J.Kuraitis - T.Razmus - A.Mikalkėnas (Lithuania):
Juozas Kuraitis - sax
Juozas Kuraitis and Tomas Razmus are the winners of the first Vilnius Jazz Young Power competition (2006). It is symbolic, that having acquired substantial artistic experience the musicians return to the festival stage.
We have heard Juozas Kuraitis in Vilnius Jazz 2008 teaming-up with Greek group Baby Trio. One of the most talented Lithuanian saxophonists of younger generation he has participated in a number of major projects led by illustrious jazz masters such as Artūras Anusauskas, Herbie Kopf, George Kontrafouris, Robin Aristoren and Kęstutis Vaiginis. Kuraitis formed his own quartet, which involves Dmitry Golovanov, Vytis Nivinskas and Darius Rudis.
The saxophonist is at home in a range of styles from mainstream to free jazz, tango and classical music. He has worked with In Culto, performed with Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra, Sax Fix saxophone quartet, various big bands.
Having completed Master Degree programme at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, he later furthered his education at the Sibelius Academy (Finland). Kuraitis has appeared in major jazz and contemporary music festivals in Lithuania.
He is a prize winner of the J. Pakalnis Young Performers’ Competition (1999), jazz competitions in Nida (2004) and Jazz Hope (2005) and Vilnius Jazz Young Power (2006, 2007).
Tomas Razmus also feels at ease with various music styles from classical to avant-garde. The musician has graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, where he studied saxophone. He earned prizes not only in Vilnius Jazz Young Power, but also Autumnal Watercolour competition.
Razmus collaborates with various big bands and orchestras, participates in traditional and experimental jazz projects such as playing duo with accordionist Arnas Mikalkėnas.
The saxophonist regularly appears in Klaipėda, Kaunas Birštonas and Vilnius jazz festivals.
Arnas Mikalkėnas collaborates with both winners of the Vilnius Jazz Young Power in other formations as well. In addition, he is a member of Apeiron, 3 Fingers, Kaunas – Vilnius 4, ? among other groups; performs with his own trio.
The accordionist declares that his goal is to foster the non-commercial art of improvised music, animate the audiences with the intensity of music. Mikalkėnas also improvises on piano. Moreover, he is well known in the academic music world – has garnered prizes in a number of competitions, performed in Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Ireland, etc.