FEIST (CA)|TRAKAI CASTLE| 2017.08.07

One of the more unusual success stories in 2000s' pop music, the singer-songwriter born Leslie Feist has gone from performing with a sock puppet and calling herself Bitch Lap-Lap to becoming the toast of the NPR set with two albums of cooled-down grown-up pop under her birth surname. As a singer, Feist — who was born in Calgary and moved to Toronto as an adult, with stints in Paris and Berlin — possesses a slurry, flexible voice that at times recalls Rickie Lee Jones.

Feist first attracted notice as a teenage punk singer for a group called Placebo (no relation to the British rock band); she then became a guitarist for an outfit named By Divine Right after blowing her voice out. In 1999, while still playing with that Canadian rock band, Feist recorded her first solo album, Monarch (Lay Your Jewelled Head Down to little notice. (The disc would become a collectors' item in the wake of her later success.)

Soon after, Feist began working with her roommate, Peaches, the raunchy electro-punk singer (Peaches' eccentric live show is where the sock puppet came into play). The two appeared on 7 Hurtz's cover of Prince's "Sexy Dancer" on the Rex label's 2001 compilation If I Was Prince. Through Peaches, Feist met the producer Gonzales; around this time she also joined the sprawling Toronto band Broken Social Scene, and started guesting live and on the group's albums.

Gonzales and Feist began working together on lower-key, more reflective songs, including cover versions of the Bee Gees' "Love You Inside Out" and Ron Sexsmith's "Secret Heart." This material appeared as Let It Die, first issued in 2004 and a year later in the U.S., where it garnered the singer a devout cult following on the strength of single "Mushaboom." Die wasn't a blockbuster, but it has sold steadily since its release, especially in the wake of its follow-up, The Reminder (Number 16, 2007). That album's lead single, "1234" (Number Eight, 2007), became a hit thanks to exposure in an iPod TV ad and an imaginative video directed by Patrick Daughters featuring a cast of colorfully clad dancers. In 2008, Feist was nominated for four Grammy Awards and won five Juno Awards, including honors for Artist of the Year and Album of the Year.

 

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CHARLES CASTRONOVO (USA)| OPERA UNDER THE STARS| MIDSUMMER VILNIUS|PALACE OF THE GRAND DUKES OF LITHUANIA|2017.07.27

Acclaimed internationally as one of the finest lyric tenors of his generation, Castronovo has also sung at most of the world’s leading opera houses such as the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Paris Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Theatre Royale de la Monnaie, Brussels, and many others including at the Salzburg and Aix en Provence Festivals. His repertoire spans from the great Mozart tenor roles in Don GiovanniCosi Fan Tutte and Die Zauberfloete, to Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor,  Nemorino in L’Elisir D’Amore and Alfredo in La Traviata. In recent seasons Castronovo has also won wide acclaim for his performances as the title role in Faust, Romeo in Romeo et Juliette, the Duke inRigoletto, Rodolfo in La Boheme and Tom Rakewell in The Rakes Progress. He starred in the title role of Daniel Catan’s Il Postino opposite Placido Domingo in the work’s world premiere in Los Angeles, as well as Paris and Santiago.

Charles Castronovo began his 12/13 season with his debut in Amsterdam in a concert performance of Les Pecheurs de Perles at the Concertgebeouw, after which he returned to the Opera de Paris as Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress. Castronovo subsequently appeared at the Metropolitan Opera as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. He sang Gennaro in Lucrezia Borgia for the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, role that he will also sing at the Theatre Royale de la Monnaie and then will sing La Traviata for the Staatsoper Berlin. Castronovo will appear at the Royal Opera Covent Garden in two productions during the current season: as Tamino in Die Zauberfloete and in his first performances of Ruggero in La Rondineopposite Angela Gheorghiu. Future plans also include his first Des Grieux in Manon in Toulouse, Faust opposite Anna Netrebko in Baden Baden, a new production of Maria Stuarda at the Royal Opera Covent Garden opposite Joyce di Donato. He will appear in several works in Munich; among them Die Zauberfloete, L’Elisir D’Amore,  La Boheme, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in a new production of La Rondine, and as Lensky in Eugene Onegin and Nemorino in Vienna. Castronovo is also scheduled for his debut at the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona as Alfredo.

