“A professional having a high school education and a wonderful sounding technique as well as enough histrionic experience. Extremely brilliant. Paulius’s music is marked with honed classical sound culture, virtuosity, flexibility and melody. His music won’t leave anybody insensitive.”
Paulius Zdanavicius was born in 1979 in Birstonas, in the family of musicians. His father taught accordion at Prienai music school. Paulius’s mother, having a diploma in choir-mastership and accordion, like Paulius’s father, taught to play this instrument at Birstonas music school. However, little Paulius started playing the piano first of all. And being 4-5 years old he already improvised well. Later father taught his son to play the contrabass and percussion instruments but Paulius enjoyed playing the piano most of all. Being a seven-year-old boy he visited Birstonas jazz festival for the first time. When he came back home, he played ragtime which he heard at the concert from memory. This is was the first time when the musician confronted the world of jazz.
Paulius learned to play music at Birstonas art school; later (on his father’s initiative) at M. K. Ciurlionis art gymnasium, in the grand piano class led by professor E. Ignatonis. Since 1999 Paulius studied at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. In 2003 he took a baccalaureate here and gained a specialty in grand piano (professor Z. Ibelhauptas). In 2008 Paulius finished his master’s studies in jazz performance (docent. A. Anusauskas).
Still studying at M. K. Ciurlionis art gymnasium Paulius became interested in jazz. At that date he listened to the records of world-famous jazz pianists: Oscar Peterson, Michel Petruccian, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett and others. These performers pulled young pianist into the world of jazz. Although the interest in jazz was suppressed, students didn’t have any difficulties in making small bands and playing music of the new world.
The first more serious jazz band called “Julia Jazz Trio“ was organized when Paulius still studied at the academy. This band together with Paulius spend many summers playing in Nida; they participated in the festivals of Lithuania and Poland; they were invited to “warm up“ concerts of Joe Zawinull, Kurt Elling and Richard Bona in Vilnius. In 2004 Paulius together with this band recorded their debut album called “19...live“. And in 2006 “Julia Jazz trio“ got the award of “Broadway“ club for the best jazz band.
In Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre Paulius started his active pianist’s music career; the musician’s versatility and regularity were disclosed. Since 2003 the musician works as a concertmaster at Vilnius J. Tallat – Kelpsa conservatoire and Vilnius College. Paulius was and still is a member of such bands as "Oscar jazz Band", “Musette“, “Crystal Jazz trio“, “Face time“, “Rendez-vous” and „Ingeniuos“. In 2008 he organized a jazz trio called "Paulius Zdanavicius Trio"; together with this band Paulius performs his and other authors’ compositions (Michel Camilo, Oscar Peterson etc.). A drummer Andrius Kairys and a bassist Eugenijus Kanevicius play in the band together with Paulius.
The musician collaborated with a famous chorus “Young Music“, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University mixed choir academic Gabija, St. Christopher chamber orchestra, Kaunas symphony orchestra, quartette “Swinging Baroque“, big bend “Blue Paradise“. He also played with a band “Blues Makers“, singers Jurgis Bruzga, Ieva Prudnikovaite, Virgilijus Noreika, Jeronimas Milius, Rafailas Karpis, Vaida Genyte, Neda Malunaviciute, Marijonas Mikutavicius,Povilas Meskela, Eduardas Gimenezas, Giedre Kilciauskiene, Ona Kolobovaite, actors Nijole Narmontaite, Sigutis Jacenas and others Lithuanian musicians. He participated in several television projects and in the process of making music records.
Today the pianist’s stage partners are : Ruta Sciogolevaite, Evelina Sasenko, Liudas Mikalauskas, Egidijus Bavikinas; musicians Tomas Varnagiris, Tomas Maslauskas, Martynas Lukosevicius and others.
Paulius constantly makes music for grand piano for solo and jazz ensembles; he also makes arrangements and instrumental phonograms.
It also writes the songs. Its a song "C'est ma vie" (w. Andrius Kairys, singer Evelina Sasenko) was represented in 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Dusseldorf (Germany).
In 2012, Paulius helped Rūta with recording the album "Tai - gyvenimas" ("Just life"), creating the arrangements of the songs.
Paulius Zdanavicius has played in Kaunas, Birstonas jazz festivals, Be2gether, Pazaislis music and Kristupas summer festivals. With various jazz bands he had concerts in Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain and other European countries.
Colleagues respect Paulius for his trustworthiness and punctuality. His regularity and virtuosity tempt many musicians to ask Paulius to play in their concerts. Lots of listeners are fascinated by the pianist’s masterly improvisations.