BELKIN-JUTAS BLUES DUO
This project started as a trio in 1995 with Aleksandr Belkin and Virgilijus Jutas, the leaders of famous Lithuanian blues bands, – “The Road Band” and “The Bluesmakers” respectively (see www.blues.lt/roadband, www.blues.lt/bluesmakers), and female singer Julia Ritchik, who left in 1996 after releasing the debut acoustic album.
In 1996 the duo played in Holland at MOULIN BLUES OSPEL festival‘s jam session with famous player Keb’Mo, USA.
Also participated at many international festivals, such as:
• 2001 OLSZTYNCKIE NOCE BLUESOVE, Poland
• 2006 BLUES NIGHTS, Varniai, Lithuania.
• 2007 IN THE CIRCLE OF BLUES Suwalki, Poland
In 2007 Acoustic Duo had tour in Izreal and published a new CD "LIVE AT VARNIAI BLUES FESTIVAL 2006"
These two musicians are warmly welcomed at big festivals as well as in small pubs because of their bright performance, sparkling energy and vivid communication with the audience.
REPERTOIRE: classic acoustic blues, country blues, golden ballads of ’70s and ‘80s, original songs in English and Lithuanian languages.
Aleksandr Belkin (vocal, guitars, harp), Vilnius Conservatory and VPU graduate, is the leader of the The Road Band and the author of the most of the original songs of the band. Before forming The Road Band, he used to play in many jazz, blues and rock‘n‘roll bands. He played in the first Lithuanian blues band Hilda Blues Band. With those bands he toured many European countries. In 1999 as a member of The Country Blues Session Band he participated in Country Europe international contest in Mragowo, Poland; the band won the second award there. Aleksandr released his 2 solo blues albums ‘‘Real Love“ and ‘‘Black Papa‘‘. Apart from his playing in The Road Band, Aleksandr Belkin participates in many music projects together with famous Lithuanian and foreign musicans. Sometimes Aleksandr makes gigs with big bands. Aleksandr Belkin is featured in the book "Who is who in Lithuania" (2002, 2006) He has written and published the book "A brief history of Jazz" supplied with CD (publishing house "Kronta"). In the festival "Blues Nights" in 2003 he got the "Golden string" award. In 2003 at the "Country Saloon" in Vilnius A. Belkin won the Grand Prix in the contest of cazoo playing. Aleksandr is the member of "The World Resophonic Association". Besides, he is listed as a member of the best harmonic‘s players of the world.
Virgilijus Jutas (vocals, guitars, harmonica), the main driving force of The Bluesmakers and the brilliant songwriter, singer, guitar and harmonica player, is one of the key figures of Lithuanian blues/jazz/rock’n’roll/country stage. His blues career started at Perestroika times in 1986, when he played in Hilda Blues Band and also took part in setting up the very first blues club in Lithuania. In 1990, he launched his own project, The Bluesmakers, gradually to become the leading Lithuanian blues band. The band released several albums, took part at many Lithuanian and international festivals, toured all over Lithuania and Europe. In 1998/99, two years in a row, The Bluesmakers won The Best Blues Band Award at Summer Marathon Lithuanian National Music Festival, and also in 1998 Virgilijus Jutas played at Birstonas Jazz Festival as a member of Juozas Milasius Auksines Gitaros avant-garde project. In 2002, The Bluesmakers, playing Virgilijus Jutas-written songs, won The Lithuanian National Radio’s Best Rock Band Award.
Virgilijus Jutas widely collaborates with famous Lithuanian and foreign musicians and takes part in various musical projects.
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