Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre

NOMAZZ IP Participants

International relations
International Projects coordinated by LMTA

Marcis Auzins

Marcis was born in 1983 in a small city called Madona, in a country side of Latvia. After finishing elementary school and child music school as pianist he moved to Riga (capital city of Latvia) to study guitar at Riga’s 100th rock-music secondary school – that was only option where it was possible to study guitar those days. After secondary school he joined Rigas Doma Choir, school of music management (2 years course), and later stated studying Jazz music course at the same school (2 year course). Then he had a 4 year brake in studies and joined lots of projects in Latvia, was doing lot of records, and after 4 year period he entered jazz department at the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Music Academy where he is currently studying at bachelor’s degree level.

Projects: City Jazz Big Band, Twin-Town jazz group, Deniss Pashkevich quartet, Funk Theraphy, Dainu Trio, Jay Stever Band, Laima Vaikule band, Raimonds Pauls band.

Esben Brandt

Since he began to play the guitar at the age of 12 he became interested in composition as well. It was very intriguing to him what was going on when somebody was composing or improvising for that matter. Esben graduated as an Honours Bachelor of arts in Jazz Performance from Newpark Music Centre in 2010. In 2011 he started as a student at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus in the Nordic Master of Jazz programme. For the whole of his studies composition has been a major subject and its one of the centerpieces of his work as a musician.  Composition is essential, but he also found that improvisation is equally important, and really, not that far apart. A lot of his music therefore creates a lot of freedom, possibility and encourages improvisation both in the form of solos but also collectively and in the accompaniment.

His work is mostly based around my own group, but he has also played in other artists’ groups for shorter or longer periods of time among such musician as Thomas Dabrowski, Kenneth Dahl Knudsen, Søren Møller, Matthew Halpin, and Tommy Gray.

Budreckytė Laura

Laura comes from a cozy Birštonas resort. She has graduated from Birštonas School of Arts, piano class. Currently she is doing her master studies at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Laura spent half a year in Tallinn where she studied at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.

To enhance her musical knowledge she also got training and musical inspirations by Bobby Mcferrin, Brian Melvin, Jeff Cascaro and Adam Makovic. She was the first prize winner at the competition Jazz Voices 2012 and was nominated as the best performer of a free programme. Her most recent engagements are playing old swing music with jazz ensemble The Schwings.

Veronika Čičinskaitė

(b. in 1988) is a jazz singer and composer of a young jazz generation in Lithuania. Despite her young age, she already collaborates with famous Lithuanian musicians Artūras Anusauskas, Vytis Nivinskas, Darius Rudis and Dmitrij Golovanov.

She studies master degree in jazz vocal at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Since 2008 she is an active member of the Lithuanian Jazz scene. In 2010 Veronika studied at the Liszt School of Music Weimar, Germany with Jeff Cascaro and Michael Schiefel, in 2011 participated in master classes with Bobby McFerrin in Estonia.

Veronika is known both for her nice and flexible voice and ability to improvise at a high level. Since 2008 Veronika took part at the few important international jazz competition winning the 2nd prize at Jazz fountain (2008) and the 3rd prize at Jazz Voices (2009). In 2011 she was singing at the New Opera Festival in Lithuania. In 2012 Veronika won Grand Prix at the Vilnius Jazz Young Power competition with vocal group Singaz. The same year she was selected to represent Lithuania at the international “Traveling Youth Orchestra” project and had toured with this project in Europe.

Veronika is developing professional experience by singing with her group Veronika ChiChi Quartet and retro-jazz group The Ditties, in jazz clubs, international festivals Vilnius Mama Jazz, Birštonas Jazz, Vilnius Jazz, Rigas Svetki, Kristupo festivaliai and by participating in various jazz projects.

Tomas Dičiūnas

Tomas has been interested in music from his early childhood when he started playing piano. Later he went to rock music school where played guitar and begun studying jazz music.

Tomas‘ musical interests include electronic music, mainly synthesizers, development of new creative ideas, realization of various compositions and different approaches to musical expression.

In jazz, his main idea remains ‚to keep improvising on the spot in different ways‘.

Jonas Andriesen

My name is Jonas and I play the saxophone. I love music. I love to play music with other people. WOW!

