The Programme of the 26th International Jazz Festival Kaunas Jazz 2016 was presented in Kaunas Municipality on Tuesday, 5 April 2016. Its organisers say that the festival which Kaunas Jazz fans are waiting for impatiently will be held from 25 April to 2 May and will sweep over Lithuania offering particularly many fabulous moments to vocal music lovers.
Kaunas Jazz to travel to six cities in Lithuania
Kaunas Jazz 2016, to take place from 25 April to 2 May, is dedicated to the UNESCO International Jazz Day. The organisers note that they will continue to implement their idea of expanding the area of Kaunas Jazz therefore jazz rhythms will be heard not only in Kaunas this year but in Alytus, Vilnius, Panevėžys, Jurbarkas, and Palanga, too. 
A young Israeli musician, referred to in his native country as “a young musical miracle beyond expectation”, Tamir Grinberg will be honoured to open the Festival. Having charmed the Lithuanian audience at the Kaunas Jazz Festival last year, he will perform in Panevėžys Musical Theatre on 25 April, in Alytus Municipal Theatre on 26 April, and finally in Kaunas, in the Trading Town URMAS, on 27 April this year.
Women will dominate on Kaunas Jazz stages
The Artistic Director of Kaunas Jazz Indrė Jučaitė says the Festival will hear particularly many exceptional female vocalists. On Thursday, 28 April, after the traditional opening ceremony in the Town Hall of Kaunas, the Kaunas Jazz Festival will invite to the concert of the jazz diva from the US Stacey Kent in Raudondvaris Manor Arts Incubator. One of the most popular jazz vocalists of all times will present her latest album Tenderly on her first visit to Lithuania. By the way, tickets to this concert were sold out in an instant.
The VMU Great Hall will open to a special project by Justė Arlauskaitė-Jazzu, pianist Petras Geniušas and cellist Justas Kulikauskas on 29 April. The next day, 30 April, will be marked by a mesmerising performance by Saedi, who is considered to be a breakthrough in Austrian music.
The Festival Kaunas Jazz will be crowned with Ester Rada’s concert in the Vilnius Congress Concert Hall on 2 May. Ester Rada has recently been gaining flashing worldwide popularity. She is highly praised by music stars such as Alicia Keys and had the honour to perform at the opening act of her concert.
Thus the conclusion – the Kaunas Jazz 2016 stages will be dominated by remarkable women singers.
Novelty – the Polish Jazz Day
The musical composition by Giedrius Kuprevičius Copper and Chalk on the open air stage in Vienybės Square on 29 April will invite Kaunas inhabitants to the Festival’s traditional children’s drawing action Kaunas Jazz on the pavement which will be followed by a novelty in the Festival, its gift to jazz lovers – the Polish Jazz Day where two Polish projects can he enjoyed: Jazz Funk Experience Derrick Mckenzie, Pawel Kaczmarczyk and Flue Band.
International Jazz Day
Marking the International Jazz Day, the Kaunas Jazz Festival will spread out its wings and embrace not only Kaunas and Palanga but Jurbarkas, too. Saedi, the Austrian performer mentioned above, will put on a concert in the Exhibition and Concert Hall in Jurbarkas; Jarle Bernhoft, a pearl of North European music scene making a name as a soloist globally since 2008, nominated for a Grammy Award last year in the Best R&B Album category, the first non-US musician to be entered into this prestigious nomination list, will take the stage and fill the hall with his music and his voice to the delight of Kaunas Jazz organisers in the music club Vandenis in Palanga. His music is compared to that of Stevie Wonder and Lenny Kravitz. “A one-man orchestra” as he is sometimes called will make use of his voice, the guitar, keyboard instruments, and effects pedal and charm his audience by outstanding talent and charisma. Palanga inhabitants and guests cannot miss such a remarkable performance.
The traditional Jazz Street will be rich in a multitude of free events in the centre of Kaunas on the International Jazz Day. The Estonian festival Jazzkaar is sending a present – State of Zoe that is going to perform in the open air in Vienybės Square. Right afterwards the sky will be lit by Festival fireworks in Vienybės Square.
The restaurant-club Combo is inviting for the wrap-up of the International Jazz Day with the Swedish band Koop Oscar Orchestra and the Lithuanian singer Jazzu. She mentioned at some point that performing with this band was like a dream come true.
Legendary Take 6 on Mother’s Day
The Kaunas Jazz team has an unusually festive proposal for Kaunas on 1 May this year – the Jewish jazz improvisation by Giedrius Kuprevičius and Liutauras Janušaitis in the Synagogue, the concert of sacral jazz music performed by the guest from Austria Saedi in Vytautas the Great Church; and a special treat to mothers from the Kaunas Jazz team is a gala concert by the US vocal virtuoso, the winner of ten Grammy trophies, vocal group Take 6.
The globally recognised sextet is bringing a new programme to Lithuania and wish to present quite a few musical surprises in their recently released album Believe. What we know already is that they met up with the legendary singer Stevie Wonder and recorded You Know You’re In Love together, and that one of the most popular US composers Diane Warren contributed to the album as the author of 5 Minutes With God. 

Composer and jazz music teacher Artūras Novikas believes the concert is a momentous opportunity to listen live to an a capella legend as getting ten Grammy Awards in this genre is “fantastic and unrealistic”.
The Festival Kaunas Jazz 2016 will be present in six Lithuanian cities and will bring on stage 250 performers, the majority of whom come from 13 foreign countries. The Festival is looking forward to welcoming over 40 000 jazz fans from Kaunas and elsewhere.  
For more information see: www.kaunasjazz.lt