During the interwar period Lithuania, like other European countries sought a path of democracy and began to spread the jazz ideology. Here, in the restaurants of Kaunas, different rhythms and harmonies began to appear (ensembles like Moišė Hofmekleris, Danielius Pomerancs, etc.). In the post-war period, the 1960s, jazz was a phenomenon foreign to soviet ideology. However, despite the oppression, Juozas Tiškus big band, orchestra Nemuno Žiburiai were already able to perform complex works of the swing era. 1961, jazz conference and concert organized at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre marks the beginning of jazz education. 1963-1965 the first jazz club was established in restaurant Neringa. Jazz festival Jaunystė’ 68 held in Elektrėnai started the era of Lithuanian jazz festivals. 1971 marks the beginning of the development of the concert activity of the legendary Ganelin Trio. The ensemble later became the leaders of Lithuanian jazz and defined the identity of Lithuanian jazz. in 1980 Birštonas jazz festival became a starting point for the new, active and dynamic life of the jazz community, which continues to grow and develop to this day.

Text by Rūta Skudienė.

Learn more at jazzhistory.lt!