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

Castor Stetson


Deimantas Balys – g
Arnas Mikalkėnas – p
Kazimieras Jušinskas – saxes
Nojus Drąsutis – b
Domantas Razmus – dr

Deimantas Balys formed this group uniting promising musicians in 2016. Up to this year it was known as “D.Jurevičius Group”. The collective performs original compositions merging various styles and modern jazz vocabulary.

In two years time the group has appeared in various music festivals including Vilnius Mama Jazz, Vilnius Jazz and Elektrėnai Jazz Festival, as well as Freedom Jazz Festival in Poland.

Last year the group won Grand Prix at the Vilnius Jazz Young Power competition; this year it has toured Baltic states and released its debut album Captured Music, featuring Balys’ music.

The Quintet’s members have similar approach to creativity and atypical outlook on music and environment.

In the last year’s VJYP competition the group had different line-up. This time Donatas Petreikis and Domas Žeromskas will be replaced by Jušinskas and Mikalkėnas.

Deimantas Balys has studied at the Vilnius Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Music in Aalborg (Denmark). Later furthered his education in the Rhythmic Music Department at the University of Applied Sciences. This year he earned Master Degree in contemporary music and free jazz from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LAMT).

The guitarist has played in different groups including “Soul Syrup”, “Such’a’Trip”, “TribalVibe”, “Diama” and “Maneuver”. However, his most significant achievement is “D.Jurevičius Group”.

Last year this collective captured Grand Prix at the Vilnius Jazz Young Power competition and this year will make the competition guest appearance under a new name “Castor Stetson”.

Deimantas took part in Kaunas Jazz, Vilnius Mama Jazz, PIN diena, Druskomanija and Ariogala Jazz festivals in Lithuania, as well as Saeby Jazzfestival in Demark and Freedom Jazz Festival in Poland; appeared in Baltic states’ concert series.

Composer, keyboardist and accordionist Arnas Mikalkėnas is dedicated to non-commercial music.

Via his idiosyncratic creations showcasing utmost attention to sound the musician keeps daringly breaking the common notion of musical categories.

Inspired by free jazz trio “Ąžuoliniai berželiai” he formed one of his main collectives “Fluxus”. He also plays in a duo with trumpeter Dominykas Vyšniauskas, a trio with saxophonist Liudas Mockūnas and Norwegian drummer Hakon Berre, composes music for Kaunas Drama Theatre, takes part in theatre productions.

The productive partnership has associated the keyboardist with Justinas Kalinauskas, the creator of contemporary alternative theatre and happenings.

Mikalkėnas has collaborated with a number of renowned Lithuanian and foreign masters including Vytautas Labutis, Arkady Gotesman, Dalius Naujokaitis, Arvydas Joffė, Kenny Wollesen, Anne Liis Poll, Lasse Lindgren, Jerome Fourrier, Ken McCann and Francesco Angiuli.

In addition, the musician is actively involved in educational work. Currently, he teaches at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre; together with a businesswoman Daiva Masaitytė he recently opened Jazz Academy, an institution of non-formal education, in Kaunas.

Kazimieras Jušinskas became infected with jazz at the Vilnius Conservatoire. He furthered his education at the Jazz Department and Contemporary Music Department in the LAMT.

The saxophonist takes active part in Lithuanian jazz festivals with groups “Brave Noises” and “Džiazlaif” (has won Grand Prix at the VJYP with both of them), collaborates in interdisciplinary projects. He also is a member of “The Septet” and “Katarsis4” saxophone quartet.

Nojus Drąsutis drew attention to himself while still at the Balys Dvarionas Music School, where he played in jazz ensemble coached by saxophonist Vytautas Labutis. With this ensemble he made appearances in jazz festivals in Lithuania.

The bassist also earned first prizes in international jazz competition Don Chento Jazz in Kaliningrad and an international competition Music Without Borders where he appeared with jazz ensemble led by Olegas Molokojedovas. His guitar is heard on the ensemble’s CD.

“Made in 234”, a group which he formed with four schoolmates, captured Grand Prix in Vilnius Jazz Young Power 2014 and the following year garnered the main prize in student jazz competition in Târgu Mureș (Romania). Last year, as a member of “D.Jurevičius Group” the drummer captured Grand Prix at the VJYP competition.

Drąsutis also plays in Labutis’ Silent Blast. He has appeared in almost all main jazz festivals in Lithuania and Saulkrasti Jazz in Latvia.

Domantas Razmus earned Bachelor Degree in Jazz from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in 2017. Since 2012, he has regularly collaborated with renowned Lithuanian jazz masters and representatives of other genres including Dmitry Golovanov, Kęstutis Vaiginis, Vytis Nivinskas, Vytis Smolskus, Arman Isojan and Klaudijus Štuopinis.

In 2012, as a member of “R.A.D.D.” Razmus won Grand Prix at the Vilnius Jazz Young Power competition, and in 2016 claimed the same award with “TDT”. In 2017, he garnered first prize at the Tamsta Drumday competition. In 2016, he joined Cinamon jazz quintet with which he performed in Lithuania and Germany.

The drummer has accumulated an extremely wide pool of expression means. His vocabulary includes elements of pop-, funk and fusion, traditional jazz, hard rock and punk rock. Occasionally he tries his hand in avant-garde and free jazz experiments.  

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