The Lithuanian Folk Music Band SUTARAS is an independent professional folklore group. You will find the whole range of Lithuanian instrumental folk music in its repertoire: from old rituals and authentic shepherds’ instruments dating to the end of the 19th Century, to the international and classical instruments that became increasingly more common in the villages of Lithuania by the beginning of the 20th Century.
During a Sutaras concerts you might hear a unique polyphonic sutartinės (round) performed on daudytės (wooden horns), rageliai (reed horns) or skudučiai (panpipes). You might hear instrumental versions of popular folk songs or shepherd singing called raliavimas performed on lamzdeliai (country fifes), songs accompanied on kankles (traditional Baltic psaltery), lively Lithuanian folk dances played on violins, bandoneon, clarinet, and a number of other instruments. The Band’s musicians do not evade experimentation and constantly search for ways to catch the interest of their audience while showing of the unique nature of Lithuanian folk art.
You will sense traditional village music coupled with the precision characteristic of professional musicians when you listen to the music of Sutaras. The artists do not only play instruments – they also sing, dance, often draw their audience into the whirlwind of their performances. Every musician is adept at playing several different instruments, which allows the music band to be very diverse and to express the characteristic instrumental composition of Lithuania’s different regions. Sutaras band play in ethnojazz an, folk’n’roll projects with famous Lithuanian musicians. During its twenty nine years of existence, Sutaras has played over 6000 performances, which from concerts, dances, television and radio programs to performances at festivals, exhibitions and other festivities.
The music of Sutaras has resounded in many Lithuanian cities and villages as well as at Porta festival in Czech Republic, Skagen festival in Denmark, Rudolstadt in Germany, Mistelbach in Austria and many European countries, famous Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC – USA and Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland – Australia. The Kings of Malaysia and Spain have heard the bellowing sounds of Lithuanian instruments played by Sutaras musicians. Scores of people attended performances of Sutaras at Expo’s in Lisboan, Hanover, Aichi, Zaragossa, Shanghai and Milan. Lithuanian melodies were heard during two-hour performances live over the radio by citizens of the Netherlands, Australia, and by listeners of Euroradio among others. In year 2004 Sutaras Folk Music Band became winner of the prize for traditional culture in Lithuania Golden Bird – main award for performance of traditional culture. Sutaras has issued eleven CD’s and two DVDs.