Who is… Guillaume Vierset?
Guillaume Vierset (°1987) inherits his love of the guitar from his father who himself was guitarist in various country bands.
After a classical training, he becomes intrigued by jazz and attends different courses, workshops and master classes where he is taught amongst others by Pierre Van Dormael, Peter Hertmans, Paolo Radoni, Philip Catherine and Kurt Rosenwinkel.
As a teenager, he listens to various pop and rock bands but also tunes in on singer-songwriters.
Like many young jazz musicians, he enrols at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels.
At the same time, he founds a couple of bands in which improvisation plays an ever-increasing role: Morning Warm Whisky and The Green Dolphins (Jazz Cat Rally 2008 winner).
At Comblain Jazz 2011, he does not go home empty-handed and wins the award of best young soloist.
In 2013, he is awarded the SABAM Prize for best young jazz talent.
With his band LG Jazz Collective, he hits the jackpot. The group wins the Dinant Jazz Nights 2012 competition (Leffe Jazz Nights). Their debut album ‘New Feel’ receives rave reviews everywhere and is awarded an “Octave de la Musique” as best jazz album in 2015.
On ‘Harvest Group’, another of Vierset’s side projects, he stands out as a more intimate composer and guitarist who expresses his admiration for Nick Drake in pure ECM style.
He is also part of Random House, the new band around saxophonist Thomas Champagne, is guitarist with Emily Allison Group and Typh Barrow and has a spot in the Bravo Big Band.
And if that were not enough, he performs live in duo with guitarist Alain Pierre.
... your favourite spot in Brussels?
I live near the park of Woluwe and it is my favourite spot to relax and to work. Usually I walk up there and sometimes I take my bike. In the summer, I go to the park to listen to new CDs, compose and read books on music theory. It is also a perfect spot to have a picnic with my girlfriend. And when the weather is bad, I go jogging there.
… the last CD or album you bought for yourself?
That is ‘Still Casual’ by tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III. I had already heard him play on CDs by other musicians but it is only with this album that I have come to truly appreciate him. The arrangements and the compositions sit well together and he is surrounded by extremely talented musicians including Kendrick Scott, Ambrose Akinmusire and guitarist Matt Stevens whom I did not know.
Since I already have a huge collection of records and CDs and there is simply no more space, I buy everything via iTunes nowadays. A practical solution out of necessity I would say.
… your fondest memory of a recent concert?
Together with bassist Félix Zurstrassen and pianist David Thomaere, I paid Antoine Pierre a visit last summer in New York. Our goal – believe it or not – was to go to at least three concerts per night during fifteen days. And just when we thought we had seen it all, we were bowled over by the last concert on our last night. It was the Julian Lage Trio at the Jazz Standard. We were all four of us thoroughly impressed by the musical impact.
The fact to experience such musical excellence in such a short period of time gives you a massive boost as a musician and pushes you to work and study even harder. You really take in all that positive energy.
… your favourite quote of the moment?
It is a very important principle for me: the early bird catches the worm. You might be thinking it is somewhat odd for a jazz musician but I keep myself to the rule, regardless of whether I go to bed early or not the night before. I work better in the morning and it allows me to enjoy a full day.