Born in New York and raised in California, Castronovo began his career as a resident at the Los Angeles Opera. He was invited to join the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artists Development Program and in the autumn of 1999 made his debut at the Metropolitan as Beppe in the opening night performance of I Pagliacci.  In the first years of his career Castronovo built his repertoire with debuts as Tamino in Die Zauberfloete  and Fenton in Falstaff in Pittsburgh, as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Ernesto in Don Pasquale in Boston, and as Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte in Portland ,where he also sang his first performances of Nemorino in L’Elisir D’Amore.  His debut as Alfredo in La Traviata took place with the Minnesota Opera. as Belmonte in Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail with the Colorado Opera, and as Elvino in LaSonnambula for the Michigan Opera Theater. Castronovo made his European stage debut at the 2000 Savonlinna Festival in Don Giovanni. He subsequently debuted in Germany at the Berlin State Opera in the same work under Daniel Barenboim, in France as Fenton at the Theatre du Capitole in Toulouse, and in Great Britain at the London Proms of 2002 in Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole. In the 2003/2004 season he made his debuts at the San Francisco Opera, Paris Opera and Vienna State Opera as Tamino; in September of 2004 at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in September of 2004 as Ferrando. This was followed by his Italian stage debut as Alfredo at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa. Other significant debuts included Alfredo at the Hamburg State Opera and at the Megaron in Athens, Fenton at the Theatre Royale Monnaie in Brussels . Ferrando at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. A regular guest at all these theaters, Castronovo has since been heard as Alfredo in Vienna, London, Berlin and Aix en Provence, as Nemorino in Paris, Vienna, Nice and Berlin, as Belmonte in Munich and Rome, as Tamino in San Francisco, as Don Ottavio in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Munich. He made his debut at the Salzburg Festival as Belmonte in Entfuerung.

In the summer of 2005 Castronovo sang his first Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles at the San Francisco Opera, and has also also sung Nadir in Washington and San Diego. Several other new roles entered his repertoire in recent seasons; the title role in La Clemenza di Tito at the Bayerische Rundfunk in Munich, Rodolfo in La Boheme for the Michigan Opera, the Duke in Rigoletto in Bordeaux, and Faust in Pittsburgh. In the summer of 2008 he sang his first Tom Rakewell in a new production of The Rake’s Progress at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; his debut as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in followed in 2009 in Brussels. In 2011 he sang his first Gennaro in Lucrezia Borgia opposite Edita Gruberova in Munich, as well as first Romeo in Romeo et Juliette for the Dallas Opera. Castronovo also added the title role in Berlioz’s Damnation de Faust to his repertoire in Nice. In June of 2012 he sang his first Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Among his other engagements in the past season were La Traviata in Aix en Provence and Vienna opposite Nathalie Dessay, Romeo in Romeo et Juliette at the Los Angeles Opera in November of 2011, and Cosifan Tutte the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He made his long awaited debut at the Chicago Lyric Opera as Tamino in December of 2011.

Castronovo has also participated in revivals of more rarely performed works. He starred as Mylio in the revival of Lalo’s Le Roi D’Ys at Toulouse, opened the 2010/2011 season at the Paris Opera as Vincent in Mireille and debuted at the Festival de Montpellier in July of 2012 in Massenet’s Therese.  He also recorded Mercadante’s Virginia for Opera Rara and sang Rossini’s Ermione in Santa Fe. A frequent soloist on the concert stage, he has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic as well as in concerts in China, Japan, Russia, Sweden and Denmark.

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THE TIGER LILLIES (UK)|MADAME PIAF| MIDSUMMER VILNIUS|PALACE OF THE GRAND DUKES OF LITHUANIA|2017.07.26

The Tiger Lillies are back with a new album inspired by Edith Piaf's extraordinary life. 

Madame Piaf, Songs from the Gutter

A set of new songs inspired by the life and music of Edith Piaf. 

"Edith Piaf is the central character of these songs," says Martyn Jaques, "walking the dark disreputable streets of Paris. It does not tell you a story, it is history. Ordinary people understood, and that's why they loved her. It is this popular Piaf that this show wants to revive."  

"I've met girls like Edith Piaf. They're usually described as having borderline personality disorder. They're alcoholics, drug addicts and often prostitutes. Funny that she is today a symbol of French national pride, an icon. It's interesting that when asked about her mother, also a singer (and "part-time" prostitute), Piaf said she could have made it but was simply unlucky. So I suppose that makes Piaf a lucky alcoholic drug and man addict. But who cares - France didn't, nor do I. She was great, electric. She came from the gutter but is one of the best singers ever."

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HIGHLY SEDATED ORCHESTRA (SE|LT)| MIDSUMMER VILNIUS| PALACE OF THE GRAND DUKES OF LITHUANIA| 2017.07.21

21st of July is going to be crazy, because Highly Sedated is performing at The Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania where they meet The Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra for an insanely interesting musical experiment! Uplifting electro beats in combination with classical arrangements create the party beat you have never heard before. Let‘s go insane and dance under the stars by the beat of Highly Sedated Orchestra in the middle of Vilnius city where the best party will happen when#ClassicsMeetContemporary!

