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Viktorija Gecyte Pays a Visit to Afternoon Jazz, Before the Sarah Vaughan Vocal Competition

Peter Tilley

Viktorija Gečytė started singing early in life. Although she didn’t come from a musical family, she has always been drawn to music; she would often hitchhike to music festivals around Lithuania, her home country.

Credit WBGO
Viktorija Gecyte, right, and WBGO's Keanna Faircloth

At 19, she received a scholarship that brought her to the United States to study mathematics and economics at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. During her schooling, she just couldn't keep away from the jazz scene in New York. After receiving her degree, she moved to Paris, France, where she started performing.

She’s since toured and recorded with several notable musicians, including Gene Perla, a New Jersey-born bassist. A recent performance at Miller Symphony Hall, in Allentown, Pa., was broadcast on the local PBS station.

When asked to name her favorite Sarah Vaughan tune, Viktorija chose “Can’t Get Out of This Mood.”

On Sunday she competes in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition at NJPAC, as part of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival. Viktorija is honored to participate in such a prestigious competition, and looks forward to rubbing shoulders with renowned artists like Christian McBride and Dee Dee Bridgewater. 

Keanna Faircloth is a Washington, DC native and comes to WBGO getting her start on-air at WPFW 89.3 FM in 2003, most recently as the host of Late Night Jazz: The Continuum Experience. She is a graduate of Howard University having majored in Music History with a minor in Classical Piano. Keanna has written for NPR Music, and worked for Radio One as an on-air personality, producer and voice-over talent. She is also the creator and host of Artimacy Podcast, where she has interviewed artists like Wynton Marsalis, Matthew Whitaker, Jonathan Butler, and Dionne Warwick. As a result, she was recognized by Radio Ink Magazine as a 2019 African American leader in radio.