In jazz, the live aspect is particularly important. Many promoters refrain from booking an act until they have seen it live themselves. As this is physically not always possible, however, they also rely on the recommendations of respected colleagues. Our promoters who travel a lot and therefore meet their international colleagues are often asked which Belgian bands and musicians are worth being picked up on an international level.
This is exactly what this website wants to facilitate: to support our promoters in their task as “jazz ambassadors”, i.e. giving international professionals a reliable insight into the Belgian jazz scene, we created a tool. We asked our traveling promoters and critics to pick a sample of bands and musicians who, according to them, represent the pinnacle of the current Belgian jazz scene and put them together on a website, with as its main purpose: Let us — or rather, our promoters — be your guide!
Belgianjazz.be features a series of specially commissioned portraits of contemporary jazz acts and musicians - selected and written by jazz programmers and critics - a mapping of venues and organizations, an outsiders’ view on the Belgian jazz scene, inspiration on how to listen to jazz and a playlist of contemporary tracks.
Belgianjazz.be is an initiative by Flanders Arts Institute realized in close collaboration with Wallonie-Bruxelles Musique, JazzLab Series, KAAP, Bozar, Jazzques, Ancienne Belgique, Flagey, RTBF (Classic 21), Kunstencentrum nona, Handelsbeurs, Gaume Festival, Centre Culturel de Mouscron, 30CC/Leuven Jazz, and Gent Jazz Festival, with the support of the Flemish Government, the French-speaking government and SABAM For Culture. The portraits were written by Benny Claeysier, Claude Loxhay, Evelyn Demaertelaere, Georges Tonla Briquet, Guy Peters, Jean-Claude Vantroyen, Jean-Pierre Goffin, Jeroen Revalk, Lies Steppe, Mik Torfs, Philippe Schoonbroodt, Pieter Koten, Roel Vanhoeck, Stef Slembrouck, and Wim Wabbes.
Belgianjazz.be gives international professionals an outlook on the current state of affairs in Belgian contemporary jazz. It does not aspire to provide an exhaustive overview of all the acts and artists working in jazz in Belgium today. The selection of portraits is the result of a thoughtful exercise done by a committee of experts. Over the coming years belgianjazz.be will be regularly updated with new portraits, always in close collaboration with our jazz promoters. You can expect new features to be added as well, such as short interviews with Belgian and international promoters in which they grant us a sneak peak into their personal favourites. For a complete picture of the Belgian scene in all its richness (concerts, musicians, releases and much, much more), JazzinBelgium, a website run by Les Lundis d’Hortense, is the place to be.