HIGHLY SEDATED (SE)

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TIGRAN HAMASYAN (AM)| MIDSUMMER VILNIUS| PALACE OF THE GRAND DUKES OF LITHUANIA| 2017.07.19

With pianist/composer Tigran Hamasyan, potent jazz improvisation fuses with the rich folkloric music of his native Armenia. Turning 30 in 2017, he’s one of the most remarkable and distinctive jazz-meets-rock pianists of his generation. A piano virtuoso with groove power, Tigran’s latest adventurous project is 2017’s An Ancient Observer, his second solo album, his eighth overall as a sole leader, and his sophomore recording for Nonesuch. (Overall, this is his eighth recording as a sole leader.) Conceptually, An Ancient Observer is a poignant album focusing on the art of observing. Tigran’s career has included an impressive number of accolades, including top piano award at the 2013 Montreux Jazz Festival and the grand prize at the prestigious 2006 Thelonious Monk Jazz Piano Competition. One of his earliest albums, 2008’s New Era, was championed by one scribe who wrote that “with more seasoning and a calming maturity not driven by merely showing off, Hamasyan is certain to elevate his art to a top tier of jazz and world music expressionism.” Several years later he certainly made that statement prophetic as he was applauded by NPR Music: ““With startling combinations of jazz, minimalist, electronic, folk and songwriterly elements…Hamasyan and his collaborators travel musical expanses marked with heavy grooves, ethereal voices, pristine piano playing and ancient melodies. You’ll hear nothing else like this in 2015.” He has recorded on various labels —France’s Red Loins, Nonesuch and ECM—with his electro-acoustic powerhouse trio as well as the Yerevan State Chamber Choir for his 2015 Luys i Luso project focused on Armenian sacred music stretching stylistically from the 5th century to the 20th century. In 2015, Tigran garnered the prestigious Paul Acket Award at the North Sea Jazz Festival and the following year earned the Echo Award (the German Grammy) for best international piano album of the year for his superb recording Mockroot. Tigran has toured internationally for a fan bass that ranges from adventurous jazz aficionados to progressive hardcore metal listeners. Of his new recording, which he will be touring this spring in Europe and the U.S., Tigran says, “An Ancient Observer is presenting the observation of the world we live in now and the weight of our history we carry on our shoulders that is influencing us even if we don't realize it. This album is the observation of influences and experiences I had.”

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BALLET RADIO AND JULIET| MIDSUMMER VILNIUS|PALACE OF THE GRAND DUKES OF LITHUANIA} 2017.07.17

Slovenia’s first opera house was founded in 1919 in the city of Maribor, which is the second-largest city in this Slavic nation of Eastern Europe. The opera house became home to a professional theater and ballet school, and Ballet Maribor springs from these roots. Romanian choreographer Edward Clug joined Ballet Maribor as a soloist in 1991 and was appointed company director in 2003. His bold retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story, set entirely to the music of Radiohead, interprets the delicacy of love with the cold hand of mechanization in the modern world.

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AL DI MEOLA (USA)| GUITAR VIRTUOSO| VILNIUS CONGRESS HALL| 2017.06.07

Al Di Meola's ongoing fascination with complex rhythmic syncopation combined with provocative lyrical melodies and sophisticated harmony has been at the heart of his music throughout a celebrated career that has spanned four decades and earned him critical accolades, three gold albums and more than six million in record sales worldwide. A bona fide guitar hero, perennial poll-winner, and prolific composer, he has amassed over 20 albums as a leader while collaborating on a dozen or so others with the likes of the fusion supergroup Return to Forever (with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White), the celebrated acoustic Guitar Trio featuring fellow virtuosos John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia, and the Rite of Strings trio with bassist Clarke and violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. And while his dazzling technique on both acoustic and electric guitars has afforded him regal status among the hordes of fretboard fanatics who regularly flock to his concerts, the depth of Di Meola's writing along with the soulfulness and the inherent lyricism of his guitaristic expression have won him legions of fans worldwide beyond the guitar aficionado set. 

A pioneer of blending world music and jazz, going back to early Latin-tinged fusion outings like 1976's Land of the Midnight Sun, 1977's Elegant Gypsy and 1978's Casino, the guitar great continues to explore the rich influence of flamenco, tango, Middle Eastern, Brazilian and African music with his World Sinfonia, an ambitious pan-global group that he formed in 1991. Their exhilarating world music fusion has been documented on such releases as 2000’s The Grande Passion (featuring the Toronto Symphony Orchestra), 2007’s Live in London, 2011’s Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody and the stunning 2012 DVD, Morocco Fantasia (recorded at the Mawazine Festival in Rabat, Morocco and featuring special guests Said Chraibi on oud, Abdellah Meri on violin and Tari Ben Ali on percussion). 

