Joachim Caffonnette

A young pianist who, bolstered by a solid training during countless jam sessions and a permanent knowledge of standards, charts his own personal course.

27.10, 22.00, Sounds
Joachim Caffonnette Trio + guest

17.11, 22.00, Sounds
Joachim Caffonnette Trio + guest

18.11, 22.00, Sounds
Joachim Caffonnette Trio + guest

28.11, 20.00, Magic Mirrors
Joachim Caffonnette Quintet

16.12, 22.00, Sounds
Joachim Caffonnette Trio + guest


Who is… Joachim Caffonnette?

The twenty-six-year-old pianist grew up in what one might call a very creative family. Both his father and mother are theatre actors and there was always music playing in the Caffonnette household.

His parents believed that it was important for him to play a musical instrument and since there was a piano holding pride of place in the living room, it was an obvious choice. After a while though, Joachim gets drawn towards both graphic and plastic arts.

However, it does not take long for his interest in music to regain the upper hand. After graduating in classical music (piano) from the Charles Grumiaux arts high school in Charleroi, he furthers his education at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Like many other young musicians, he discovers the best place where you eventually learn most of the “tricks of the trade”: the jam sessions at the Sounds. For many years, he steadily appears on stage every Monday evening.

Later on, the Brussels jazz club “The Music Village” offers him the opportunity to take the lead role in its jam sessions.

A first mini-CD is issued in 2014 with the support of Ça Balance, a cultural initiative of the province of Liège.

During the first edition of the Brussels Jazz Festival at Flagey (January 2015), he has the honour of organising the jam sessions.

At the beginning of this year, he presents the first official CD of his quintet, tellingly named ‘Simplexity’.

In addition, he has his own trio and nonet, he is member of the Marco Llano Quintet and composes for film and theatre.


What is…

... your favourite spot in Brussels?

Besides the all-important jazz clubs The Sounds and Bravo, my favourite spot is the book shop Tropismes. I can spend hours on end looking for a good book which will keep me hooked for the coming weeks. I frequently read the first chapter of a book in a hurry to make sure I like the story and style... or not. The hardest part is to confine myself to just one book. I preferably read detective novels. I have of course favourite authors but I like to discover new ones. I definitely have a soft spot for Scandinavian and Irish writers. It is primarily the social aspect in their stories that appeals to me. And it goes without saying, I try to read as many Belgian authors as possible.


… the last CD or album you bought for yourself?

I personally do not buy a lot of CDs because I often listen to the same records again and again, the reason mainly being that I like to get to the essence of things. And believe me between Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett I have my work cut out. I am not the type of person who is spontaneously on the look-out for new things – I generally tend to rely on good advice from my friends. But I do go to concerts regularly. It is a great way to learn a lot about what’s happening on the current music scene. So, for instance, I have had the opportunity to see Gerald Clayton on stage a few years ago. I bought his ‘Two-Shade’ album right away the following day. But the most recent CD I purchased, is ‘Space Time Continuum’ by piano player Aaron Diehl. I discovered him during a concert by Cécile McLorin Salvant at Flagey beginning of this year. He even came jamming with us afterwards. The man is incredibly strong from a technical point of view but also has an in-depth knowledge of tradition. I myself consider standards as hugely important.


… your fondest memory of a recent concert?

As a concert as a whole, it is the duo performance by my favourite Belgian piano players, Bram De Looze and Pascal Mohy, a solid performance in every way. However, the performance which impressed me the most was a solo by Mark Turner during a concert in jazz club Bravo with Jochen Rueckert’s quartet. Breathtaking, that is how I would appropriately describe it: soundly structured, exceedingly subtle and yet buoyed along by a massive surge of energy.


… your favourite quote of the moment?

It is a quote by Jean Cocteau: art is a lie that tells the truth. Every artist whoever he or she might be knows this feeling. It should of course not be interpreted in its most explicit meaning but to some extent, it is true.