The Artists - Liudas Mockunas

Liudas Mockunas – Lithuanian clarinet and saxophone player and composer – born May 18 1976 in Panevezys – played in Prize Winner Andrew Hill's JAZZPAR 2003 Nonet.

Mockunas began playing jazz at the age of eight. He later studied classical clarinet under A. Doveika at the Vilnius M. K. Ciurlionis Art Gymnasium and saxophone under V. Chekasin at the Lithuanian Musical Academy. Since 1999 he has studied at The Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark.
   He has won classical competitions for reed instruments, was awarded a scholarship to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA, and he was the second Prize winner at the International Saxophone Competition Brilliant Note’ 2000 in Latvia and a winner of the International Competition of Jazz Soloists in Klaipeda. Together with Jacob Anderskov and Stefan Pasborg, Mockunas won the first prize at the 2001 European Tournament in Pointiers, France.
   Liudas Mockunas has played at a great number of European festivals since 1988, often as leader or co-leader of small groups. After the turn of the millennium Mockunas has gradually made a name in Denmark as sideman in groups like Copenhagen Art Ensemble and Ok Nok Kongo. He has also played with Mikko Innanen, Mads Hyhne, Kasper Tranberg, Nils Davidsen, Marc Ducret, Mark Solborg, Pierre Dørge, Kresten Osgood, Jonas Westergaard, Tomas Agergaard, Jens Winter among others and he has had a seat in several Lithuanian Symphonic orchestras. Acclaimed pieces for a musical and a film also bear Mockunas name.
   Mockunas, who is part of an up-and-coming new generation of performers, moved to Denmark in 1999 – he was especially interested in the Copenhagen scene of experimental music. Though he is a representative of a young Lithuanian jazz generation, he is a mature and experienced musician who has played in many parts of Europe.
This reed player works with highly unorthodox mixtures, with sounds ranging from expressive instrumental burnouts over filmic horror to apocalypse-hymns and transcendent bells. His music may be unpredictable with an energized mixture of free jazz, lyricism and mid-European expressionism.

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