Growing up in Bergenfield, NJ with the music of Elvis Presley, The Ventures and The Beatles, Di Meola naturally gravitated to guitar as a youngster and by his early teens was already an accomplished player. Attaining such impressive skills at such a young age didn't come easy for Al, but rather was the result of focused dedication and intensive periods of woodshedding between his junior and senior years in high school. “I used to practice the guitar eight to ten hours a day,” he told Down Beat. “And I was trying to find myself, or find the kind of music that suited where I was going with the guitar.”                                               

His earliest role models in jazz included guitarists Tal Farlow and Kenny Burrell. But when he discovered Larry Coryell, whom Al would later dub “The Godfather of Fusion,” he was taken with the guitarist's unprecedented blending of jazz, blues and rock into one seamless vocabulary on the instrument. “I used to ride the bus from New Jersey to see him at little clubs in Greenwich Village,” he recalls. “Wherever he was playing, I'd be there.”  In 1972, Al enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and by the second semester there began playing in a fusion quartet led by keyboardist Barry Miles. When a gig tape of that band was later passed on to Chick Corea by a friend of Al's in 1974, the 19-year-old guitarist was tapped to join Corea’s fusion supergroup Return to Forever as a replacement for guitarist Bill Connors. 

After three landmark recordings with Return to Forever -- 1974's Where Have I Known You Before, 1975's Grammy Award winning No Mystery and 1976's Romantic Warrior -- the group disbanded and Al subsequently started up his career as a solo artist. His 1976 debut as a leader, Land of the Midnight Sun, was a blazing showcase of his signature chops and Latin-tinged compositions that featured a stellar cast including drummers Steve Gadd and Lenny White, bassist Anthony Jackson and Jaco Pastorius, keyboardists Jan Hammer, Barry Miles and Chick Corea and percussionist Mingo Lewis. Over the course of six more albums with Columbia Records – Elegant Gypsy, Casino, Splendido Hotel, Electric Rendezvous, Tour De Force and Scenario – Al established himself as an influential force in contemporary music.

1980 marked the triumph of the acoustic guitar trio with Paco De Lucia and John McLaughlin. Their debut recording on Columbia Records, Friday Night in San Francisco, became a landmark recording that surpassed the four million mark in sales. The following year, 1981, Di Meola was inducted into Guitar Player’s Gallery of Greats after five consecutive wins as Best Jazz Guitarist in the magazine’s Readers Poll and winning best album and acoustic guitarist for a total of a record eleven wins. The three virtuosos in the trio toured together from 1980 through 1983, releasing the studio album Passion, Grace & Fire in 1982. In 1995, they reunited for a third recording, Guitar Trio, follow by another triumphant world tour. 

In early 1996, Di Meola formed a new trio with the violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and RTF bandmate Stanley Clarke called The Rite of Strings. Their self-titled debut was released in 1995. Di Meola subsequently recorded with the likes of opera superstar Luciano Pavarotti, pop stars Paul Simon, classical guitarist Manuel Barrueco, and Italian pop star Pino Daniele. Over the course of his career, he has also worked and recorded with Phil Collins, Carlos Santana, Steve Winwood, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, Herbie Hancock, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Milton Naciemento, Egberto Gismonti, Stevie Wonder, Les Paul, Jimmy Page, Steve Vai, Frank Zappa and Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba.

Di Meola’s 2013 release, All Your Life, was an acoustic tour de force that had him revisiting the music of a seminal influence – The Beatles. “I really credit the Beatles for the reason why I play guitar,” he says. “That was a major catalyst for me to want to learn music, so their impact was pretty strong.” A virtual one-man show of virtuosity, it features the guitar great interpreting 14 familiar Beatles tunes in the stripped-down setting of strictly acoustic guitar. 

While currently juggling acoustic tours in Europe and electric tours in the United States, Di Meola arrives at the perfect marriage of the two aesthetics on his latest album, 2015’s Elysium, which finds the guitar great blending the lush tones of his nylon string Conde Hermanos acoustic prototype model and a ’71 Les Paul electric (his Return to Forever and Elegant Gypsy axe) in a collection of songs that are at once invigorating and alluring. “It represents a new composition phase for me, whereby the writing became, in a sense, my therapy during a challenging personal transition in my life," he said.  

Di Meola is currently on tour in Europe and North America. Last summer, he was honored as the 22nd recipient of the Montreal Jazz Festival’s Miles Davis Award, created in 1994 to honor a great international jazz musician for the entire body of his or her work and for that musician’s influence in regenerating the jazz idiom.

During a 40-plus year career marked by hugely influential recordings and worldwide tours, Di Meola has regenerated the jazz idiom three times over while dedicating himself to his art. And at age 62, this guitar hero seems inspired to begin a new chapter in his career with the release of Elysium.

