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

Sabir Mateen - Juozas Milašius


Sabir Mateen - saxes
Juozas Milašius - g

Spontaneous ensembles are the salt of the jazz festivals. Vilnius Jazz has been the matchmaker of many a tandem of distinguished avant-gardists. This time the Festival presents a dialogue of two intriguing improvisers – saxophonist Sabir Mateen from New York and guitarist Juozas Milašius from Vilnius. The concert recording is going to be released by an international label.

An expert on saxophones, flutes and clarinets Sabir Mateen became a fixture on New York free jazz scene in the end of the 80s. Before that, he played R&B, collaborated with Horace Tapscott and his Pan-Afrikan Peoples Aekestra as well as other ensembles in Los Angeles.

The musician enjoys long-time collaboration with drummer Sunny Murray and pianist Raymond A. King with whom he started working while still living in his native Philadelphia.

However, Sabir Mateen’s preferences are best revealed in projects with the avant-garde giants such as Cecil Taylor, William Parker’s ensembles, Jemeel Moondoc, Dave Burrell, Butch Morris, The Sun Ra Arkestra, William Hooker and Hamid Drake among other free jazz legends.

For more than twenty years he has been involved in free jazz group Test, which can be heard in New York’s streets and subway. East 3rd Street is yet another ensemble Sabir Mateen has been associated with since 1994.

He is a member of The Downtown Horns trio with Roy Campbell and Daniel Carter, plays solo and collaborates in duos with Matthew Shipp and Hilliard Green, leads his own trio, quartet Omni-Sound, sextet Sabir Mateen Ensemble and a large band Juxtapositions mixing European and African strings and percussion.

Sabir Mateen has toured in Europe, Japan and Africa.

For almost three decades guitarist Juozas Milašius has been ranked among the most ingenious and radical Lithuanian jazz musicians, composers and initiators of various performances.

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 stormed the jazz scene with Petras Vyšniauskas’ Quartet in 1986, Juozas Milašius to this day collaborates with the saxophonist in Lithuania and abroad.

The guitarist 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.

Juozas Milašius 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.

As a part of various ensembles Juozas Milašius has performed in a number of jazz and contemporary music and art festivals in Russia, Italy, Poland, Estonia, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Austria.

The guitarist has recorded two solo albums – j.m.eilė and Slow, composed soundtracks for It Snows in Heaven Too (1994) and Journey into the Night (2003), with likeminded colleagues directed a theatre production based on Kobo Abe’s novel Woman in the Dunes, in which he also acted.

In 2008, Juozas Milašius earned Vilnius Jazz Award for contributions to Lithuanian jazz. In the past he has appeared in 15 projects on the Festival’s stage. This is his eleventh performance in Vilnius Jazz. 

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