Marju has been playing the violin for 13 years and only traditional music for 8 years. At present she is studying at Traditional Music Department of Viljandi Academy of Culture. At the same time she is teaching young people to play violin, bagpipe, pipe, kanklės, to sing and dance. Marju invited her college friends and students to join her and to get new experiences in this festival.
This is a family quartet led by Esbjörn Hogmark, who plays the Swedish key violin called nyckelharpa. His wife Åsa Hogmark (Södergren) and twin brother Göran Hogmark play the nyckelharpa as well. Esbjörn Hogmark started playing the nyckelharpa in 1977. In 1980 he studied with master Eric Sahlström. In 1983 he was awarded Zorn silver medal and a title of Riksspelman (royal musician). He not just plays but also makes nyckelharpas.
Z naroku - Poland
Group from Suvalki, a district of lakes. They play traditional dance music of that region. It is polka and oberek. They also play foreign tunes such as foxtrot, kazak, waltz. The main instrument is the pedal accordion made at the beginning of the 20th century. This instrument was widely used till the eighties of the last century.
He was born in 1943 in western Norway. At present he works in the Centre of Scandinavistics of Vilnius University. He plays Norwegian folk song and dance tunes on instruments belonging to the flute family called tussefløyte (fairy flute) and seljefløyte ( willow obertonic flute – Lith. švilpa). He has performed in Norway, Austria, Lithuania
Yirdy Machar – Scotland/Denmark
He was born in 1947 in Glasgow, Scotland, here he started his studies. He travelled, lived and played music in many countries. In 1982 he settled in Denmark. He plays in pubs, clubs, cabarets, festivals, concerts, on the radio and TV, on his own and with other musicians from Denmark, Scotland, Ireland, England, Sweden and groups from Scandinavia. In 2002 Yirdy won a championship of playing on spoons and bones in a country music festival in Iowa, USA
He loves singing Scottish folk songs in his native dialect, also plays drum (bodhran), melodeon and pipe. He teaches others to play these instruments and calligraphy.
Salnava dance musicians - Latvia
The group started performing a couple of years ago. They are popular with older generation of their district. The group took part in the festival of Barkavos musicians, have performed in the neighbouring Balvi, Rezekne regions, Ludzi district event called Smithy of Sounds („Skaņu smēde“). They are loved by audiences and have won the Top Award.
While at school he learned to play a big number of Chinese musical instruments and was a member of Chinese Folk Instruments' Company. Having graduated from North East Pharmacy Medical University in 1982, he was awarded a degree of a Master of Medicine in 1985 at the West China Medical University. In 1991 he came to Lithuania. Currently he acts as the head of several Chinese restaurants.
Abdullah Boyraz – Turkey
Abdullah was born in Antakia (1000 km off Istambul) where he grew up and received his musical education. Playing the bahlama, a national Turkish instrument also called saz, ran in the family. Music had been Abdullah’s lifelong aspiration yet fate decreed otherwise. Nevertheless he plays his instrument working in restaurants of Vilnius. Many customers come not only to enjoy his wonderful kebab but also to hear the Turkish national music.
Vilniaus bandonija – Lithuania
Four virtuoso bandonija players from Vilnius formed this band specially for GRIEŽYNĖ 2006. They all - Arvydas Kirda, Albinas Batavičius, Edmundas Širmulis and Arūnas Lunys – are very different, play in different manner and have a different musical education. They included into their repertoire tunes of the most famous bandonija players of Lithuanian countryside.
Events of festival:
Exhibiton STRING MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS IN LITHUANIAN COUNTRYSIDE September 6, Wednesday, 16.00 Exhibition opening and a concert at Lithuanian National Museum (1 Arsenalo St)
Lithuanian National Museum has become a perfect venue for GRIEŽYNĖ events. This display will present ancient and contemporary string instruments from Lithuanian National Museum, Panevėžys and Ukmergė Ethnographic Museums, Povilas Stulga‘s Folk Music Instrument Museum and private collections. Their sound will be heard at the concert.