Before starting on the Nomazz programme, I studied Saxophone, composition and a lot of other stuff at RAMA in Aarhus. That was pretty sweet, but the NOMAZZ programme is a great opportunity to live and study in other countries, so here I am.

Playing good music is what I try to do on a dailly basis, preferably with a lot of improvisation in it. I try to have a lot of intent and energy in what I play.

I’m also very interested in composing. I write for most of the smaller groups that I play in and also larger ensembles including bigbands and even an occational string quartet!

I have a large ensemble with a finnish singer that I write for and conduct for.
Chect it out here:

Bård Helgerud

My name is Bård Helgerud. Born in Norway. Started to play the guitar when I was around 16 years old. The music I listen to can vary very much these days, but my musical roots is Blues and American jazz from the 50s and 60s. My composing is also very much influenced by the blues and that period of jazz.

I`m on my second year of the Nomazz program now and right now I am living in Helsinki.

I am planning to record with a quartet here. It is going to be a mix between my tunes and standards. In January 2013 I am playing on a record with the Norwegian string swing group Touche. Its gonna be realised on hot club records spring 2013.

Arman Isojan

Arman began his bassist career in Klaipėda while studying violin at the Stasys Šimkus Conservatoire. He was invited to Jurgis Barakauskas Dixieland Ensemble.

After changing his main instrument, Arman learned classical double bass lessons with R. Grigaitis and later he was playing in the Klaipėda Musical Theatre. Soon, Arman was invited to join Klaipėda jazz ensemble I 4 combo.

He has performed at a large number of concerts and has opened jazz sessions.

He participated in international projects Slovakia summer jazz festival Jazznica (2011), Divercities in France, Grenoble (2012). The ensemble participated in Klaipėda Castle Jazz Festival in 2011. In additon, Arman has been playing in various projects with famous Lithuanian jazz musicians.

Arman is currently studying bass at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy with Vytis Nivinskas.

Rokas Jackūnas

Rokas is studying jazz guitar at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre from the year 2010. He has also teaching experience as a guitar teacher at the school Garsas ir spalva (from 2012). Rokas is a winner of several competitions: the second place at the competition Gitarų šėlsmas (2009), finalist at competition Talentų ringas (2010), winner of the competition Gitarų šėlsmas (2010), and second place at the Dr. Jonas Kazickas’ competition of informatics and programmable music Olympics.

Rokas participated in the international project "Travelling Youth Orchestra", which has been touring in France, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and has recorded CD album. During the project Jazz gang he performed in jazz session at the National Drama Theater. Rokas mastered his skills with Kęstutis Vaiginis quintet (David Berkman, Alex Sipiagin, Ferit Odman) and attended bigband workshop led by Jeff Cascaro and Stephan Zimmermann (2012). He also performes with hip - hop and gospel bands in Vilnius.

Cesar Joaniquet

Born in Barcelona in 1988. Degree in Saxophone Jazz and Modern Music in ESMuC (Barcelona), completed a further study at the Berklee College of Music (Boston), and is currently studying the Nordic Jazz Master in Sibelius Academy (Helsinki). He began studying music at the age of 6. After studying classical music, he began studying jazz piano, music theory and saxophone lessons with Martí Serra in Badalona.

At age 18, he enrolled in college, where studied with professors jazz saxophonists Victor de Diego, Xavier Figuerola and Eladio Reinón, improvisation with Agustí Fernández, arrangement and composition. His interest in further improvement led him to Berklee College of Music, where he studied one year before moving to New York. Alain Mallet, George Garzone, Frank Tiberi, Dave Santoro and Hal Crook were particularly influential in his studies. He currently changed his place of residence for Helsinki, receiving a scholarship to study in the Nordic Jazz Master.

He has attended several seminars where expanded knowledge with teachers as Dick Oatts, Jerry Bergonzi, Chris Cheek, Mark Turner, Ben Street, Michael Kanan, Ben Monder, Jorge Rossy, Maria Schneider, etc. His name has been part of the programs of the major Jazz Festivals in Spain and Portugal as Barcelona, Madrid, Azores, Terrassa, as well as the most prestigious clubs like Jamboree, Jazz Cava, Cova del Drac, in Barcelona or Café Vivaldi in New York, Scullers Jazz Club in Boston.

