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Jason Lindner – keyb

Panagiotis Andreou – b

Justin Tyson – dr

‘Jason Lindner is a musical universe,’ the legendary jazz pianist, Chick Corea, said about the leader of Now Vs Now, a band from the US. Chick Corea is not the only superstar to have noted the musician’s talent.

In 2015, the British rock singer David Bowie unexpectedly decided to record the album Blackstar with jazz musicians. At the time no one knew that the album released in early 2016 would be the last in the career of this rock icon. Two days later he died from cancer.

Blackstar sold over two million copies and is an exciting work full of experiments, a strange and inspiring work which earned a Grammy, British music and many other awards.

David Bowie’s swan song was recorded with the group of saxophonist Donny McCaslin, where Lindner of Now Vs Now was a sideman. Almost all the keyboard sounds in this exceptional album came from the hands of Linder who played nine different electronic instruments and piano.

Linder earned two Grammy awards and an impressive entry in his bio with this album, but the impressions he experienced are even more important.

When Tony Visconti, the famous producer of Bowie’s albums, heard Jason play he said he was a godsend. Lindner, on the other hand, acknowledged that working with Blackstar made a significant impact on his musical thinking.

If rock fans are likely to have found out about the leader of Now Vs Now for the first time through his collaboration with Bowie two years ago, he was well-known to jazz fans much earlier.

Raised in Brooklyn, Jason taught himself to play the piano and subsequently studied music, mastered the guitar and saxophone, and played in jazz clubs in New York and was an apprentice of New York’s elder masters.

At the end of the 1990s, he became known in the local jazz community as a leader of a big band. His talent was soon noticed by fellow musicians and he was invited to direct Lauryn Hill’s and Meshell Ndegeocello’s bands.

In the past decade Lindner further expanded the spectrum of the music he composed or played. Fascinated by synthesizers, in Now Vs Now he balances between jazz, funk, soul, modern R&B, new wave, pop music of the 1980s, electronic IDM and even strange underground vaporwave and wonky genres.

‘An open minded kid from Brooklyn became one of the jazz’s most interesting keyboardists with an identity spanning genres, cultures, formats, technologies,’ JazzTimes wrote, whereas Now Vs Now is sometimes even introduced as an electronic art rock group.

This eclectic, charming music which defies definition soon found way to the hearts of music fans. The trio formed in 2006 has released three albums. The second of them, Earth Analog, reached the top of the US and UK iTunes Jazz Charts.

The Buffering Cocoon, the newest album released this year by Lindner and featuring bassist Panagiotis Andreou and drummer Justin Tyson, of the Jazzland Recordings label, contains the most ambitious compositions of Now Vs Now to date. The mix of music on the album is varied, although all compositions have a similar theme.

The album features compelling, sometimes apocalyptic music about the future of humanity, society and the planet. It is interesting and paradoxical, because the music which escapes a specific genre is often defined by the critics as extra terrestrial. The music surprises, but at the same time makes you dance.

Compositions packed with ideas performed by Now Vs Now are currently the focus of Lindner, although the composer, sound designer, arranger and producer is not confined to one playing field.

Today he leads the 11-piece band Breeding Ground, collaborates with jazz and avant-garde music composers, collaborates in his electronic project called Oscillations, and serves as keyboardist for such African stars as singer Angélique Kidjo (Benin) and instrumentalist Mulatu Astatke (Ethiopia).

Jazz critics have praised Lindner’s talent on many occasions. For example, he topped the Rising Star (keyboard and big band) category in the Downbeat critics poll. Four years ago the US Jazz Journalists Association elected Lindner as the best electronics player.

But titles aside, this is a unique opportunity to hear this relentless seeker of new sounds. One of the most intriguing shows of Vilnius Mama Jazz this year is for those who are hungry for surprises and discoveries.

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Domas Žeromskas – p

Leonardas Pilkauskas – s

Mindaugas Vadoklis – tr

Arman Isojan – db

Jonas Gliaudelis – dr

In addition to the famous international line-ups of the Vilnius Mama Jazz festival, the main stage of the programme always features Lithuanian jazz musicians. Veterans of the Lithuanian jazz scene – such as Vladimir Tarasov who has appeared several times, including last year with his long-time stage collaborator Vladimir Chekasin – and young talents who will not be in short supply this year are regularly part of the festival programme.

When we hear the odd mumblings in the public space of the allegedly spoilt and disappointing teens today, such pessimists should meet Domas Žeromskas. The 18-year-old pianist shows real promise as a future jazz star (but don’t let him see this in case he gets carried away by such predictions).

The musician has appeared both on the Lithuanian and international jazz festival scene, but his path started from the lessons by Oleg Molokojedov, a music veteran, followed by those of the famous country’s jazzman Vytautas Labutis, who recognized Domas’ talent and included him in his groups.

The pianist has played as a member of Silent Blast together with young vocalist Kotryna Juodzevičiūte at international jazz festivals in Serbia, Ukraine, Estonia and Poland, but his collaborations today reach much further.

This summer Domas participated in the creative workshop in Boston, where young musicians were keenly observed by such US jazz stars as drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and saxophonist Rick DiMuzio.

It looks like the Lithuanian talent has made an impression on them. At the end of the workshop he was informed that he had been granted scholarship for the Bachelor Degree studies in the legendary Berklee College of Music with a distinguished list of alumni.

This is a rare story in the Lithuanian music scene, so watch the space for this young talented musician.

Domas is about to release his first album. His collaborators include not only well-known Lithuanian jazz musicians, but also musicians from the US, Sweden and Great Britain.

The musician, who demonstrates both an excellent technique and an interesting style, cites Keith Jarrett, Jacky Terrason, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and other global jazz stars as having a strong influence on him.

Learning from the best is commendable, but above all one would like to hope that this young Lithuanian musician will find his own path and return as a leader to the Vilnius Mama Jazz scene many more times.

We hope that this will be the case, meanwhile this is an excellent occasion to assess the rising jazz performer in the line-up of both young and experienced jazz musicians.

The concert symbolically represents the vigorous and curious Lithuanian young jazz generation. All is fine with these young people. Listen and you will see.

The organisers of the festival reserve the right to change the programme.

Duration: 4 hours

Door opens before: 1 hours

Free entrance for children: NO.

Permission to take photos, record: NO.

Organizer: Vilniaus džiazo klubas, VšĮ.

More information: undefined +370 612 29 419.

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