Videos: Kęstutis Vaiginis, an initiator and leader of a number of international projects

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06.09. – Happy Birthday !!! Kęstutis Vaiginis, an initiator and leader of a number of international projects, revealed his compositional talent while still a student at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, the Prince Claus Conservatorium and Amsterdam School of the Arts (the Netherlands), as well as Manhattan School of Music in New York.

Since then, as a member of various collectives the saxophonist (and flutist) performed his compositions not only in Lithuania, but also the Netherlands, Spain, France, the USA, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Belarus.

During his study years Vaiginis started composing for big bands as well. In 2008, he formed Independent Artists Ensemble, a Lithuanian youth big band. Last year the musician performed his compositions with German State Youth Jazz Orchestra. Held at the National Philharmonic Hall this concert was broadcast live on LRT Klasika, Kultūra and Eurovision channels. Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, was present at the concert and awarded Vaiginis European Culture Foundation’s Europamusicale Music Prize, which annually is given to one European musician.

Winner of many national and international competitions and recipient of Grand Prix of Birštonas Jazz Festival (2010), Vaiginis is one of the most gifted and productive Lithuanian jazz musicians. He also takes part in projects of various other genres; appeared in contemporary music festival Gaida.

The list of his former and current stage partners includes such jazz coryphées as Barbara Dennerlein, Hernan Romero, Ed Howard, Adam Cruz, Randal Corsen, Bilal Karmaran, Burak Bedikyan, Caner Kaptan, Herbie Kopf, Joon Haavisto and Deniss Pashkevich, as well as Indonesian, Korean and Italian musicians. The musician is a member of Lithuanian-Latvian-Estonian Tree Stones Quartet and Dainius Pulauskas Group.

As a leader and guest musician of various collectives he appeared in prestigious festivals including Nord Sea Jazz (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), London (UK), Ottawa (Canada), Cape Town (Republic of South Africa), Istanbul (Turkey) and Hong Kong to name but a few, toured in Malaysia. The saxophonist regularly takes part in Lithuanian jazz festivals.

His discography amounts to three personal albums; his compositions were included in several Lithuanian music collections. “His vision is wide-ranging from the subtle to the provocative, rooted in an appreciation of tradition and yet looking forward”, said Steve Wilson, an illustrious American saxophonist, about Vaiginis’ Unexpected Choices recorded with acclaimed New Yorkers.

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