He recently recorded his first album as a leader Smog Eyes where features as a special guest the historic saxophonist Ted Brown, and in which Michael Kanan, Lim Yang and Marton Juhasz are the band. You can find more information of this album in his website

As a sideman, he is part of the band Nonitz, with whom he recorded the album Marcelí Nonet Bayer feat. Lee Konitz in November 2010, which has won awards for "best album of 2011" by the Musicians Association Jazz and Modern Music of Catalonia and Critics Award in the category of the awards Jaç Enderrock 2012. Yuhan Su Flying Alone album, recorded in May 2012, and published by the label of Greg Osby Inner Circle Music. And the latest last night in l'Heliogàbal live album where Ivo Sans presents Masa Kamaguchi on bass, Marcelí Bayer on alto and César Joaniquet on tenor, at Heliogàbal Jazz Club in Barcelona.

Josef Karnebäck

Born 6 May 1987. Qualifiations: bass player with wide experience from different genres; Big Band, Symphony orchestra, pop/rock bands, folk music etc. Worked with many swedish artists and musicians. Session musician, played on records with jazz groups, symphony orchestras and a swedsih folk music group. Several years teaching experience. Instrumental, ensemble and class teacher Freelance musician since 2010. Education: 2012– Master in Music, Jazz Performance, Double bass, Royal College of Music in Stockholm. 2009‐2012 – Bachelor of Music, Jazz Performance, Double Bass, Malmö Acedemy of Music.

Jonas Lengvinas

Born in Šiauliai in 1989. Started learning music at the age of seven by playing piano, however he always dreamed to be a drummer. His dreams came true when he has been accepted to the percussion class at the Music School. Later studied at Šiauliai Conservatoire, participated in competitions and won the 3rd prize at the National Juozas Pakalnis Young Artists Competition.

He continued his studies at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater with Darius Rudis who gave a big inspiration for further student‘s professional development. Jonas graduated from the Academy (bachelor‘s programme), and he is currently doing his masters degree. He also has possessed international experience during Erasmus exchange studies in Helsinki, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Pop and Jazz Department.

His achievements are: the 1st prize at the Lithuanian Drummers Competition (2009), concert tours to Canada, Moscow, London, in Denmark, Poland, Finland, broadcasts in TV shows – LRT Lietuvos Talentai, TV3 Season‘s Opening (Live), LNK Lietuvos Balsas, TV3 M.A.M.A. Music Awards (Live). Jonas has performed in various festivals – Šiauliai Jazz, Birštonas Jazz, BigBand Festival, Liepaja Jazz Festival, Vilnius Jazz Young Power, Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009, Tėvo Gitara, Tamsta Muzika, International Lithuanian Song Festival (Toronto), Be2Gether, Positivius, M.A.M.A – LT Music Awards. Performes with Šiauliu Senjorų Bigbendas, For Five, Give D, GinGas, Vertical, Parax, Vaidas Baumila, Martynas Kuliavas, BrassBastardz, Liūdni Slibinai, Marijonas Mikutavičius, The Ball & Chain. Jonas is a band leader and composer at Smooth Jazz Band Grupė Pinigai.

Kristaps Lubovs

He gained his first jazz experience in Jelgava secondary music school where studied classical saxophone. Meanwhile started playing in Jelgava Big Band, and plays there till now. He has participated in many competitions and concerts both with symphonic band of Jelgava secondary school and the Big Band – in jazz festivals in Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Czech Republic, festival and competition in Germany, Dresden Swingin’ Saxonia where they won the first prize in Big Band and Combo competition this year. Once he has conducted the Jelgava Big Band and premiered the show Dream about Broadway at Latvian National theatre, Raimonds Pauls performed piano solo. Kristaps is playing in the Riga City Jazz Big Band. One of their recent performances was concert with Victor Bailey. He also makes his own music and plays in jazz quartets and quintets such as Quartet epic, Urban 4tet, Apollo 5, duo- Double, Summer chill-out, Maias Marvelous. He often features some pop song recordings.

