Brussels Jazz Orchestra is going for the experiment: We Orchestrate Words, from jazz, to slam to hip-hop and back. Top orchestra meets urban artists. In this edition these artists are Zediam, Monique Harcum and DJ Grazzhoppa.
We Orchestrate Words – WOW for short - is an incubator for innovative, fresh discoveries from the urban scene. WOW is inspired by different cultures and genres, and fuelled by improvisation. Rap, soul and grooves intertwine, the jazz orchestra joins in and adds composition. Worlds collide and create a contemporary cosmopolitan soundtrack. With WOW, BJO is looking at the future and transcending the borders of jazz.
Urban artists: Zediam (rapper and poet), Monique Harcum (vocalist) and Grazzhoppa (DJ and turntablist).
Arrangements: Dieter Limbourg
WOW was created in collaboration with KVS Brussels.
Frank Vaganée about We Orchestrate Words: "We want to take the colours of the city into the theatre. With this project we try to achieve a symbiosis between our world, that of a big jazz orchestra, and the world of urban artists. "
Zediam, also known as Zed, is a Belgian singer, rapper and poet. He is part of the hiphop collective Soul'art, the funk band Selder and acts as producer and writer. Zediam doesn't limit his music to the stage: in 2019, together with the prison of Mechelen, he organised a project for detainees in which they could participate in music workshops.
Singer Monique Harcum, born in Philadelphia (US), has toured with the R&B duo Les Nubians, the world-famous Zap Mama and with Grammy Award winning R&B artiest Jill Scott. She is featured on the live album Experience Jill Scott + 360. In 2006 Monique and DJ Grazzhoppa formed the duo Mo & Grazz and released their debut album Fallin’ Upon Def Ears. Their second album Gemini was released in 2010, with the third, Defiant, in 2019. Monique also works (and has worked) as a backing vocalist for numerous Belgian performers and on television programmes.
Grazzhoppa is a DJ, turntablist and producer. In 1984 he got infected with a severe case of that hip-hop virus that was going around. In 1991, he took the title of European DMC Champion, in 1998 he became Belgian champion I.T.F. (International Turntablist Federation) and 3rd in the I.T.F. World Championships. His first known band was Rhyme Cut Core, with rapper TLP. Since then, he has set up various projects, including a DJ big band. He works or has worked with Aka Moon, Reggie Washington, Zap Mama, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Marc Ribot, Greedy Fingers, Kris Defoort, Brazzaville, Blade and many others. Together with his wife Monique Harcum, he forms the duo Mo & Grazz. Considered by some to be the godfather of Belgian hip-hop, Grazzhoppa has released over 100 records with his signature sound on vinyl and CD.