The success story of Porgy and Bess is unparalleled and many artists have been inspired by this compelling folk opera by George Gershwin. Crippled beggar Porgy and beautiful Bess find solace together in 1912 in the poverty-stricken American South. The Brussels Jazz Orchestra is taking its turn in working on the universal theme and musical richness of this masterpiece. Together with David Linx the BJO has put together an alternative song list with the lesser known songs in the foreground, but not forgetting the more famous ones (Summertime, It ain't necessarily so,…). The result is a different Porgy - David Linx - and a very different Bess - Maria João - and together they shed a new light on this classic work.
David Linx and the BJO are once more collaborating
Paris-based Belgian David Linx (born 1965) previously collaborated with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra in 2007. "Changing Faces" (2007) was a creative success story: the album and concerts of this production were highly praised by both the press and public. So it was high time for Linx and the BJO to work together on a new project. The choice of Porgy and Bess was soon made.
David Linx: “It’s a childhood dream come true! By having each song arranged by someone else, the music acquires a whole new dramaturgy. Maria João is my vocal alter ego and to me the perfect Bess. I’m sure the public will experience unique moments with us!”
Portuguese singer Maria João (born 1956) is well known for her vocal range and improvisation skills. Although primarily a jazz singer, she also excels in folk, ethnic and avant-garde styles. João is no stranger to the German jazz fans: her great international breakthrough came in 1986 while touring in Germany. Maria João works with David Linx on a regular basis.
Several internationally renowned arrangers were asked to arrange the chosen songs especially for the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. This team included Lode Mertens (BE), Pierre Bertrand (FR), Jan Wessels (NL), Patrice Foudon (F), Pierre Drevet (F), Frank Vaganée (BE), Bart Van Caenegem (B), Sherisse Rogers (USA), Dieter Limbourg (BE), Gyuri Spies (B) and Idan Santhaus (IL).