Concert SOUNDS OF THE WORLD September 6, Wednesday, 20.00 at Vilnius Teachers’ House Sitting-room (39 Vilniaus St)
Good friends decided to have some fun – to look at the world through rose tinted glasses by playing folk music of different nations and the best known rock and pop melodies on traditional folk instruments. Have a good time!
PERFORMANCES GIVEN BY FESTIVAL GUESTS IN PILIES STREET, THE OLD TOWN OF VILNIUS September 7, Thursday, 15.00
It is a traditional GRIEŽYNĖ event, where townsfolk of Vilnius and its guests get acquainted with festival participants. Look for us all along Pilies Street.
KANKLĖS MUSIC CONCERT September 7, Thursday, 17.00, Vilnius Teachers’ House, the Small Hall (39 Vilniaus St)
Kanklės is an ancient Lithuanian folk string instrument. The audience will hear instrumental sutartinės, folk song and dance tunes played on authentic kanklės as well as pieces by Lithuanian and foreign composers based on traditions of folk music and performed on the modernized instrument.
PERFORMANCES BY FESTIVAL GUESTS AT CAFES, BARS AND RESTAURANTS OF VILNIUS September 7, Thursday 19.00 Užupio kavinė (2 Užupio St) – Z Naroku (Poland) “Pilies menė”café (8 Pilies St) – Gulyajgorod (Ukraine) Marju Varblane and friends (Estonia) “Aukštaičiai” restaurant (13 Antokolskio St) – Yirdi Machar (Scotland/Denmark), Kristian Solvang (Norway), Abdullah Boyraz (Turkey) “Marceliukės klėtis”(35 Tuskulėnu St) – Hogmarkarna (Sweden) “Tores” restaurant (40 Užupio St) – Skalnava dance musicians (Latvia)
A traditional GRIEŽYNĖ event, a great opportunity to meet festival guests.
GRIEŽYNĖ CINEMA September 8, Friday, 11.00 at “ Skalvija” cinema centre (2/15 A.Goštauto St)
This long-lasting event includes ethnographic documentaries on customs, musical instruments’ production, music players and dances. This year the event has come back to its usual location – “Skalvija” cinema centre. The audience will watch films on GRIEŽYNĖ festival, Latvian, Polish, Australian and other countries’ folklore programmes.
FOLKLORE WORKSHOP September 8, Friday 15.00 at Vilnius Teachers’ House Sitting-room (39 Vilniaus St)
At this traditional event GRIEŽYNĖ guests will present their instruments. Information on the production of instruments and the traditions of music performance will be given. The technique of performance and the traditional repertoire will be demonstrated.
GRIEŽYNĖ-2006 GALA CONCERT September 8, Friday 18.00 at Vilnius Teachers’ House Grand Hall (39 Vilniaus St)
This is the main event of the festival where its participants and guests demonstrate best pieces of their repertoire. The audience has an opportunity to see all musicians in corpore and have some lovely surprises.
TRIP FOR FESTIVAL PARTICIPANTS TO NATIONAL PARK OF DZŪKIJA September 9, Saturday
GRIEŽYNĖ has a nice tradition of “taking the festival to people’s homes”. In the country there are folk music lovers, whose music and songs will be performed for the guests of the festival who will get a glimpse of the mode of life of Lithuanian countryside and in the evening will demonstrate their art to local people.
GRIEŽYNĖ CLOSING SHOW September 9, Saturday 18.00
It is a traditional closing event in the hospitable farmstead owned by Roma and Eimantas Zalensas. Here, in Padubysis Village (Vilkija Rural District, Kaunas Region), a wonderful nook of nature and an open air folk sculpture museum, is that the music of festival guests will be played for the last time. This time the concert will take place in a newly made May Picnic Valley with impressive sculptures and cosy gazebos, on a stage made of logs.