Milda Kiaušaitė, 2012-04-30

In brief: The religion of jazz unites Kaunas citizens and guests at the end of every April. Kaunas Jazz Festival 2012 started last Thursday yet the actual fiesta was held on the weekend.

Friday afternoon was a real celebration for the little ones. Children grabbed chalk and brushes and drew music on the pavement of Vienybės Square. 


In the meantime the chime music concert ‘Mi-Do-Re’ was held by Julius Vilnonis in the War Museum’s yard. The chimes were accompanied by a bass guitar, drums and saxophone. A special mood typical to jazz was in the air – everything resounded in unison and rippled above the fulgent city.

It is time we went to Kaunas Philharmonic promising gourmand music. The keyboard player Kęstutis Lušas appeared as the leader of Lush-Band (Lithuania) this year. However, the performance was rather dull and K. Lušas was upstaged by the saxophonist Rimantas Ambrazaitis who was arousing the audience by energetic solos. It is a shame yet, as usually, the Lithuanian jazz sounds rather slow and boring, sometimes – too snobbish in the festival. 

The second guest of the evening – Christian McBride Trio (USA) enthralled the audience immediately. The young musicians - Christian Sands (piano), Ulysses Owens Jr. (drums) and C. McBride (contrabass) put their all energy and surprised with professionalism. The trio revived the enthusiasm and promised an energetic and interesting evening. The Lithuanians should learn how to combine professionalism with joy, energy and playful simplicity. After all, jazz is emotional and lively, born in streets pulsating with life.

The night fell on the city and offered the concerts of Jazzway (Lithuania) and Keymono (Lithuania). Yet the most awaited concert of the festival was the annual performance of Saulės Kliošas (Lithuania). By the way, the leader of Keymono is Daiva DIVAH DEE Starinskaitė – former vocalist of Saulės Kliošas. Her new project proved its success – the sea of faces was moving in the rhythm of dynamic vocal jazz. Jazzway was a pleasant surprise representing mature, sometimes even rather heavy sounds, varied and firing repertoire, and professionalism of the musicians.

The evening dessert for the most patient and energetic was given by The Northern Governors (Finland) at Combo Club. Their music was fun and playful yet did not make one‘s legs stomp fiercely. Maybe the Northern cold was to blame. However, eventually the audience was overwhelmed with more and more energy and the spree of jazz.

The night was crowned with a wild jam session (watch it with Christian McBride Trio, Daiva DIVAH DEE Starinskaitė and The Northern Governors. And the jazz lasted till the morning...

More photographs:


Author's photographs



Read comments
Write your comment