All the articles

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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Video Smooth Shake with Bert Joris

13 Feb 2017

Extracts from Nasty Boy, O.U.T, Only for the Honest and Smooth Shake. Live @ Flagey, January 2017. From the album Smooth Shake, W.E.R.F. records, 2016.

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Newsletter in Dutch, English OR French

29 Nov 2016

Re-live Artists #withRefugees on Storify

28 Jun 2016

Enjoy the complete story of Artists #withRefugees, as told on social media

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New video: BREL premiere in Flagey on 20-1-2016

15 Mar 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 - May & June 2019
BJO presents: 8th International Composition Contest
In January 2020, Brussels Jazz Orchestra will hold its eighth International Composition Contest. One of the most important international competitions for jazz composition, its focus is on premiering new pieces written specifically for big band instrumentation. Brussels Jazz Orchestra endeavours to encourage talented international composers and arrangers all over the world and offer them a stage with this competition. In addition, it aims to discover new, high-quality music for jazz orchestra that is relevant to today, and to forge ties for the future with composers from all over the world. Composers can participate by sending in a work they have written themselves for the preselection.
The winner will receive a cash prize and a professional audio and video recording of BJO playing his or her piece at the Brussels Jazz Festival in Flagey (Brussels) on 12 January 2020. More info.
The Future is Now - Talents of Tomorrow
Saturday 11th of May, the Brussels Jazz Orchestra will be performing in the CC De Ververij in Renaix/Ronse accompanied by two young soloists: Artan Buleshkaj (guitar) and Muriel Urquidi (voice). The concert is part of the The Future is Now initiative, where BJO showcases front and center the great names of tomorrow’s jazz scene.
Artan Buleshkaj and Muriel Urquidi will play the BJO repertoire. And it’s only fair that the big band will also play compositions from the two young artists. The Winding Way (Artan Buleshkaj) has been adapted for the BJO by Geoffrey Fiorese. And Thomas Mayade who put together an adaptation of Don’t Go Far Out by Muriel Urquidi. In short, if you’ve been looking for a reason to go to Renaix, here’s a good one! For more info.
Creating Together
May 13th, in Bozar, the Brussels Jazz Orchestra celebrates in music and image the 10th Anniversary of the Eastern Partnership. For the occasion, they will be joined by soloists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldavia, Ukraine and Belorussia. This exceptional and unique concert crowns ten years of collaboration between the European Union and these Eastern European nations. The BJO and these guest soloists will wash the audience with a splash of Slave and Caucasia Jazz, while two VJs project spectacular visuals. For more info.
The Youth Jazz Collective on stage for the first time!
What an Easter Weekend! For their first week of class, the young jazz prospects worked under the direction of BJO musicians: Kurt Van Herck, Lode Mertens, Jeroen Van Malderen, Toni Vitacolonna, Dieter Limbourg and Nico Schepers. They followed that up by giving a closing concert in the ADS hall in Gand.
The Youth Jazz Collective is a new big band project comprised of young musicians. This new band initiative began at the end of 2018, under the direction of the BJO and the associations Muziekmozaïek Folk & Jazz and Vuurvogels. To follow the adventures of the YJC, go here.
First Session of the In the Pines Project with Lynn Cassiers
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. After this first concert, Georges Tonla-Briquet wrote in Jazz'halo: “An impossible combination? To be (re)considered! Given to master craftsmen, this mix of Big Band, Electro and projected Graphic Novel illustrations is a mind-blowing sensation.” The project In the Pines will be performing in several halls in Belgium next season. For more info.
- 11/05 The Future Is Now with Artan Buleshkaj and Muriel Urquidi, CC De Ververij, Ronse/Renaix (B) Tickets.
- 13/05 Creating Together, with Eastern European Artists BOZAR, Bruxelles (B) Tickets.
- 28/05 BREL with David Linx, the Volcan in Havre (FR) Tickets.
- 05/07 BREL with David Linx, Jazz in Couches (FR) 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:

Nathalie Loriers (piano)
How long have you been part of BJO?
"My first concert with the BJO was the second of February 2002… Truly a symbolic date! It was for the Grand Opening of the Concertgebouw in Bruges, and we presented a program by Bert Joris. It is one of my more precious memories."
What do you do/play in the orchestra?
"I am a pianist, not always an obvious role within a big band, the part of the piano having a place elsewhere only in trios or quartets.
It’s true, from time to time, I’m a soloist, but above all I accompany others. And I most always be careful not to drown out others like the background music played by the wind sections, while respecting the partition of course."
Why did you choose your instrument and/or role with the orchestra?
"I didn’t choose my instrument nor my role in the orchestra. Frank Vaganée asked me to join the group, and I immediately accepted his invitation, without having any experience in the domain."

