauskas - Juozas Milašius (Lithuania):

Petras Vyšniauskas - saxophone
Juozas Milašius - guitar

The two jazz luminaries have been making music together for a quarter of a century. However, the duo has never appeared in Vilnius Jazz yet. As members of various formations they have collaborated abroad – in Israel, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, and as a duo performed in Italy and Russia.

“We know each other perfectly – we have nothing to improve”, quipped Milašius. The guitarist admitted that when on stage, he and Vyšniauskas often improvise spontaneously. However, at other times the duo plans its performances scrupulously. Let the audience decide which of the two cases the performers will present this time.

Petras Vyšniauskas, one of the most versatile representatives of Lithuanian jazz, is a saxophonist, composer and pedagogue. He enjoys collaboration with a wide variety of musicians such as performers of jazz, folk and academic music – Veronika Povilionienė, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and St Christopher Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra.

His repertoire spans from baroque compositions originally written for trumpet and oboe to works dedicated to him by contemporary composers. Vyšniauskas’ ‘voice’ can be heard in more than 50 theatre productions as well as Lithuanian and European movies.

Vyšniauskas has partnered Steve Lacy, Bob Stenson, Han Bennink, Tomasz Stanko, Jon Christensen, Kent Carter, Theo Jörgensmann, Jimmy Owens, Elliot Sharp, Paul Jeffrey, Charly Mariano, Karl Berger, Anatoly Vapirov, Reiner Winterschladen, John Law, Steve Swell, Hilliard Greene, Vijay Iyer, John Lindberg, Antoni Donchev, Mark Tokar, Rova Saxophone Quartet and many other jazz masters. He has taken part in major international jazz projects including East Meet West, Jazz Baltica, Octet Ost, and The International Varna Big Band.

Presently, he has focused on working with Ganelin Trio Priority, international performing forces of which involve keyboardist Vyacheslav Ganelin, living in Israel, and German drummer Klaus Kugel.

Vyšniauskas has appeared in dozens of European festivals, Detroit Jazz Festival and Vision Festival in New York (USA), Perth Festival (Australia), as well as in Japan.

In addition to intense concert schedule, he teaches at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, gives master classes, and is a patron of young Lithuanian musicians. For performing and pedagogical work, nurturing and promulgation of the Lithuanian jazz Vyšniauskas was decorated with the Lithuanian National Arts and Culture Prize, the Fifth Degree Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, and the National Pride Award.

Juozas Milašius, a guitarist, composer and initiator of various performances, is among the most conceptual and radical Lithuanian jazz musicians. His experiments with guitar and computer, noise and alternative means of sound production have provoked both staunch sympathy and categorical opposition. Among the highlights of his projects are Gitaramanija (1989), Auksinės gitaros (1998), Milašius Power Trio (2003) as well as solo appearances.

Having emerged on jazz scene with Petras Vyšniauskas’ Quartet in 1986, Milašius later collaborated with Vladimir Chekasin, Vytautas Labutis, Vladimir Tarasov, Tomas Kutavičius, Dalius Naujokaitis, Skirmantas Sasnauskas, Jonas Mekas, Darius Čiūta and other performers of experimental electronic music. The guitarist has also appeared in international formations with Sainkho Namchilak, Jim Meneses, Martin Schutz, Hans Koch, Fredy Studer, Jimmy Owens, Luc Houtkamp, Ned Rothenberg, Saadet Turkoz, and Kouhei Matsunaga among others. Milašius has recorded two solo albums – j.m.eilė and Slow.

Milašius has performed in Russia, Italy, Poland, Estonia, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Austria.

In 2008, the guitarist earned Vilnius Jazz Award for contributions to Lithuanian jazz. This is his eleventh performance in Vilnius Jazz. In the past the festival stage has hosted fourteen of his projects.

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