Take Five WIth Viktorija Pilatovic

Viktorija Pilatovic By

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Meet Viktorija Pilatovic:

In October 2012, jazz singer, composer and arranger Viktorija Pilatovic, just 23 years old, performed her original composition, "We Could Solve That," with internationally renowned bassist Victor Wooten in Valencia, Spain's iconic Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia performing arts complex. Her skills were quickly noticed when she arrived at Berklee Valencia in September of 2012 to pursue her Masters in Contemporary Studio Performance on a full ride scholarship.

Viktorija was invited to perform at the Berklee Yamaha All-Stars Concert alongside music legends bassist Abraham Laboriel, saxophonist Perico Sambeat and vibraphonist Victor Mendoza for Berklee College of Music President Roger Brown, Valencian government officials and local media.

Earlier in 2012, Viktorija was invited to participate at the AEC Pop and Jazz Platform in Lille, France, representing the young jazz generation amongst a number of music professionals, discussing teaching methods and the future of jazz education.

Viktorija was born on the 12th of March in 1989 in Klaipeda, Lithuania. At the age of six, she started playing classical piano, winning many Carl Czerny Piano Competitions.

In 2007, she began her Bachelor studies in Jazz Vocal at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. Since then, she has participated in a number of jazz contests, such as the International Jazz Vocal Competition in 2008, 2009 and 2010, winning 1st prize in Jazz Fountain 2008.

In 2009, Viktorija was invited to take part at the Klaipeda's Sea Festival, appearing at The Tall Ships' Races, where she performed with The Klaipeda Town Big Band, receiving live coverage from Lithuanian national TV and radio.

In 2008, the young artist performed at a festival in Naggar, Himachal Pradesh India hosted by the International Roerich Memorial Trust.

In 2010, Viktorija moved to The Netherlands to further her jazz studies at Prins Claus Conservatorium. Viktorija took lessons from JD Walter, Ralph Peterson, Alex Sipiagin, David Berkman, Don Braden, Joris Teepe, Jeff Cascaro, Freddie Bryant, Gene Jackson and Robin Eubanks.

In 2011, Viktorija won 3rd prize at the The Nederland Jazz Vocalisten Concours. The show was broadcasted on Radio 6 The Netherlands. Also in 2011, Viktorija toured Athens, Greece with guitarist/vocalist Adedeji Adetayo. Following the tour, she returned to Greece with her female jazz group The Sound Of Reflection, after many requests, where they played almost every night for a month.

In March of 2012, she performed as a solo artist with PCC Sympho- Jazz orchestra, conducted by the legendary John Clayton. In July, she performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland.

She now holds two Bachelor's Degrees and is currently studying for her Master's Degree in the Contemporary Studio Performance program at the Berklee College of Music Valencia.

During this time, Viktorija continues to develop arrangements, original compositions and developing her own teaching methods.

Viktorija is working on her debut album featuring original compositions and unique arrangement of jazz standards, fusing jazz, hip-hop and soul, with an expected release of late 2013.


Vocals, piano.

Teachers and/or influences?

J.D. Walter, Ralph Peterson, Alex Sipiagin, David Berkman, Don Braden, Joris Teepe, Jeff Cascaro, Joris Teepe, Freddie Bryant, Gene Jackson, Robin Eubanks, Herbie Hancock, Charlie Parker, Steve Coleman, Cannonball Adderley, Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, Dianne Reeves, Betty Carter, Dave Holland, Miles Davis, Bobby McFerrin, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Richard Bona.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

When at the age of two I was introduced to singing and at the age of six to classical piano.

Your sound and approach to music:

I like confusing people a little. Keeping them aware and ready to take a different direction for a while and then gently bring them back to where it started.

Your teaching approach:

I believe that the student has to be quietly proud of himself, competitive with him/herself and like it so much that no matter how hard and confusing it is in the beginning to be able to continue that.

Your dream band:

Warm, kind and strong people. With crazy ideas that compliment and develop mine. I like fast people, risky and spontaneous. My music needs that. Steve Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Chris Dave, Derrick Hodge, Richard Bona, Lionel Loueke.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

When you tour with Adedeji Adetayo, Benson Itoe, Vagelis Stefanopoulos, Owen Hart Jr. everything is humorous

Favorite venue:

Vilnius Mama Jazz 2012, Rusu dramos teatras

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

My demo recordings of "Nica's Blues" and "Love for Sale.} I connect with them the most.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Ella and Louis.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

I give a lot of energy . And I am trying to make it breathtakingly beautiful.

Did you know...

I am afraid of darkness.

CDs you are listening to now:

Herbie Hancock, The New Standard (Verve);

Steve Coleman, Def Trance Beat (Novus/BMG);

Clifford Brown, Study in Brown (EmArcy);

Miles Davis, Relaxin' (Prestige);

Richard Bona, Munia The Tale (Universal Music).

Desert Island picks:

Herbie Hancock, The New Standard (Verve);

Richard Bona, Munia The Tale (Universal Music).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Very innovative. Many musicians are fusing their traditional music with jazz tradition. We hear many fusions of jazz and Mediterranean, Indian, Balkan music. I think it's a very interesting turn because the source will never be empty.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Remembering the history

What is in the near future?

I am recording my debut album this winter, releasing it and touring with it. Also I would like to have one of my songs as a soundtrack of a movie or TV series.

What's your greatest fear when you perform?

If I am on the high heels I am afraid of falling ... But I am not scared of anything else while singing.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

"Both Sides Now," by Joni Mitchell

"Like Sonny," by John Coltrane

What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?

"Mean to Me," music by Fred E. Ahlert and lyrics by Roy Turk.

By Day:

Manager, booking agent and publicist for Viktorija Pilatovic and I work as a library assistant at Berklee Valencia.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

An Olympic champion in 100 meters sprint and gymnastics.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Viktorija Pilatovic

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