The concerts are a unique cooperation project of the embassies of the three Baltic states in the USA. The public concert will be held at the Millenium Stage of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and will begin on October 15 at 6 PM ET. It will be free to attend and will also be streamed online at kennedy-center.org.
The music of Baltic Jazz Trio is elegant, fresh and characteristic to the Baltic region. Each of the musicians is a leading force of the jazz life in his own country. Estonian bassist Toivo Unt, Latvian drummer Māris Briežkalns and Lithuanian pianist Dainius Pulauskas first performed together in 2008 at Baltic States Culture Week in Paris, France. Trio also performed at the Ottawa Jazz Festival in Canada, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, Vilnius Jazz Festival and Birštonas Jazz Festival in Lithuania, Via Baltica Festival in Liepāja, Latvia, Korzo Theater in Hague, Netherlands, Vanemuine Concert Hall in Tartu, Estonia etc.
The trio released two albums so far – Baltic Saga and Centerary – with music by great Baltic composers Arvo Pärt, Pēteris Vasks, Raimonds Pauls and Mikalojus Čiurlionis, which will be performed in concert as well.
Toivo Unt is known as one of the top double bass players in Estonia. He has played with well-known international jazz artists and participated in lots of international jazz festivals. Unt plays in the Estonian National Opera Symphony Orchestra, is a jury member of several international competitions, a music teacher, and an organiser of the annual Jazz Time Fest in Sillamäe, Estonia. He has played on more than 30 album recordings.
Māris Briežkalns has played in over 60 music albums and is a leader of Māris Briežkalns Quintet. He has performed and given master classes in many countries, including UK, France and Germany. Briežkalns runs the Contemporary Music Centre and is the artistic director of the Rīgas Ritmi Festival and International Jazz Artists Competition Riga Jazz Stage. He is the head of the Sound Recording Department of Latvian Radio and for many years was artistic director of Latvian Radio Bigband, producing Euroradio Jazz Orchestra 2018 as well. Briežkalns is awarded with Triju Zvaigžņu ordenis or Order of the Three Stars, which is the highest civilian order awarded for meritorious service to Latvia.
Dainius Pulauskas is a keyboard player and composer. He is the leader of one of the leading active Lithuanian jazz ensembles Dainius Pulauskas Group, which has produced five albums already. Pulauskas has participated in festivals all over the world, including Asia (China, India, Indonesia) and USA. For his activities Dainius Pulauskas has received numerous awards.
“Baltic Jazz Trio is a vivid proof of the strong roots of jazz music in the Baltic States, the high level of performance and the unusual fusion of American and Scandinavian schools with the nuances of ethnic cultures that are unique to this region. Top-class enjoyment is guaranteed for every jazz lover!” – Latvian music journalist Kaspars Zaviļeiskis