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ALEX CLARE (UK) | Tail of Lions Tour| VILNIUS CONGRESS HALL| 2017.04.25

by Andy Kellman

London-based singer/songwriter Alexander George "Alex" Clare grew up listening to his father’s jazz records, was drawn to blues and soul (Donny HathawayStevie Wonder), and eventually to drum‘n’bass and U.K. garage. Though Clare took up the trumpet and drums as a youngster, he eventually placed an emphasis on guitar and songwriting, playing open-mike nights with original material. A demo earned him a deal with the Island label in the U.K., and he was set up with producers Diplo and Switch, who contributed to the making of Clare’s first album, The Lateness of the Hour, released in July 2011. Despite the producers’ reputations for creating busy, bass-heavy club music, the album did place something of a spotlight on Clare’s soul-searching songwriting and deep, rich voice. "Too Close" -- the dubsteppy lead single from Lateness -- turned out to be a huge hit for Clare. The song became a Top 10 hit in five countries, was certified double platinum in the United States, and nabbed Clare an ASCAP award for 2014 Songwriter of the Year with Jim Duguid.

While Clare's 2014 sophomore effort Three Hearts wasn't as successful as his debut, he continued to tour and also started a family. He returned with his third LP, Tail of Lions. The album was released in the U.K. at the end of 2016, with the U.S. release following months later in 2017.

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THE UMBILICAL BROTHERS (AU)| COMPENSA ARENA| 2017.04.18

The Umbilical Brothers are an international comedy phenomenon. Named as two of Entertainment Weekly’s “100 Most Creative People In Entertainment”, David Collins and Shane Dundas have appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, after James Brown at Woodstock ’99, and before the Queen. Their unique fusion of physical and vocal comedy has taken them to stadiums supporting Robin Williams and brought comedy audiences into the Sydney Opera House. They’ve also gained a fanatical toddler and late-night, potato-chip-eating college fan base with their television series The Upside Down Show, Disney’s The Book of Once Upon A Time, The Sideshow and Maisy.

“It’s a delight for the eye, the ear and the spirit … you’re left only to shake your head and marvel.” – NY Times.

They’ve performed in 38 countries. From Hawaii to Tokyo, New York to Moscow, audiences have laughed like idiots at their acclaimed performances that use a fast-paced mix of movement, vocal sound effects and verbal interplay to cleverly twist theatrical rules and everyday situations into comedy triumph. Their online videos are viewed by over 200,000 people a month. Their appeal crosses generations, as children in the audience are as enthralled by the physical comedy as the adults, while the more complex material hits its grown-up targets. The result: an entertainment that is as critically praised as it is loved by a broad audience.

“Exquisitely crafted physical humour and sheer imaginative brilliance” – The Australian

Their stage shows, film & TV work and multi–platinum DVD’s have won them applause and critical acclaim ranging from the internationally impressive to the entirely insignificant. Awards include two BAFTA’s (one while working with Academy Award-winning Aardman Animations), an EMMY, a Logie (Australian Emmys) and a Helpmann (Australian Tonys) for Comedy Performers of the Year. They’ve also received an Edinburgh Critics’ Choice Award, won the Australian Entertainment Industry’s MO Award for Best Comedy Group 5 years running and, for their work with MTV, gained a Promax Award – whatever that is.

“Marcel Marceau on really good drugs” – Sydney Morning Herald

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COMPLEXIONS CONTEMPORARY BALLET (USA)| COMPENSA ARENA| 2017.03.15

Complexions was founded in 1994 by Master Choreographer Dwight Rhoden and the legendary Desmond Richardson with a singular approach to reinventing dance through a groundbreaking mix of methods, styles and cultures. Today, Complexions represents one of the most recognized and respected performing arts brands in the World.  Having presented an entirely new and exciting vision of human movement on 5-continents, over 20-countries, to over 20-million television viewers and to well over 300,000 people in live audiences, Complexions is poised to continue its mission of bring unity to the world one dance at a time.

Complexions has received numerous awards including The New York Times Critics’ Choice Award. It has appeared throughout the US, including the Joyce Theater/NY, Lincoln Center/NY, Brooklyn Academy of Music/NY, Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts/New Orleans, Paramount Theatre/Seattle, The Music Center/Los Angeles, Winspear Opera House/Dallas, Cutler Majestic Theater/Boston, New Victory Theater/NY, and Music Hall/Detroit, The Bolshoi Theater, The Kremlin, The Mikhailovsky Theater, Melbourne Arts Center, and will make it's debut at the Kennedy Center in 2017, as a part of Ballet Across America.

The Company has appeared at major European dance festivals including Italy’s Festival of Dance ,the Isle De Dance Festival in Paris, the Maison De La Dance Festival in Lyon, the Holland Dance Festival, Steps International Dance Festival in Switzerland, Łódź Biennale, Warsaw Ballet Festival, Kraków Spring Ballet Festival, the Dance Festival of Canary Islands/Spain, and the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur/Canada.  In addition Complexions has toured extensively throughout the Baltic Regions, Korea, Brazil, Japan, Egypt, Israel, Russia, New Zealand, Bermuda, Serbia, Jamaica, and Australia.

The company’s foremost innovation is that dance should be about removing boundaries, not reinforcing them. Whether it be the limiting traditions of a single style, period, venue, or culture, Complexions transcends them all, creating an open, continually evolving form of dance that reflects the movement of our world—and all its constituent cultures—as an interrelated whole.

