JAZZ.brussels is an initiative of Brosella, Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Flagey, Jazztronaut and Jazz Station supported by visit.brussels and the Brussels-Capital Region.
By stimulating the joined synergy and mutual cooperation between the key actors of the Brussels jazz scene, the aim of the JAZZ.brussels is to support, encourage and shine the spotlight on the capital’s jazz happenings. To that end, the JAZZ.brussels develops various communication tools and activities. The ultimate goal is to contribute, in conjunction with the Brussels-Capital Region, to the promotion of Brussels and of its jazz scene both within and beyond our borders.
Brussels and jazz
Brussels, jazz capital of Europe? Judge by yourself on a small selection from the vast and diverse jazz offer in our capital: the annual Brussels Jazz Marathon which attracts jazz buffs from all over the world; numerous festivals amongst which the Brosella Folk & Jazz just a stone’s throw away from the Atomium; an ancient train station converted into a jazz club; a musical instruments museum with the world’s largest collection of saxophones and various record labels established at the heart of the European capital. Jazz resounds in many clubs and even in the Brussels metro or in the streets on International Jazz Day. Not to mention that Brussels is Toots Thielemans’ home town and as he rightly points out: “We’ve got that thing called swing”.
In its earliest years, Brussels has always had a special bond with jazz. From the minstrel shows, the craze for big bands followed by the emergence of bebop and free jazz up to the current jazz trends, Brussels has invariably welcomed a wide range of styles, spanning the musical jazz spectrum... and still does.
Our music conservatories have acted as a hub for young international jazz talent for many years.
Brussels has something for every jazz enthusiast. From old school Dixieland to the most daring and free music experiments, our capital offers it all. But where does it all happen and when? There are of course the famous concert halls which program jazz concerts on a regular basis and inform the public via their own communication channels (Flagey, AB, BOZAR…). There are also the familiar jazz clubs with a regular programme and their devoted audience (Jazz Station, The Sounds, The Music Village, Archiduc…). But there are also other interesting initiatives which the big media channels sometimes fail to report.
JAZZ.brussels provides you with all the necessary information and background stories.
Each year Brosella organises three main events: Djangofolllies, a festival to honour Django Reinhardt’s musical legacy with concerts in various venues across the city and all over the country; Brosella Folk & Jazz, a 2-day festival which since 1977 strives to blur the borders between diverse musical genres; and the Brosella Guitar Fair, a collectors’ fair for guitar and string instruments aficionados. In addition, Brosella joins forces with the jazz section of the “Kunsthumaniora van Brussel” to bring a variety of events and workshops.
The Brussels Jazz Orchestra (BJO) was founded in 1993 in the Brussels jazz club Sounds. Two Grammy Awards nominations and regular performances with international top-liners such as Joe Lovano and Kenny Werner have built its reputation far beyond our frontiers. Furthermore, the BJO is the orchestra in residence at Flagey.
Flagey, housed in the former broadcasting headquarters of the public national radio and television (RTB/BRT), is one of the most important and largest cultural establishments in Brussels, where music, film, sound art and visual art take centre stage. Flagey features four concert halls and one movie theatre. From January 2015 onwards, it will host the Brussels Jazz Festival.
The Jazz Station, located in a former fully-renovated train station dating back to the beginning of the last century, is a genuine jazz lab. Here jazz is well and truly alive in all its facets: concerts, lectures, public rehearsals, exhibitions and kids afternoons. It gives pride of place to Belgian musicians but also organises its Jazz Nights, 3-day concert evenings each time focusing on a different European country. The Jazz Station also accommodates a documentation centre and jazz archives.
The coordination of the JAZZ.brussels takes place in the offices of visit.brussels, which promotes the Brussels-Capital Region to further increase and strengthen Brussels’ image as capital of 500 million Europeans. As part of this effort, jazz undeniably plays a leading role.