Antoine Pierre

Slowly but surely the new generation of young Belgian drummers sets out to conquer the world, from Brussels to New York and back... This summer, Antoine Pierre treads the boards amidst different bands during the summer festival season.

12.07, 16.25, Brosella (Théâtre de Verdure)
Antoine Pierre: Urbex


Who is… Antoine Pierre?

There is currently a whole generation of young drummers who have won high praise and been embraced by their older counterparts through their exceptional talent. Amongst them, there is Antoine Pierre (°1992) who got hired by none other than Philip Catherine.

It was clear from the outset that this young man was headed for a successful career. With his first band, Metropolitan Laboratory, he wins the Best Young Talent award in Comblain (2009) as well as the Best Soloist award. A prize he is again awarded one year later during the Brussels Jazz Marathon.

Also featuring on his résumé is the Toots Thielemans Jazz Award.

In 2014 he is given carte blanche at the Gaume Jazz Festival and invites a solid cross section of world-renowned musicians including Enrico Pieranunzi.

Shortly afterwards, he leaves for New York to study at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.

Meanwhile, he is the drummer of trendy TaxiWars, the band including Robin Verheyen and Tom Barman. This summer, the quartet will perform at all major festivals.

Furthermore, he is currently focusing on his own project, Antoine Pierre Urbex boasting Jean-Paul Estiévenart, Toine Thys, Steven Delannoye, Bert Cools, Bram DeLooze, Félix Zurstrassen and Frédéric Malempré. They will make their debut at Brosella and the CD will be released later this year.

Other bands to which he dedicates his talent as a drummer are: David Thomaere Trio, Tree-Ho, Toine Thys Trio, Jean-Paul Estiévenart Trio and LG Jazz Collective.

What is…

... your favourite spot in Brussels?

That is unquestionably Café Bravo. The place suddenly appeared out of the blue and appealed to the public right from the start. It is mainly the jam sessions on Wednesday evening which bring in the crowds. Previously, there were only jam sessions at the Sounds. It has however lost some of its lustre lately, but do not get me wrong, there are still very good times and fun to be had. Café Bravo is a completely different concept. The fact that people do not have to pay an entry fee to attend the jam sessions is of course popular with the younger set. They come to listen to the concert and afterwards, they cannot wait to join in the fun on stage. It all brings about a very special atmosphere. For my entire circle of friends and for me, Bravo also has become our favourite spot just to have a drink. It has almost become first nature. Whereas in New York everybody goes to Smalls, in Brussels, you head for Café Bravo.

… the last CD or album you bought for yourself?

I buy CDs all the time but among my most recent purchases, the one which impressed me in particular is ‘Imaginary Cities’ by the Chris Potter Underground Orchestra. You can definitely hear he is on the lookout for a peculiar sound. The end result is particularly hybrid. And obviously, the arrangements and compositions are top-level.
A few weeks ago in New York, I had the opportunity – quite incidentally I must add – to take part in a session with Chris Potter. It all happened through mutual friends. I was acquainted with his work alongside Dave Holland but now, I have somehow familiarised myself even further with his music.

… your fondest memory of a recent concert?

During my 10-month stay in New York, I have been to a great many concerts. A while ago, Félix Zurstrassen, David Thomaere and Guillaume Vierset came over and we performed about fourteen gigs in only ten days. The night which leaves me with an undying memory is the one at Village Vanguard featuring Peter Bernstein, Bill Stewart, Gerald Clayton and Doug Weiss. Stewart is one of my favourite drummers. He had put me on the guest list and I could even pick my seat. So, I decided to hunker down as closely as possible to the drum set. And believe you me my right ear is still buzzing... This man knows how to bash his snare drum but at the same time, he has a very unique touch and his groove is nothing short of amazing.

… your favourite quote of the moment?

There is no specific quote or expression which readily springs to my mind. The only thing I can think of is a rule of sorts I try to live by: enjoy every moment with humility. In the past, I used to worry just about anything and everything but I have stopped that now. Give your 100 percent in everything you do, here and now. It is also important to know where you stand. It is not about competition, everybody tries to do their own thing. There is no point to rank yourself above others.