European Saxophone Ensemble (European Union):
János Ávéd (Hungaria) – ts, ss
Dubbed the Ambassador of the European Union, the European Saxophone Ensemble 2012 brings together 18-34 year-old saxophone players from twelve EU countries. The young talents were chosen at the master classes, held in eight European cities. The young musicians have met in September and rehearsed for a week in the ensemble’s residence in Ghent (Belgium). Since September 15th it has been giving concerts in various European countries. “Vilnius Jazz” is the ensemble’s sixth stop on the tour. The ensemble already introduced itself in Ghent, Dublin, Brescia, Helsinki and Tallinn. After “Vilnius Jazz” it will appear in Belgrade, Lisbon, Montpellier, Dortmund, Tilburg, Brussels ad Strasbourg.
Music was written by five composers –Stéphane Payen (France), Ronan Guilfoyle (Ireland), Kari Ikonen (Finland), Alan Hilario (Fillipines) and Ingrid Laubrock (Germany) – especially for this occasion. All of them are not only titled composers, but also renowned pedagogues and instrumentalists, leaders and members of celebrated collectives. In these compositions improvisation takes a prominent role as a means for different saxophonists to express themselves as individuals as well as a group.
The saxophonists come from different musical backgrounds: from a virtuouso contemporary music soloist to a punk baritone saxophone player, from a jazz tenor saxophonist to an afro-soul Scandinavian baritone, from a chamber soprano to an alto playing in eastern European traditional ensemble.
The tour will continue to January. It will be an impressive acoustic practice because the concerts are held in diverse venues – clubs and concert halls, industrial environment and public spaces.
Lithuania is represented by Dovydas Stalmokas, a graduate of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Dovydas plays baritone and bass saxophones. In Lithuania he is best known from improvised music projects, however he plays a wide range of music. Dovydas works with several big bands, is a member of Yrinauda, Aprasymaa and Horny Horn. In 2009, Dovydas Stalmokas was voted the best instrumentalist of “Vilnius Jazz Young Power”.
Guillaume Orti, the artistic director of this year’s European Saxophone Ensemble, studied both jazz and classical music at the Regional Conservatory of Avignon and attended various instrumental workshops. One workshop in particular had a decisive impact on his musical development: a seminar at the Banff Center of Fine Arts (Canada) under the direction of Steve Coleman.
He is best known as a saxophonist with Kartet, Mâäk, Octurn, The Progressive Patriots and Andy Emler’s MegaOctet. He also collaborates with Benzine, Reverse and other groups, plays as a duo with saxophonist Stéphane Payen, trio with Andy Emler and Ballaké Sissolo.
Lately he participated in two projects supported by the Fondation Royaumont: du Griot au Slammeur and du Slam à l’Atlas, that gathered slammers, musicians, singers and dancers from Mali, Morocco and France.