From August 22 to 26, 2023, Pranas Kentra, an associate professor of the Rhythmic Music Department, along with 14 students from the Popular Music Study program – Ksenija Petrukovič, Evita Cololo, Nika Zundelovič, Armanda Šapranauskaitė, Deimantė Maciūtė, Viltė Skirpstaitytė, Ainius Dulaitis, Ridas Katkauskis, Juozapas Šopaga, Simonas Vitkauskas, Auksė Petkevičiūtė, Tadas Zizas, Rokas Pypkinas, Šarūnas Kunigiškis – participated in the NordPuls Express mobility project with the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA). The project organizer, Lūznava Manor, has been bringing together the Baltic jazz community under one roof for the fifth consecutive year at the “Škiuņa džezs” festival. Throughout the week, various masterclasses, creative ensemble workshops, and concerts took place, featuring musicians from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Ukraine.
The “Škiuņa džezs” festival masterclasses provided an excellent opportunity for music school and university students from the Baltic countries, aspiring musicians, and other jazz enthusiasts to enhance their musical instrument and vocal skills, develop improvisational abilities, and play together in ensembles under the guidance of an international team of professionals. In addition to intensive sessions, masterclass instructors and their participants performed in public concerts.
This year, the festival’s masterclasses were led by Indriķis Veitners (wind instruments, ensemble, improvisation / Latvia), Rūta Dūduma-Kirse (vocals, ensemble, improvisation / Latvia), Pranas Kentra (guitar, rhythm, ensemble, improvisation / Lithuania), Dima Golovanovas (keyboard instruments, ensemble, improvisation / Lithuania), Veronika-Čičinskaitė-Golovanova (vocals, ensemble, improvisation / Lithuania), and Jurijus Natsvlishvili (bass, ensemble). On the final day of the project, participants presented their prepared programmes on the main stage of the 5th International Jazz Festival.
The “Škiuņa džezs” festival is organized by the team of Lūznava Manor and the festival’s artistic director Lauris Amantovas. The festival is supported by the Rezekne Municipality, the State Cultural Capital Foundation’s targeted the programme “Latvia’s Historical Lands’ Development Programme”.