David Linx

With two brand-new CDs, ‘Brel’ and ‘The Whistleblowers’, jazz vocalist David Linx illustrates once again the merits of his international reputation.

20.01, 20.30, Flagey

“Celebrating Jacques Brel: David Linx + Brussels Jazz Orchestra”


Who is… David Linx?

David Linx (°1965) grows up in an artistic family with a Bohemian lifestyle. His father was Elias Gistelinck, radio producer and co-founder of Jazz Middelheim. The biggest names in jazz and the art world regularly come over to the parental house.

At an early age, the young David travels around the world and is considered part of the family by many famous jazz artists. So, for instance, he stays with writer James Baldwin, drummer Kenny Clarke and Dutch musician and arranger Jerry van Rooyen.

In 1999, he moves to Paris where his talent is soon widely appreciated. He wins many prizes and awards for his work, including several times “le choc du mois” in leading magazine Jazzman.

Claude Nougaro was one of his best friends. He records ‘à NOUsGARO’ in his honour, which was enthusiastically acclaimed by press and public alike.

He has been sharing a special bond with pianist Diederik Wissels for many years now. The two have known each other since their childhood and have recorded many albums in the meantime. Last on the list is ‘The Whistleblowers’ with special guest Paolo Fresu. It is a sequel to their ‘Heartland’ issued in 2001.

The Brussels Jazz Orchestra knows where to find him when they are in need of a male vocalist as evidenced by ‘A Different Porgy and Another Bess’ and ‘Changing Faces’. Their latest collaboration is ‘Brel’, a tribute to his fellow countryman who like Linx gained international recognition abroad.

Important CDs in his discography include ‘A Lover’s Question’ (a tribute to James Baldwin), ‘Follow the Songlines’ and ‘La Tectonique des Nuages’.

What is…

... your favourite spot in Brussels?

Restaurant La Meilleure Jeunesse located rue de l’Aurore/Dageraadstraat. The owner Bernard Prévost opened an art gallery in the same spot about twenty years ago. One day, fed up of having to go out for lunch, he started to prepare snacks and meals for him and his staff. But also friends could enjoy his culinary art. It was not long before the basic idea somewhat ran out of hand and it became a proper restaurant which is now known far and wide, especially in the arts community.

… the last CD or album you bought for yourself?

"Hydra" by Ben Monder. He is an incredible guitar player who can be heard alongside Mark Guiliana on the latest David Bowie album. Also, a good friend of mine, vocalist Theo Bleckmann sings on Monder’s CD. I am currently working on an album of duets and he is one of my guests, besides Hamilton de Holanda, Nguyên Lê, Magic Malik and Tigran Hamasyan.

… your fondest memory of a recent concert?

Gerald Clayton in Paris. I have known him as a little boy when I was staying at Jerry van Rooyen’s place in the Netherlands. His father, bassist John Clayton, used to come over and I have played a few concerts with him along with Charles Loos. At the time, I sat behind the drums.
Gerald is someone whose style is innovative but he knows the tradition. Especially the way in which he highlights the European side in jazz, is interesting. It is much more easily accepted from instrumentalists that they deviate from existing standards and try out their own stuff. When you are forward-looking and avant-garde as a vocalist, you are considered a bit eccentric. Much of the vocal audience is still stuck in the sixties.

… your favourite quote of the moment?

It is one by James Baldwin. “Always trust your heart”. As an artist, you have to rely on your own feelings and leave the interpretation to the audience. And I also would like to add a second quote from the mother of a good friend of mine: “It will if it won’t”.