Participated in masterclases lead by Carlo Morena, Thomas Fryland, Stephan Heckle, Boris Gammer, Bertil Strandberg, Fiete Felcsh and Denis Pashkevich as well as in intensive Erasmus project in Riga Brass & Jazz (2011).

Elena Mindru

‘Music has always been part of my life, part of me’ said Elena. Born in 1988 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, she studied classical violin and piano until she was 15 years when started learning jazz. She also got very interested into mathematics, but after four years of intensive study realized that nothing compares with the satisfaction you get from music. She took up the musical journey and applied to the Berklee College of Music, Boston but the scholarship was not enough to take that great opportunity. Instead, she continued to study classical composition at the Gheorghe Dima Academy of Music. It was a great experience and opportunity to enrich musical knowledge and develop skills under the guidance of Adrian Pop, Peter Szegho, Cornel Groza and Cornel Taranu.

At the same time she continued to experience jazz music through voice. In 2008 and 2009 participated in vocal workshops with the voice expert Mary King at the Royal Academy of Music, London, UK and in 2010 attended a jazz course taught by Darius Brubeck for one semester. She got to play with many great musicians such as Sorin Romanescu, Lucian Nagy, Andrei Tudor, Patrice Rushen, Will Kennedy, Darius Brubeck, Alfredo Paixao, Hans Vrooman, Borislav Petrov and many others.

In 2011 completed bachelor studies in Classical Composition and applied for the Nordic Master of Jazz program in Arhus (voice). Studies in RAMA and in KMH, Stockholm for one semester each, meeting the Scandinavian jazz scene was a great experience. At the moment, Elena resides in Helsinki, continuing the NOMAZZ journey at Sibelius Academy.

She participated in several jazz festivals and competitions around Europe, but the most important experience was in July 2012, in Switzerland, where she was awarded the 2nd Prize and the Public Prize by a jury presided by the great Quincy Jones, at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

In 2012 Elena started her own record label (EM Records), through which she produced her most recent jazz album, Romanian Christmas Stories, recorded in October 2011 with her jazz quintet.

Silvija Pankūnaitė

Jazz singer, song (music and lyrics) writer, music educator. In 2011 she received the bachelor’s degree in performing arts, jazz vocals. She is currently studying at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre for master’s degree.

Silvija is an ambitious young singer, and she is looking for creativity and searching for serious meanings in music. In her projects, she is going beyond jazz sounds, improvisation and performs by mixing various styles of music: rock, pop, jazz, experimental.

In 2010, at a young musician contest Vilnius Jazz Young Power, Silvija was nominated for her original peace called “Forest Style”. She is also participating in various projects – hip hop music Despotin Fam, musicals S Cabaret S, baroque and jazz mix Baroque Contempo. For three years Silvija has been a musical leader, choirmaster and performer of traditional rock operas produced by MIF of the Vilnius University.

Toms Poišs

Tomas equally known for his acoustic and electric bass playing, started studying music by means of private electric bass lessons with the Latvian Rockabilly & Rock'n'Roll bass master Muravey. Now he's splitting his time between playing live and recording with artists such as DJ Monsta & Biruta Ozolina, Latvian Radio Big Band, Astro'n'Out, Daumants Kalnins and is involved in projects of different genres with many other Latvian artists. Toms has also played with Carlo Morena, NiMo, Nic Gotham, 3Stick, City Jazz Big Band, Silvesteri Orkesteri, Triband and also, as a member of recently rejuvenated Latvian Radio Big Band - with the great jazz singer Kurt Elling.

At the moment he is studying at the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music with the jazz bass teacher Taavo Remmel, and has studied previously at Riga Dome Choir School, as well as at Estonian Academy Of Music and Theatre as an exchange student.

Joel-Rasmus Remmel

Joel-Rasmus Remmel (1989) is a piano player, residing in Tallinn, Estonia. He is currently studying at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, in the jazz masters programme. He is and has been studying with Kristjan Randalu, Taavi Kerikmäe and Kari Ikonen in Tallinn and with Peter Burman and Anders Jormin in Gothenburg’s Academy of Music and Drama (2011-2012).

