Nicolas Kummert

Versatile saxophonist who freely blends African rhythms, hip-hop as well as electronic music in his jazz compositions.

26.09, 21.00, Botanique (Saint-Jazz Festival):
Nicolas Kummert’s Rainbow


Who is… Nicolas Kummert?

Saxophonist (tenor, soprano) Nicolas Kummert (°1979) graduates from the Brussels Conservatory in 2001 and has been touring across the world with his music since then.
He achieves international success for the first time with the Alexi Tuomarila Quartet, a group with which he wins several awards and records 3 CDs.
Afterwards, he moves to Paris for a while and quickly becomes a very sought-after musician. So, for instance, he makes recordings with Patrick Ruffino and performs alongside Manu Dibango and Keziah Jones.
That the man has a broad musical vision is evidenced by his collaborations with various DJs, including DJ Grazzhoppa.
Currently, he is still touring across Europe with Viktor Lazlo and her Billie Holiday tribute.
With the project ‘Voices’ (also the name of the group), he makes the link between African rhythms and Western jazz in his own particular way. Striking in this respect is Kummert’s role as vocalist.
Later this year (fall 2015) the CD by the group Drifter will be released by the excellent British label Edition ‘Flow’. Alongside Kummert, the group also features Alexi Tuomarila as well as Axel Gilain and Teun Verbruggen.
During the Saint-Jazz-ten-Noode festival, he will present his latest project called Rainbow. He will do it in the company of none other than Lionel Loueke, Nicolas Thys and Karl Jannuska.
Other groups in which Nicolas Kummert delivers the goods, are Yves Peeters Gumbo (The Big Easy Revisited), Axel Gilain Quartet, Groove Thing (with Jef Neve), Fabrizio Graceffa Band and the Matthieu Marthouret Organ Quartet.


What is…

... your favourite spot in Brussels?

That’s the Forêt de Soignes because I like to go there for long walks with my son. However, I equally need the energy and excitement of the neighbourhood where I live, Flagey and rue Malibran. The cultural diversity is a big plus for me. Let’s say that I always try to strike the perfect balance between nature’s greenery and the intensity of city life. That’s the way it works for me, also in my music. In my music, I also try to tie in the Finnish forests and the Brussels Matonge district.


… the last CD or album you bought for yourself?

I do not buy albums or CDs. I am a huge Spotify fan and so, I subscribed to it. My latest discovery has been ‘Night Beat’ by Sam Cooke. To be honest, I did not know him. Meanwhile, I have heard his version of ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’, a fabulous piece.
I am quite aware that I am listening more and more to vocalists lately, in jazz but also in pop. It is no doubt related to the fact that I am occasionally integrating my voice in my music.


… your fondest memory of a recent concert?

Brosella’s jazz day, especially Dries Lahaye’s carte blanche and Guillaume Perret’s performance. That is what I call an uppercut! I knew this French saxophonist only by name. The way in which he uses his instrument, with or without effects, combined to some hard rock energy just blew me away. It is not my favourite style of music, I must admit but I was impressed by his performance.


… your favourite quote of the moment?

It is an expression I learned in West Africa during my frequent stays over there: “On est ensemble” (“We are together”) in the sense of “We are interconnected”. This bond between them is very important, both among musicians and among family members and friends. First and foremost, it means that you look after each other and care about each other, in good but also in bad times. It is also an honour when they say it to you.