In 2006, Complexions held their first Summer Intensive program, serving 80 students in its first year. The program has grown to multiple cities and serves over up to 600 students annually. Since 2009, a Winter Intensive was added to the roster, serving an additional 400 students, and CCB added its Pre- Professional Program in 2016.  Complexions’ artistic directors and company members teach master classes throughout the world, sharing the Complexions technique with dancers of all levels. 

Together, Rhoden and Richardson have created in Complexions an institution that embodies its historical moment, a sanctuary where those passionate about dance can celebrate its past while simultaneously building its future. In the 23 years since its inception, the company has born witness to a world that is becoming more fluid, more changeable, and more culturally interconnected than ever before—in other words, a world that is becoming more and more like Complexions itself.

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THE TEMPER TRAP (AU)| COMPENSA ARENA| 2017.02.19

By Andrew Leahey
With their choirboy vocals and panoramic pop/rock sound, the Temper Trap began building an audience in Melbourne, Australia, where the band first rose to local acclaim after playing St. Jerome's Laneway Festival in March 2006. The Temper Trap released their debut EP that same year, and word of the group's potential soon spread to other continents. Veteran British producer Jim Abbiss (who previously worked on the Arctic Monkeys' debut) saw enough promise in the Temper Trap's material to fly to Australia, where he gathered the musicians into Melbourne's Sing Sing Studios and helped ready their debut album, Conditions, for a 2009 release.

"Sweet Disposition," a U2-styled anthem, was released that September as the band's first single. It cracked the Top 40 in multiple countries and appeared in the Zooey Deschanel film (500) Days of Summer, which helped the band increase its following in America. The Temper Trap responded by touring heavily, making stops at festivals like Glastonbury and Bonnaroo along the way. They also reached out to a number of DJs, producers, and bands, asking them to remix material from the group's debut. The result, Conditions Remixed, was released during the band's fall tour in 2010.

Two years later, the band delivered its sophomore effort, the eponymously titled The Temper Trap. Produced by Tony Hoffer (BeckAirGoldfrapp), the album featured the singles "Need Your Love" and "Trembling Hands." Certified platinum, the album peaked at number one in Australia and earned the band two 2012 Aria Awards, including Best Rock Album.

In 2013, during the early stages of production on the group's follow-up album, guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto parted ways with the band. The departure left keyboardist/guitarist Joseph Greer to assume all primary guitar duties. The Temper Trap returned in 2016 with their third full-length album, Thick as Thieves, featuring production from Damian Taylor (BjörkArcade Firethe Killers).

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THE GREAT GATSBY| BALLET| SIEMENS ARENA| 2016.10.30

The Great Gatsby  is more than a ballet!  

The Great Gatsby  is a choreographic show, created by an international team of professionals. The play unites the best parts of  parallel genres of art: classical ballet, contemporary dance and cinematography.

The main concept of The Great Gatsby is to go beyond the confines of already existing genres and  create an absolutely new trend that’s not constrained  by any rules or boundaries

The team of The Great Gatsby consists of those who already reached the pinnacle of their work achievements and are striving to go further by creating something completely new.

The Great Gatsby team comprises of:

Konstantin Meladze (composer) – the most demanded pop composer in the post-soviet territory, and a successful producer.

Dwight Rhoden (director/choreographer) – the most in-demand choreographer of contemporary dance. In addition to creating choreography for Complexions Contemporary Ballet, he has directed

and choreographed for Cirque du Soleil and worked with such high-profile artists as Prince, U2, Lenny Kravitz and stars alike. In addition Dwight creates  dance sequences for Hollywood movies.

Denis Matvienko (art-director, the main role) – the only holder of four Grand Prix at the international ballet contests and a world renowned ballet star.

Alexandr and Alexey Polevie  – are producers of The Great Gatsby Ballet. Known as promoters of the Ukrainian tour of Complexions Contemporary Ballet and different ballet shows of high class.

The main themes of the The Great Gatsby are identifiable to anyone: vanity and betrayal, love and jealousy, dreams and...loneliness.

That’s why The Great Gatsby ballet was created without any reference to a specific time frame, keeping just a light flair of the 20s.

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MELO - M (LV)| MIDSUMMER VILNIUS| PALACE OF THE GRAND DUKES OF LITHUANIA| 2016.07.13

Cello trio Melo-M emerged in 2005 when academically trained musicians Karlis Auzans, Miķelis Dobičins and Janis Pauls decided to unite their musical talents and create a band.

Melo-M play cello versions of variety of well-known music: from classical to ethno, pop and rock.

The trio released four LPs so far: self-entitled Melo-M album (2005) consisting of cello covers of popular Latvian songs, Singalongs (2007) with their interpretations of world’s modern classics, Around The World (2009) – an album of ethno and world music melodies covered by the band and Phantasy Of The Opera (2010). All four albums were entirely produced by founder of Melo-M Karlis Auzans.

