Viktorija Gečytė with Go Trio at The Mainstay June 9

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Lithuanian-born, Paris-based vocalist Viktorija Gečytė returns to The Mainstay in Rock Hall, with Go Trio and Ben Seacrist on trumpet on Friday, June 9 at 8 p.m.

Viktorija Gečytė

Though born in Lithuania and based in Paris, Viktorija Gečytė is, in many ways, an American Jazz vocalist. She first sang on stage at the age of five in her native Lithuania and was soon singing at festivals, touring Europe, recording, and making appearances on Lithuanian television. Influenced by the great American singers, she met Gene Perla and Sean Gough, who are two thirds of the US-based Go Trio while she and Sean were students at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. Though based in Paris, she has returned to the US to tour every year in the last decade. This year, following the US tour she will take Go Trio to Europe.

The story of how a Lithuanian born singer based in Paris has come tour with an American Jazz trio goes back to those days at Lafayette College.

Gečytė, and pianist Sean Gough from New Jersey  were both students at Lafayette College and met in Lafayette’s jazz combo. Gough hosted the jazz jam at The Cosmic Cup in Easton and one day a tall, white-haired gentleman politely approached and whispered, “Can I play a tune?”

“Sure!” replied Gough, “Let’s play ‘Autumn Leaves,’ you know that song?”

The tall gentleman kindly smiled… “I think I do.”

Little did Gough know that he was talking to bassist Gene Perla, who had played with Elvin Jones, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, Sonny Rollins, and Miles Davis, among other icons. It took Gough no more than two seconds to realize that Perla’s steady beat had travelled a long road.

Two weeks later, at Phenom, a Thai restaurant with a jazz scene, Perla heard Viktorija Gečytė sing for the first time and realized that this was an exceptionally sleek and mighty voice.

They started playing together regularly. And they kept on going, even when Gečytė moved to Paris to start a career in executive communications by day, singing in jazz clubs and jam sessions by night. Every year since 2008, they have toured as “Viktorija Gečytė with Go Trio,” and have performed in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, Zurich, and Vilnius.

Viktorija Gečytė and Go Trio

They have performed for diverse audiences in run-down bars, posh music halls, classic jazz joints and music festivals. On these diverse stages the audience response is consistent, unequivocal enthusiasm. The deepest paradox is that their music has the instant taste of a classic; it’s familiar, universal, and yet their conversation is unique. It’s alive, drawing in listeners, engaging them in the dialogue.

Their sound is utterly refreshing, in a world where jazz struggles between inaccessibility and nostalgia. Viktorija Gečytė with Go Trio do not “sound like jazz,” they don’t “play jazz.” They play, offering the heart and soul of jazz: music that uplifts, invites the audience in and takes them along as it soars.

Pianist Sean Gough continually stretches boundaries and has appeared in concert from New York City to San Francisco. He teaches at Lafayette, is a founding member of several improvising bands and appears most often with Go Trio.

Gene Perla began classical piano at age five and switched to bass at age 24, upon hearing Charlie Haden. His first major gig was with the Willie Bobo Sextet. Later gigs included Nina Simone, Woody Herman, Sarah Vaughan, Elvin Jones, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, and Sonny Rollins. He has done studio work with Todd Rundgren, founded P.M. and Plug Records, and established recording facilities. He teaches at Lehigh University and The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music.

Perla, Gough and Gečytė will be joined by drummer Nic Cacioppo and Ben Seacrist on Trumpet.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit dedicated to the arts, serving Rock Hall and the surrounding region. It is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Wine, beer, sodas and snacks are available at the bar.

The Mainstay is supported by ticket sales, fundraising including donations from friends and audience members and an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

Admission is $15 if purchased in advance and $18 at the door. Information and advance ticket sales are available at the Mainstay’s website. Reservations to pay at the door can be made by calling 410-639-9133.

 

 

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