The band Grūviai was founded in 2019 after the band The Groovy Group broke up (lost its name and members). It’s a passion project whose roots can be traced back to 2014 when the first jazz band was formed in the small city Varėna in Lithuania and two members from the original ensemble still play in this continuation of the band to this day (Aurelijus on alto saxophone and Tomas on bass guitar).

Nevertheless, the current band and its foundations were built in 2019 onwards and in the summer of 2020 Grūviai found the last piece of the puzzle when Donatas added his trumpet to fulfil the sound of the ensemble. Now the band consists of 8 members and 8 distinct personalities:

Vocalist, Songwriter, a Ray of Sunshine: Roneta Saveiskytė 21 (an aspiring singer from a beautiful city Merkinė, she’s currently a second year student of Jazz Vocal at Vilnius University of Applied Sciences)

Guitarist, Songwriter, Arranger, Echo: Aidas Tamulevičius 22 (a professional translator from Varėna and a guitarist in multiple ensembles, got a bachelor degree in Translation studies at Vilnius University in 2020)

Bassist, the Sceptic: Tomas Stonys 24 (a Varėna native who enjoys toying with lights, sound and God-knows-what, got a bachelor degree in Sound Design at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Arts in 2020)

Pianist, the Lyrical Soul: Gabija Vareikaitė 21 (as aspiring pianist from Lithuania’s capital Vilnius, she’s currently a second year student of Jazz Piano at Vilnius University of Applied Sciences)

Drummer, Mr. Always Late to the Rehearsal: Kipras Čėsna 23 (a Šiauliai native and the guy who holds the boom mic in every film or tv series you have ever seen, got a bachelor degree in Sound Design at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Arts in 2020)

Saxophonist, the Never-Go-to-a-Rehearsal-Without-a-Bar-of-Chocolate Guy: Aurelijus Kauneckis 22 (in all history of time he has never played wrong a note (it’s hard to believe it but it’s true), he is currently a four year student of Informatics at Vilnius University)

Trombonist, a-Joke-For-Every-Situation Kind of Guy: Antanas Daugėla 25 (you can never know what kind of joke he’s got under his sleeve (pro tip: always tells it with a deadpan look on his face), got a bachelor degree in Telecommunication Physics and Electronics at Vilnius University in 2019)

Trumpeter, Almost as Loud as the Instrument He Plays: Donatas Viaževičius 26 (averages about 20 thousand words a day, never runs out of energy (except when he needs to repeat his trumpet solo on “Glasess, Plates & Bottles”), got a bachelor degree in Economics or something in 2017, is currently a first year student of Trumpet Performance at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Arts).

The band’s repertoire is largely influenced by swing and jazz music from different eras – main influences are Duke Ellington, Nina Simone, Caravan Palace etc. But Grūviai do not shy away from other genres as well – there are some soul elements (Stevie Wonder, Etta James) and even an occasional blues / rock track to finish the concert in style (The Blues Brothers). In this way the band mixes original tunes and covers to create a fascinating concert experience.

Since 2019 Grūviai have performed multiple times and in various places, but most notable concerts took place in the second half of 2020: in July we performed at GMD (Street Musician Day) in Vilnius near the Russian Drama Theatre of Lithuania, in September we participated in young band competition “Garažas’20” with our original tunes “Green Light” (inspired by the Jazz Age and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gastby) and “Red Wine” (inspired by a bottle of good red wine) respectively, in the same month we played in Loftas venue and in Vilnius Culture Night at Vilnius St. Virgin Maria ‘s Church.

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