Deniss Pashkevich

What is Balticness?

Posted in Band, Concerts, Deniss Pashkevich, koncerti, Music by deniss pashkevich on November 12, 2009

www.gatisrozenfelds.comWhat is Balticness? The “Balticness” project is one of the widest-ranging events of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS)

Where? Balticness will visit the major metropoles of the Baltic Sea States: Tallinn, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Oslo, Reykjavik, Copenhagen, Berlin, Warsaw, Vilnius, and Riga.

Why “Balticness”? The Baltic Sea region is at the “top end” of Europe, geographically, economically and symbolically. It is an environment of common values and objectives. Of course, “integration” can not be merely a bureaucratic concept; it necessitates a feeling and conviction of belonging to a common aggregate of values. Balticness reflects the Baltic Sea as the artery of life of the entire region and its society, and the countries of the region as competitive, creative, dynamic, multicultural states populated by professional, skilful and candid people.

The jazz concerts being staged within the Balticness framework are unique in that in each concert, Latvian musicians are performing together with jazz performers from the relevant Baltic Sea area. Folk songs from the relevant state will be performed in jazz arrangements, which are to be released in an album after the conclusion of the project.

Representing Latvia in the concerts is Riga Groove Electro – an association of jazz musicians popular in Latvia. Its members are professional instructors in Latvia’s colleges and schools, and each year they create and participate in various musical improvisation master classes in both Latvia and abroad.

“This is one of the most unique projects implemented during the last five years – especially the co-operation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and an apparently alternative group engaged in contemporary music – Riga Groove Electro. It is interesting how the world is accessible, close and united in music, where nationality has no meaning. The significance is in the conviction, clarity of thought, and goals of the individual.  We are especially enthusiastic when arranging local folk songs for the concerts. Each performance is an experience, an unusual multicultural meeting. The Baltic Sea and Balticness are a symbol of understanding, of mutual interests and of light – a symbol of life,” says leader of the group Deniss Paskevics.

One of the aims of this project is to show the power of music and art or sound and picture. There are an ethnic motives, elements of dum & bass and func music as well as sounds of city combined together in the performances.

Group Riga Groove Electro is afforced by 3 musicians – Neff Irizarry, guitarist from Finland, Jolanta Gulbe – singer from Latvia and DJ Monsta, who successfully mix audio records, imitates talks and ambiences of city.

Concerts are supplemented by a visual setting made by Konstantīns Smirnovs (Hypnosis Group). It contains the pictures from Balticness photo competition.


Guest Artists


Gianni Bardaro is an excellent musician, soloist, composer and arranger. His music is fresh, exciting and yet mellow and groovy. He has participated in many international jazz music festivals. He is a leader of an open and travelling modern jazz project “Sinestatic Jazz” based in Copenhagen. Gianni Bardaro focus mostly on original compositions.


Villu Veski – one of Estonia’s most acclaimed jazz performers, who have received numerous awards in the wind instrument category in various competitions even during the Soviet era. He lectures in saxophone and improvisation in music schools in Estonia, and has presented master classes in Germany and Norway. As a soloist he has performed together with the Estonian State Symphony Orchestra, the Pernava City Orchestra, and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.

Sofia Rubina – this young rising Estonian jazz star has already been awarded the Grand Prix in the jazz soloist competition Lady Summertime in Finland, and in the international jazz soloist competition Nomme Jazz in Estonia, as well as second place in the Sony Jazz Stage competition in Latvia. She has also studied jazz vocals in Russia and Germany.


Neff Irizarry – a high-class jazz guitarist and teacher. He mainly performs in the group Nepenthe, which performs modern jazz and Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Puerto-Rican style music.

Jukka Eskola – is a young Finnish trumpet artist, who has participated in numerous jazz groups, but is better known outside Finland as a member of the Finnish Jazz quintet The Five Corners Quintet.


Sebastian Studnitzky German trumpeter and pianist, who is well-know as a member of group Triband. He is one of the German jazz musicians ‘in demand’. The sound of his trumpet and piano is warm and balanced without using any special effects. And this is the main reason why he has become an international musician. He has played together with such jazz stars as Nils Landgren, Rebekka Bakken, group Mezzoforte and Wolfgang Haffner.


Seth Sharp – is an actor, singer, vocal coach who has performed for such luminaries as: U.S. President Bill Clinton and family at the White House, Mother Teresa in Calcutta.  Seth is American but currently living in Reykjavik, Iceland, and has a good command of Icelandic. He is one of the candidates who could represent Iceland in Eurovision Song Contest 2008. Seth is a graduate of Yale University and has received several awards for his artistic endeavors.


Liudas Mockunas – Lithuanian saxophonist, clarinettist and composer is among the most remarkable Lithuanian jazzmen of younger generation, exponent of modern jazz and free avant-garde; in his music he erases boundaries between jazz and contemporary academic music. As saxophonist he is famed for his considerable artistic experience. Liudas Mockūnas is called an ambassador of Lithuanian jazz deservedly – he often appears with international groups, and initiates various international projects. His international career has accelerated a great deal after he started his studies in Copenhagen in 1999. Together with Danish drummer Stefan Pasborg he formed a group “Toxikum”, whose album Toxikum has earned Danish Grammy.


Erling Wicklund – is a trombonist, composer, arranger and journalist. He is well known for a weekly JAZZ program on Norweigen National Radio. He studied music at the university of Oslo and in Los Angeles, USA. In Norway, he has been at  the forefront of Jazz trombone. He is leading his own big band, Big Boss Band, as well as performing with such well known Norweigen Jazz artists as Jan Berger, Eirk Amundsen, Atle Hammer, Harald Bergersen, Staffan William-Olsson, Stig Hvalryg and Lars Erik Norum.


Jan Freicher – vibraphonist, pianist, composer and arranger. He is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland, where he was a student of Bernard Maseli and Andrzej Zubek. Since 2004 he has been a postgraduate student of vibraphonist and composer Bill Molenhof at Hochschule für Musik in Nuremberg, Germany. He is the leader of Gdansk jazz-rock group “Flaming”. As a soloist he was the winner of the Vibraphone Competition at the 14th International Percussion Festival OPOLE’2003. He is the author of various, both jazz and classical chamber music, compositions as well as various works for solo vibraphone.


David Goloshekin – a famous, talented and entuziastic jazz performer from St. Petersburg. Most of the jazz musicians from this Russian metropolis are clustering around him. He is playing chamber music, but you can hear also popular music and unacademic music in his concerts.


Karl-Martin Almqvist – saxophonist and composer, is one of the most uniquely personal voices found on the swedish jazz scene today. He had studied music both in Sweden and U.S. where he studied with musicians such as George Garzone, Bob Mintzer, Richie Beirach and Reggie Workman. He has played extensively throughout Europe and also toured Mexico, Latinamerica, Asia and the U.S.

Ulf Adåker – trumpeter, composer, arranger, writer has been active on the Swedish jazz scene for over 30 years. As leader of  group Egba, he has played at most of the Scandinavian jazz clubs and festivals as well as touring many countries. African rhythms, jazz harmonies, the pulse of rock are just a few of the musical Lego pieces that characterize Ulf Adåker.


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