All the articles

Finalists International Composition Contest 2020 announced

12 Jan 2020

The four finalists for the 2020 edition of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra International Composition Contest are Rainer Tempel (DE), Ralf Hesse (DE), Callum Au (GB) and Christopher Zuar (US). They receive a budget of €1000 and ten weeks time to write a new composition for Brussels Jazz Orchestra.

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Video: In The Pines première

13 Jun 2019

The premiere was performed last March 14th, accompanied by the singer Lynn Cassiers and with the visual support of illustrations from the Graphic Novel by Erik Kriek. In the Pines received an enthousiastic reception.

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8th International Composition Contest

02 May 2019

BREL with David Linx goes to Canada!

31 Dec 2018

In early February BJO and David Linx will go to Canada for 2 performances of BREL.

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We Have A Dream with Tutu Puoane goes to New York (US)!

31 Dec 2018

On 11 & 12 February the BJO and Tutu Puoane will perform We Have A Dream in Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City!

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In the news (VRT NWS)

01 Nov 2018

BJO25 Birthday tour with Maria Schneider (US)

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We Have A Dream goes symphonic...

31 Oct 2018

with OPRL (Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège) in Liège

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Launch of Youth Jazz Collective

27 Oct 2018

A new youth big-band project

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We Have A Dream featured on De Zevende Dag (VRT)

16 Apr 2018

On 15 April Tutu Puoane and several BJO musicians were guests on "De Zevende Dag" on the Eén (VRT) TV network.

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Tutu Puoane spoke with DownBeat (US)

10 Apr 2018

Q&A about We Have A Dream

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Downbeat magazine (US): Smooth Shake with best albums of 2017!

22 Feb 2018

****1/2 review for Smooth Shake with Bert Joris

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New album We Have A Dream with Tutu Puoane

22 Feb 2018

Now for sale in the BJO webshop!

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Brussels Jazz Orchestra Series: BJO sheet music now for sale

09 Nov 2017

The sheet music of many BJO arrangements (by Michel Herr, Frank Vaganée, Lode Mertens,...) now for sale in our webshop!

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BREL wins an Edison Award 2017

30 Jun 2017

In June 2017, the BREL album with David Linx wins a prestigious Edison Jazz/World Award.

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Newsletter in Dutch, English OR French

29 Nov 2016

Looking for a holiday gift?

24 Nov 2015

Check out the BJO umbrella

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Latest newsletter

News from the Brussels Jazz Orchestra - September & October 2019
Introducing: the 2019-2020 season!
The BJO has quite a lot of exciting plans for its 27th season, including both new productions and reprises. You can explore them all in the video above! Concert dates and all other practical info is on our website.
Concert series with Ambrose Akinmusire
In October the new “Prince of Darkness” Ambrose Akinmusire (US) will play a series of concerts with Brussels Jazz Orchestra. Akinmusire was the artist-in-residence at Jazz Middelheim, where according to Peter De Backer of De Standaard he played his role with verve: “Akinmusire’s playing, sometimes celestial, had a huge emotional charge”. Between 9 and 13 October, the promising trumpet player and composer will be Brussels Jazz Orchestra’s guest playing repertoire from his own compositions, arranged by Jim McNeely. More info.
In The Pines with Lynn Cassiers goes to Portugal
Following several enthusiastically received concerts this spring, In The Pines will cross the Belgian border. On 19 October Brussels Jazz Orchestra and Lynn Cassiers will be welcomed to the Douro Jazz festival in Vila Real (PT), where once again they’ll fuse the “murder ballads” from Erik Kriek’s graphic novel with music, sound effects and video projection. If you’re not free to go to Portugal, there are still opportunities to see this stunning piece of dark romanticism in Belgium – have a look at our agenda.
- 09-10 Ambrose Akinmusire feat. BJO in Muziekgebouw, Eindhoven (NL) Tickets.
- 10-10 Ambrose Akinmusire feat. BJO in 30CC, Leuven (B) Tickets.
- 11-10 Ambrose Akinmusire feat. BJO in De Oosterpoort, Groningen (NL) Tickets.
- 12-10 Ambrose Akinmusire feat. BJO in Cultureel Centrum Opderschmelz, Dudelange (LU) Tickets.
- 13-10 Ambrose Akinmusire feat. BJO in BOZAR, Brussel (B) Tickets.
- 19-10 In The Pines with Lynn Cassiers in Vila Real (PT) Tickets.
- 08-11 In The Pines with Lynn Cassiers in Stadsschouwburg, Bruges (B) Tickets.


