It is 1997 when the young wolves of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra share the stage with Toots Thielemans for the first time. The concert at Jazz à Jenasse will be the first of a long, warm collaboration in which Toots often acts as a musical mentor. Being a generous supporter of young musicians, he regularly invited them to perform together. Since 1997, Toots and Brussels Jazz Orchestra played together on a regular basis in Belgium and abroad.
One of the most memorable moments was the concert at Jazz Middelheim in 2001. That night the orchestra closed the festival with Maria Schneider and Toots. An intense moment that will live on forever in the history books of both Jazz Middelheim and the BJO.
On 29 April 2022, it will be 100 years since Toots Thielemans was born. It should come as no surprise that the Brussels Jazz Orchestra will not let Toots’ 100th birthday go by unnoticed. Together with household names such as the Metropole Orchestra, Vince Mendoza, Kenny Werner, Grégoire Maret and Philip Catherine, the BJO pays tribute to the legend from Brussels the world had to bid farewell to in 2016.