The International Jazz Festival Kaunas Jazz was with the independence of Lithuania in 1991 and has survived various blockades, financial and other hardships. It has been numerously dedicated to the most significant anniversaries of the Lithuanian statehood and is today enjoying membership of the Europe Jazz Network. The festival, firmly established itself in the musical life of Lithuania and Europe, will be back for the 27th time on April 21-30th.
Kaunas Jazz'1992. Petras Vyšniauskas & Everet Sangoma / Photo from www.kaunasjazz.lt
Kaunas Jazz has used its twenty six years of existence to make certain that the persistent and consistent effort of the team results in the scale and style of Kaunas Jazz that places it among renowned jazz festivals in the world. It is trusted by world jazz music creators, performers, listeners and sponsors; it is a festivity for jazz music lovers, creators and critics in the city of Kaunas, in Lithuania, Europe and the world at large.
Kaunas Jazz'2005. Omar Sosa / Photo by V. Suslavičius
The Festival locations are the Main Hall of Vytautas Magnus University, Žalgirio Arena in Kaunas, Kaunas Synagogue, Vytautas Magnus Church, Kaunas State Philharmonic, Combo club and numerous places in Vilnius and other cities in Lithuania. Together with ticketed concerts, the festival always offers a handful (26 this year!) of free events open for everyone in the streets and squares of Kaunas. Even though Kaunas Jazz is a jazz festival, it embraces stylistic variations and projects where there is a link to academic music, exotic sounds and/or most recent trends of popular youth music.
In 2017, Kaunas Jazz will be opened by a reception in the City Hall, filled with music by the Adam Jarzmik Quintet from Poland. Other program highlights include concerts by Yemen Blues (IL), Nicholas Payton (US), Horndogz (FR), Estrada Orchestra (EST) and the likes.
Kaunas Jazz / Photo by kasvyksta.lt
As International Jazz Day is celebrated on April 30 with special jazz events around the world, a very special closing concert of Kaunas Jazz is scheduled for the date. The Grammy-winning jazz singer Dianne Reeves will perform in Žalgirio arena. Expect the highlights of the last album Beautiful Life (released in 2014) and, of course, the most loved pieces from her 4-decade career.
The very end of April is probably the best time to discover the musical side of Kaunas - everyone who has visited Kaunas Jazz will agree on that. See you in the festival!