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Kestutis Vaiginis

Saxophonist and composer

Kestutis Vaiginis, one of the most productive jazz masters in Lithuania, is an initiator and leader of a number of international projects. With various formations he performed his compositions in Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, France, the USA, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Georgia and other countries.

He revealed his compositional talent while still a student at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, the Prince Claus Conservatorium and Amsterdam School of the Arts (the Netherlands), as well as Manhattan School of Music in New York.
During his study years Vaiginis started composing for big bands as well. He formed and led Independent Artists Ensemble, a Lithuanian youth big band; performed his compositions with the German State Youth Jazz Orchestra.
In 2013, the saxophonist received the European Culture Foundation’s Europamusicale Music Prize, which annually is given to one European musician. 
Earlier he earned awards in many national and international competitions and garnered the Grand Prix in Birštonas Jazz 2010.
 The list of his former and current stage partners includes such jazz coryphées as Alex Sipiagin, David Berkman, David Kikoski, Jelle Van Gie, Barbara Dennerlein, Hernan Romero, Ed Howard, Adam Cruz, Randal Corsen, Deniss Pashkevich, Dmitry Golovanov as well as Indonesian, Korean and Italian musicians. The musician is a member of Lithuanian-Latvian-Estonian Tree Stones quartet and Dainius Pulauskas Group.

As a leader and guest musician of various collectives he appeared in prestigious jazz festivals including Nord Sea Jazz, Rotterdam, London, Ottawa, Cape Town, Istanbul, Hong Kong and Tokyo to name but a few, toured in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa.
Vaiginis’ discography amounts to more than ten albums four of which are personal; several of his compositions were included in Lithuanian music collections. “His vision is wide-ranging from the subtle to the provocative, rooted in an appreciation of tradition and yet looking forward”, said Steve Wilson, an illustrious American saxophonist, about Vaiginis’ Unexpected Choices recorded with acclaimed New Yorkers.

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