Every two months we introduce you to someone connected with the orchestra, whether on stage or behind the scenes. Today we’re talking to Nico Schepers (trumpet, flugelhorn).
How long have you been part of BJO?
I’ve been a permanent member of Brussels Jazz Orchestra since the autumn of 2001. Before then I played a lot as a sub.
What do you do in the orchestra?
I play second trumpet.
Why did you choose this role/this instrument?
I was inspired by a good friend of my father’s, Jef Coolen, who was a fantastic lead trumpet player. He lived in our village, so I used to see him play all the time. I played in our local brass band from when I was six, and soon after that, the only dream I had was to be a professional trumpet player.
What do you do besides playing in the orchestra?
Since 2017 I’ve also been a regular member of the Metropole Orkest in the Netherlands, and in the last 25 years I’ve done a lot of different gigs, including playing with the Heavy Horns, a brass section with people like Carlo Mertens (trombone) and Frank Deruytter (sax).
Which of the projects are or were you looking forward to the most and why?
I was looking forward the most to playing with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, last year. Actually I looked forward to hearing them even more. I’m a huge fan of the orchestra and of Wynton Marsalis. He’s been my idol for many years!
What's your favourite BJO memory?
That’s tough; I have a lot of really great memories, like the performances with Maria Schneider, Bob Mintzer, the tango project with Carlos Franzetti, and Gustavo Bergall. But mostly all the good talks with colleagues before and after playing, about life.
What was the last CD/Spotify track/radio hit you listened to?
I just listened to Wayne Shorter’s CD ‘Footprints Live’ again. I don’t always have to listen to trumpets (laughs).
Who would you like to invite to play a production with BJO and why?
The singer Cecile McLorin Salvant.
As a musician, how are you dealing with these unusual times (as a result of COVID-19)?
Actually I haven’t been too bothered by Covid. The Metropole and BJO have both continued doing streamed concerts and making recordings. I enjoyed the free time I had, so I could take my time practicing my music.