About Brussels Jazz Orchestra
Pianist and composer Kenny Werner is a big fan. Composer Maria Schneider calls it her favourite orchestra: Brussels Jazz Orchestra.
In 1993 Frank Vaganee, Serge Plume and Marc Godfroid decided to set up a new professional jazz orchestra. Shortly before, the BRT Big Band had died a silent death, which entailed that composers and musicians no longer had an opportunity to perform high-quality big band music.
Among others, Philip Catherine, Bert Joris, Toots Thielemans, Tutu Puoane, Michel Herr, David Linx, Brussels Philharmonic, Veerle Dobbelaere, Richard Galliano and deFilharmonie but also Maria Schneider (USA), Lee Konitz (USA), Dave Douglas (USA), Kenny Werner (USA), Dave Liebman (USA), Kenny Wheeler (GB), Norma Winstone (GB), Wallace Rony (USA), Phil Woods (USA), Tom Harrell (USA), Bob Mintzer (USA), Bill Holman (USA), Gustavo Bergalli (ARG), Carlos Franzetti (USA), Gianluigi Trovesi (IT) en McCoy Tyner (USA).
And the secret of this exquisite list of awards? Please allow us to quote some comments on the BJO:
"One of the best groups I've ever heard" (Bob Mintzer)
"The best Jazz Orchestra by far that I have met in my twenty years' career" (Dave Liebman)
"The Brussels Jazz Orchestra is the ambassador of Belgian jazz musicians. They measure up to anyone" (Kenny Werner)
“A very strong orchestra and perfectly organised” (Richard Galliano)
With over 35 concerts per year, the BJO ranks among Europe's most dynamic contemporary jazz orchestras. The orchestra has acquired its recognizable identity with its unique orchestral sound, its classic strength in which each musician is also a brilliant soloist, its inventive productions and, above all, its meticulous performances and corresponding high-quality standards. But most of all, with the passion that these performers display for their music.
All of BJO's 16 musicians are professionals with their own national and international professional career. The orchestra's repertoire is comprised of own productions ranging between concertante projects and soloist and multimedia projects.