BJO Meet & Greet
In every BJO newsletter we’re introducing you to someone connected with the orchestra, whether it’s one of the players or someone behind the scenes. In this edition:
Marc Godfroid

How long have you been a part of BJO?
I’ve been there since the very beginning, that first concert in the jazz club The Sounds in Brussels in 1993. We held sessions there every two weeks.
What do you do or play in the orchestra?
I’ve played lead trombone since the beginning. I was also on the Board of Directors, from the founding of the BJO until last year, when the new board was installed.
Why did you choose your instrument?
From the age of six I went to the local music school and had piano and clarinet lessons. A few years later I was playing in the local wind band, and during that period I chose the trombone myself, since it seemed a cooler instrument at the time.

What do you do in addition to your work with the orchestra?
I’m the principle teacher of jazz trombone, big band, combo and teaching Methodology at the Conservatoire in Ghent, now the School of Arts. I also play lead trombone in the SWR Big Band in Stuttgart.
Which of this season’s productions were you most looking forward to, and why?
For me the high point of last season was working with Maria Schneider. She always manages to get the best out of the orchestra like no one else. Also, her writing style deviates from the traditional big-band idiom. She’s more about making chamber music, and she knows how to incorporate elements from classical music.
What’s your favourite BJO memory?
Our concert in the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York, where we spent a whole week playing with pianist Kenny Werner and saxophonist Chris Potter.
Video Goodies
A section in which we share an atypical view on the world of jazz & big-band.
This time: what happens when you put a firecracker in the mute of a trombone? Paolo Esperanza, bass-trombonist with the Symphonica Maya de Uruguay, figured it out. You can watch his (crazy) contribution to the cannon shots fired during a performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture at an outdoor concert below.
BJO musicians perform | Even once they’re off the BJO stage our musicians keep busy. They play in various other formations, start up productions and release albums, both with other BJO colleagues and other big names from the national and international jazz scene. We’re pleased to provide an overview of their calendars and personal projects in every newsletter.
Frank Vaganée
  • On 8/09 the Frank Vaganée Trio will play in Mechelen at the Jazzathome festival. More info.
  • Frank will play with BJO colleague Carlo Nardozza in an All Star Jam Session on 23/09 in Café Charlemagne in Maastricht, in collaboration with Jazz Maastricht and the Maastricht Conservatoire. More info.
  • On 15/10 Frank will be on stage with the LUCA Big band in C-Mine Genk for a musical happening with work by Michel Herr and others. More info.
  • The Sounds Jazz Club in Brussels welcomes Hertmans/Vaganée/Sourisse/Charlier on 2/11. More info.
Marc Godfroid
  • On 31/10 Marc will play a concert with a theme in The Preacher on the Markt square in Geraardsbergen with Big Band 86. German pianist Olaf Polziehn is the soloist. More info.
Carlo Nardozza
  • Carlo will play with his Trio in Bocca Al Lupo on 15/09 at the Grape Festival  (Druivenfestival) in Hoeilaart. More info.
  • The All Star Jam Sessions that Carlo leads, in cooperation with Jazz Maastricht and the Maastricht Conservatoire, are starting up again. The next session will be on 23/09 in Café Charlemagne (where Frank will also play the same day). More info.
Pierre Drevet
  • From 9 -16/09 Pierre will be on tour in Shanghai (CN) with the Multiquarium Big Band. You can sample a little foretaste here.
  • Pierre will play with Bossa2.0 on 27/09 during Musique au Chambertin in Dijon (FR). More info.
  • On 28/09 Pierre will join the Lilananda Jazz Quintet in La Grange du Devez, Seyssuel (FR). More info.
Bo Van der Werf
  • On 23/09 Bo will be the guest of Pablo Held (piano), Martin Nevin (bass) and Iago Fernandez (drums) at LOFT in Cologne (DE). More info.
  • To promote their new CD, Bo and big band MikMâäk will be in Reclyclart in Molenbeek on 23/10, and in the Handelsbeurs in Ghent on 25/10. More info.
Nathalie Loriers
  • On 28/09 Nathalie will play during the Sieste musicale in Sart-Lez-Spa. More info.
  • On 6/10 Nathalie and Sam Gertsmans will give a concert in l’Heptane in Itter. More info.
  • Along with Dré Pallemaerts and Riccardo Del Fra, Nathalie will record the Paul Heller quartet’s new CD on 25 and 26/10. More info.

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