Melo-M are also well-known outside Latvia. Throughout five years of their musical career the band toured in USA twice, played a variety of concerts in Russia, France, Great Britain, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania, Turkey and elsewhere.

Melo-M shared the stage with such artists as: vocalist of Boney M Maizie Williams, Swedish multi-instrumentalist Robert Wells, Finnish metal band Apocalyptica, popular Latvia-born singer Laima Vaikule, legendary composer Raimonds Pauls and many more.

The band has a rich experience in classical music: they played a number of concerts with symphonic orchestras and collaborated with famous Latvian dance ensemble Dzirnas while working on modern theatre play called Apstājies! Classical concerts of Melo-M often include soprano singer Sonora Vaici.

In 2009 Canadian skater Jeremy Ten included Melo-M cover of The Beatlessong Come Together in his skating program.

Melo - M are laureates of first Terem Crossover Competition (bronze medal) in 2010 St.Petersburg, Russia.

Every band member has a significant academic music background. Each of the three played at international contests and performed with orchestras at notable symphonic music concerts. Melo-M members have strengthened their academic education by learning from such world-class cello players as: Mstislav Rostropovich, Klauss Kangiser, Misha Maiski, Frans Helmerson, Maksim Utkin and Natalia Shovskaya.

Uniqueness of Melo-M performances lies in their ability to combine foundations of the classical music with energy and drive of pop and rock shows.

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JOSS STONE (UK)| MIDSUMMER VILNIUS| PALACE OF THE GRAND DUKES OF LITHUANIA|2016.07.12

Joss Stone has been obsessed with soul music since she was a little girl. By the time she was in her early teens she had begun to intuitively hone her now trademark gravelly-but-lustrous vocals by singing along to Aretha’s Franklin’s Greatest Hits. She began pursuing a singing career at thirteen, securing a record deal at 15, and recording her star-making debut album, The Soul Sessions, which was released in 2003. 10 years on from those stunning debut sessions, Joss decided to bring things full circle and revisit where it all began - with her follow up to that multi million selling debut The Soul Sessions Volume 2. A stunning exercise in vocal poise, passion and power, the album was well received globally and charted in the Top 20 both in the UK and in the US, garnering some of the best her reviews for many years. 2014 will see her complete work on her seventh studio album and start out on her most ambitious project to date – the Total World Tour.

Following her critically acclaimed arrival on the music scene in 2003 (which preceded the plethora of soul-inspired female artists that came along in her wake) things took off for Joss in an enormous way. Her second record, 2004’s Mind Body & Soul capitalized on The Soul Sessions’ commercial momentum and critical adoration and earned Stone three Grammy nominations, including one for Best New Artist. It also spawned a self-penned UK Top 10 single, “You Had Me”, and earned her Two Brit Awards that same year. Her third album, 2007’s Introducing Joss Stone, was a more independent, less packaged effort, on which Joss further showcased her songwriting abilities, and revealed the singer had truly been embraced by the American audience when it crashed into the US charts at No.2, marking the highest debut ever for a female British solo artist on the Billboard charts. With over 12 million album sales to date and a wealth of experience under her belt, including recent collaborations on record with the likes of Dave Stewart and Mick Jagger (some of her most recent musical adventures), 2012 seemed the right time to return to the Soul Sessions template.

In her short young life and already long career, Joss has performed onstage with the likes of James Brown, Gladys Knight, Solomon Burke, Blondie, Smokey Robinson and Melissa Etheridge among many others. She’s contributed to albums by Jeff Beck and Ringo Starr, played the Super Bowl pre-game show, performed on the Grammy’s, - and indeed won a Grammy herself! In her twenty-five years she’s participated in more moments of absolute musical wonder than most people can hope for in an entire lifetime. And she’s approached it all with a sense of independence and joie de vivre. Stone has always been a bit of a rebel, whether she’s dancing barefoot onstage or dyeing her hair various colors or speaking out on issues she’s passionate about, part of what her fans love about her is that she’s a free-spirit, following her own instincts at all times.

Despite some of the dramas that have followed or beset Stone in her short life so far, it is her approach to music - intuitive and freeform – merged with the backdrop of nearly a decade of hard-earned experience in the industry – that characterises the Stone mindset. If she wants to do something badly enough she gets it done, no matter what the obstacles – but only if she’s having fun along the way. And the upcoming Total World Tour should be certainly be fun, as well as challenging and - rather like her life and career so far – one hell of a ride!

As Stone herself puts it “My mission is to explore and understand the universal language of music in every country on the planet. The tour will be tiring and tough and I know at times very emotional but it will be a truly amazing journey and of discovery and one hell of a ride.”