Joel’s interests in music vary from Nordic jazz to free improvisation. He’s influences are e.g. Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Brad Mehldau, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Bobo Stenson, Anders Jormin. In the spring of 2012 Joel released his first album “Lumekristall” (“Snow cristal”) with Joel Remmel Trio. He has been collaborating with musicians both from Estonia and abroad, e.g. Philip Hamilton, Jussi Kannaste, Ville Pynssi, Markus Ketola, Kadri Voorand, Hedvig Hanson, Peedu Kass, Raul Sööt, Siim Aimla and many others. Joel is a valued companion both on stage and in studio.

Timo van Ruiswijk

Born in Arnhem, Holland, Timo has always been fascinated by creating things. Whether it was making cartoons, or making up dance-routines with his friends at elementary school. Nowadays he likes to use this fascination in music, by creating songs and improvising.

Musically, Timo has always been occupied with a lot of different musical projects. From a hometown popband Park Avenue, where he learned to write songs, to playing for a week in African percussion group ‘Footprints of Africa’ from Ghana to some nice Scandinavian Jazz adventures.

Timo has finished his Bachelor Degree of Music ( Drums jazz&pop ) at ArtEZ conservatory in Holland. In 2011 he has also been studying at The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, Denmark.

The next 2 years Timo will dive into the Scandinavian Jazz-scene. He has been accepted for Nomazz ( Nordic Master in Jazz ). In the course of two years he will visit the following countries:

  • Helsinki, Finland from September till December 2012 ( Sibelius Academy )
  • Stockholm, Zweden from January till may 2013 ( Kungliga Musikhögskolan )
  • Aarhus, Denmark from September 2013 till May 2014 ( Royal Academy of Music ) , with during the year some projects in Tallin, Estonia

Edgar Sabilo

Born in 1992 in Vilnius. He has been studied piano at the Balys Dvarionas School of Music and is currently studying jazz piano, bachelor‘s level studies at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Edgar is a laureate of the competititons: Music Without Walls (Muzika be sienų), Jazz fountain, and Young Virtuosos.

Dovydas Saparis

He demonstrates deep interest in music form early childhood. At the age of 5 his exceptional musical abilities (perfect pitch) have been identified. Started playing drums from the age of 8, at Music School. 7 years at music school and 4 years at a conservatoire gave him much experience and knowledge of music, and he finally decided about his future professional career as a musican. Dovydas is currently studying with drum teacher Arkadij Gotesman at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, bachelor‘s programme in jazz. Dovydas also participates in jazz projects at the Academy and outside, and also play with pop/rock bands.

Awards related to music performance includes: the 1st place at the International contest of chamber ensembles in Estonia Parnu Accordion Music Contest-Festival (2010), the 1st place at the National Contest of Young Drummers (2006 and 2009), the 1st place at the National Solfeggio Contest and the special award for the best unknown sheet music reading (2010). For merits to Lithuania Dovydas Saparis received a special award by the President of the Republic of Lithuania Ms Dalia Grybauskaitė (2011).

Joosep Voolmaa

Joosep is from Kehra, Estonia, currently lives in Tallinn where he is studying jazz music at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Joosep plays the drums and his favourite drummers rightnow are Mike Giuliana, Elvin Jones and Tony Williams. His musical education includes flute and percussion studies at the Kehra School of Arts (2003-2005), pop-jazz drum with Toomas Rull at the Georg Ots Tallinn Vocational School of Music (2008-2011).

He also participated in Erasmus intensive programme „Brass & Jazz: in Riga (2012) where he mastered sills with drum teacher Ron van Stratum.

Domas Žostautas

Since his student years at the College of Higher Education he has been interested in music of various styles. Domas is reputed to be a versatile musician. The bassist has taken part in jazz, rock, gospel, Latin American and pop music projects, is a member of Tomas Leiburas Orchestra.

In various formations – from small ensembles to symphony orchestras – he has collaborated with majority of leading Lithuanian musicians. With different collectives Domas appeared in Vilnius, Kaunas, Birštonas, Nida and Joyspring Jazz (Latvia) jazz festivals, as well as Christopher Summer Festival and Venna music (Poland); in 2009 and 2010, he has been the finalist the Vilnius Jazz Young Power competition.