The Doudi Jazz Band has earned a reputation as one of the best performers of traditional jazz in Lithuania. They perform with a good grip on different jazz styles, demonstrating precision and expertise in their interpretations as well as artistic flair on stage. The group started out almost three decades ago as part of the Klaipėda Dixieland (leader Pranas Narušis). After some years of playing Dixieland music, the band switched to swing and changed its name to the Memel Swingers. In 1996, this group has developed into a present five-piece Doudi Jazz Band (its locally specific name means "the band that gives jazz" in Western Lithuanian dialect). All five members of the Doudi Jazz Band are experienced jazz masters and charming personalities who combine their artistic careers with teaching at the Klaipėda University (Jazz Department of the Art Faculty). The band has initiated Klaipėda Dixieland Festival, which grew into Klaipėda Castle Jazz Festival, one of the foremost jazz events in Lithuania.
Doudi Jazz Band has earned a reputation as one of the best performers of traditional jazz in Lithuania. It is praised for excellent sense of different jazz styles, professional and precise interpretation and artistry. Hot trumpet and raspy voice of the leader Vytautas Grubliauskas (known as Kongas, also dubbed the Lithuanian Armstrong) lend the band a special flavour and charm.
The band was formed in 1978 on the basis of the Klaipėda Dixieland (leader Pranas Narušis). After some years of playing mostly Dixieland music, the band switched to swing and took the name Memel Swingers. Later, the band's stylistic variety once more adjusted its name - in 1995 the group has shaped into quintet Doudi Jazz Band.
The band has initiated Klaipėda Dixieland Festival, which grew into Klaipėda Castle Jazz Festival, one of the foremost jazz events in Lithuania. Doudi Jazz Band has appeared in all Lithuanian jazz festivals, toured Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland. The group has collaborated with Lithuanian and international jazz masters, such as Barbara King (USA) and Michael Varekamp (the Netherlands).
All the members of Doudi Jazz Band are not only seasoned jazz masters, but also experienced teachers of Jazz Department of the Art Faculty, Klaipėda University.
© Jūratė Kučinskaitė
Vytautas Grubliauskas - tp, voc
Algis Kilis - sax, voc
Arnoldas Jankūnas - p, ky
Romualdas Malinauskas - b, voc
Edmundas Federavičius - dr