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The Tiger Lillies (UK) | in Concert| VILNIUS CONGRESS HALL| 2016.06.08

The Tiger Lillies were formed in 1989 and as the decades go by their sound remains one of the most unique and original things one could come across. Martyn Jacques, the band's front man, songwriter and founder, spent most of his twenties in a flat above a brothel in London's Soho, peeping through his window at the buzz of Soho’s lowlife. It took him a good ten years to turn that strange world into art, while training as a singer and songwriter. In 1989 he got his first accordion and The Tiger Lillies were formed shortly after.

Back in the early 90's the avant garde trio stood out immediately for its distinct sound and style and the band quickly worked its way up from London pubs to the Piccadilly Theatre and buskers’ benches to the Sydney Opera House. Soon the The Tiger Lillies were touring the world giving concerts and participating in various art and theatre projects. A couple of the many highlights in their career were the 2 Olivier Awards they won for the cult hit musical Shockheaded Peter and the Grammy nomination for their album The Gorey End. Within the last two decades The Tiger Lillies have been doing an average of over 200 gigs a year and despite spending so much time on the road they have managed to also release more than one album a year (total number is somewhere around 35, but who is counting?). They have participated in numerous shows all over the world, collaborating with artists of all disciplines: from circus performers to Shakespearean actors, experimental dancers to avant garde photographers and burlesque puppeteers to classical music ensembles. 

The world of The Tiger Lillies is dark, peculiar and varied, with moments of deep sadness, cruel black humour and immense beauty. This unique "anarchic Brechtian street opera trio" tours the world playing songs about “anything that doesn’t involve beautiful blonde girls and boys running at the meadow” to quote their founder Martyn Jacques. Hence, their songs cover all the dark aspects of life, from prostitution and drug addiction to violence and despair. Always with a touch of twisted humor and sharp irony The Tiger Lillies “point an implicit accusing finger back at us: what on Earth are we doing, laughing at this stuff?”. Their music is a mixture of pre-war Berlin cabaret, anarchic opera and gypsy music, echoing the voices of Bertolt Brecht and Jacques Brel. The Tiger Lillies shock, amuse and entertain in a postmodern vaudeville way, with their inimitable in-yer-face shows, where no limit should be taken for granted.

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MAXENCE CYRIN (FR)| PIANO SOLO| VILNIUS CONGRESS HALL| 2016.03.03

Maxence Cyrin is a French pianist and composer based in Paris. After graduating from a Conservatoire de Musique he got enthralled by electronic music. His first compositions and recordings date back to the 90’s.

   He soon developed a predilection for the dialogue between pop and classical music, as apparent from his album Modern Rhapsodies(released in 2005 under the FCommunication label founded by Laurent Garnier) with his reinterpretations of famous electronic tunes by Depeche Mode, Massive Attack, or Aphex Twin.

 The false simplicity of Maxence Cyrin’s music is due to his slowly elaborated melodic and harmonic writing, a tenuous alchemy where each note of the score suggests those left unplayed. Thus, a few musical touches come to create a universe which is as wide as it is intimate, filled with vibrant chiaroscuros.

   Well acquainted with the works of Satie, Chopin, and Glass, Maxence Cyrin makes most sophisticated mixtures without ever losing his limpid style. This very refined simplicity led him to collaborate with prestigious fashion houses such as Chanel, Lanvin , Hermès or Valentino.

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ANE BRUN (NO)| Directions Tour 2015 | VILNIUS CONGRESS HALL| 2015.10.03

by MacKenzie Wilson

With her lilting vocals, theatrical arrangements, and delicate indie folk craft, Norwegian singer/songwriter Ane Brun(pronounced Ah-na Broon) remained a regional secret until 2003, when she made her European debut with the release of Spending Time with Morgan. Released on the DetErMine label, a company that Brun co-founded the previous year with the Tiny's Ellekari LarssonSpending Time with Morganwon local praise for its cinematic sound and was later championed at the Swedish Independent Music Awards. One year later, Brun released the My Lover Will Go EP, as well as the romantic songbook A Temporary Dive. The latter album featured collaborations with Canadian artist Ron SexsmithTeitur, and Syd Matters, while its sound drew comparisons to early Neko CaseFeist, and Nick Drake. Three weeks after its release, A Temporary Dive went platinum in Brun's native country. A slew of awards followed, including the country's Grammy equivalent -- the Norwegian Spellemannsprisen -- for Best Female Artist and Hit of the Year in 2005. Brun closed out the year with yet another release, Duets, which found her collaborating with ten different songwriters. A remixed/remastered version of A Temporary Dive arrived in America via the V2 label in May 2006. Brun followed its release with Live in Scandinavia, her first live album, before setting to work on a new studio effort. Released in 2008, Changing of the Seasons dealt with shifting climates and evolving relationships, while Sketches (also released in 2008) compiled Brun's home recordings into an attractive package of demos. She appeared on Peter Gabriel's 2011 album New Blood, and later that year released her sixth album, It All Starts with One, produced by Tobias Fröberg.

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