Jānis Retenais is the first tuba lecturer in the history of Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA) and founder of the euphonium class. He started teaching in 2001, and he has been a lecturer at the JVLMA since 2002, and Associate Professor since 2012. He was also the Chair of the Department of Wind Brass and Percussions from 2010 to 2017. Retenais has taught workshops in music schools across Latvia, as well as upskilling courses for music teachers, and masterclasses in Enschede and Luxembourg.
He is a member of trombone-tuba quartet Brassa nova, the initiatior and Music Director of Latvia’s first tuba quartet Tubaloģija and also a member of tuba quartet Magic 4. Additionally, he is the initiator and Music Director of the Riga Brass Symposium and the international dixieland festival Umurga (2012, 2013).
In 2009, Retenais started orchestral conducting, working with Jāzeps Mediņš Riga Music School Wind Orchestra. The orchestra has earned high acclaim in several wind orchestra competitions in Latvia and the Baltics.