What do you do besides your work with the orchestra?
"I still have my other groups: two trios, one with Tineke Postma and Nic Thys, and one with Benoît Vanderstraeten and Thierry Gutmann.
I’m also a sidewoman in the new project from Michel Herr that combines a jazz sextet (Peter Hertmans, Dré Pallemaerts, Sam Gertsmans, Paul Heller and Bert Joris), and a strings quatuor.
As for projects, I’m planning on recording a new CD this coming fall with the  Paul Heller Quartet, where Dré Pallemaerts and Riccardo Del Fraj also play.
And that’s not all: I give classes at the Koninklijk Conservatorium van Brussel and at the Evere and Eghezée academies.
Finally, for the last three years I’ve been following training for sound therapy. I don’t really have the ambition to become a therapist, but the subject really interests me. I’ve been producing “musical naps” with a Tibetan Bowl player that makes his own bowls, Jacques Pili."

Which of this season’s BJO productions are or were you looking forward to the most and why?
"As for the BJO, I really appreciated particularly the 25th Anniversary concerts. Other than that, my personal projects allow me to develop my own language and keep me on my path."

What is your favourite BJO memory?
"The meeting with Maria Schneier, the Bert Joris projects… I couldn’t name them all. Every encounter is rewarding in so many wonderful ways."
Video Goodies
A section in which we share video material from jazz- & big-band land.
This month: the Aftermovie of the first edition of Fire Up That Big Band!
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

In May, Frank Vaganée hooks up with an impromptu big band, that will tour with the actors/singers Jonas Van Geel and Peter Van den Begin, here, there and everywhere in Flanders cultural centers. They won’t be alone - alongside them will be found their fellow musicians of the BJO: Dieter Limbourg, Marc Godfroid, Lode Mertens, Laurent Hendrick, Serge Plume, Nico Schepers, Carlo Nardozza, Toni Vitacolonna, Bart De Nolf and Hendrik Braeckman. Find more date and info here.
  • May 14th, the Frank Vaganée Trio will play “Scattered Rhymes” accompanied by Zefiro Torna at La Passerelle, Saint-Brieuc (F). For more info.
  • Finally, June 26th, Dieter & Frank Vaganée will be with Jos Machtel and Dré Pallemaerts at the Brughuis in Muizen-Mechelen (B). For more info.
Toni Vitacolonna
  • Toni is also a part of the big band accompanying the Jonas Van Geel and Peter Van den Begin tour. For more info.
  • June 8th, Toni will be on stage at the Stadsschouwburg in Anvers for the Yannick Bovy celebrates Nat King Cole show. For more info.
  • June 9th, Toni will be at the Hopper in Anvers (B) with Witvrouw, a blues/rock group directed by Simon Witvrouw (guitar), with Bart Borremans (sax and sounds) and Joachim Saerens (keys and sounds). For more info.
  • June 10th, Witvrouw will be at the Blauwe Kater in Louvain (B). For more info.
Kurt Van Herck

End of May, Kurt Van Herck releases “Volume 1”, the new CD from his group Cinema Paradiso. In the band we will find Kurt Van Herck (tenor & soprano sax), Willem Heylen (guitar & sounds) and Eric Thielemans (drums & percussions). For more info.
  • June 6th, unveiling of the disk at the Muziekstudio, deSingel, Anvers (B).
  • The next day, June 7th, they perform at 20h30 at La Conserve in Louvain (B). For more info.
Nathalie Loriers
  • May 12th, Nathalie will play in duo with Jacques Pili (Tibetan Bowls) in La Ferme in Biereau (B). For more info.
Pierre Drevet

Accompanied by Lilananda Jazz Quintet, Pierre tours with his project Bossa 2.0:


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