Milasius-Kutavičius-Naujokaitis feat. Lithuanian Young Composers Orchestra

October 17, 15:00, Russian Drama Theatre, Vilnius

Vilnius-based record label “NoBusiness Records” has just released a historical recording from the 1993 Willisau Jazz Festival in Switzerland. It features original works by guitarist Juozas Milašius, pianist Tomas Kutavičius and drummer Dalius Naujokaitis. The trio’s performance is accompanied by an interesting team – saxophonist Vytautas Labutis and vocalists Vilija Naujokaitienė, Vaidas Urmilevičius and Gintarė Skerytė.

The idea for this project was born in 1991 at the Vilnius Jazz festival, and the Willisau masterminds have developed it. The project gave meaning to a new philosophy of jazz, which its inspirer Milašius set out in his manifesto at that time. “This was a seminal event in Lithuanian jazz, which strongly influenced the development of Lithuanian free jazz,” A. Gustys, the organizer of Vilnius Jazz, has no doubts.

Launched in 1966, the Willisau Jazz Festival has established itself on the world jazz map first as the capital of radical avant-garde and free jazz, attracting aficionados of these genres from all over Europe to the small town of Willisau near Lucerne every year. Albeit, this year the festival was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Willisau stage hosted Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, Anthony Braxton, Sun Ra, John Zorn, Evan Parker, Chick Corea and many other unsurpassed improvisers. The entire history of this festival – from its origins to the present day – is housed in the Willisau Jazz Archive in the Music Library of the University of Lucerne.

The Lithuanian episode of its history is already in our hands. Compact disc and vinyl record featuring a historical recording will be presented at the festival by musicians Milašius and T. Kutavičius, publisher Danas Mikailionis and A. Gustys, Vilnius Jazz producer.