Pierre Anckaert

The references and influences in Pierre Anckaert’s music range from Chopin to Cuba and from Chick Corea to Flying Lotus.

12.06, 22.00, Sounds Jazz Club
Woodworks : Bracaval/ Anckaert

19.06, 20.30, Festival Jazz Jette June
Woodworks : Bracaval/ Anckaert


Who is… Pierre Anckaert?

It has practically become an unwritten rule nowadays: any self-respecting pianist should have his trio with drummer and bass player. Pierre Anckaert (°1980) is no exception. Furthermore, the trio was awarded the first prize at the 2007 Jazz Hoeilaert international contest. But even at that time, the young man’s interests reach further than traditional jazz. He is indeed fascinated by Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms. To this day, his stay in Havana leaves its mark in his compositions.

He is also well-acquainted with the world of classical music. ‘Strings Attached’ by the Pierre Anckaert Quintet with the Brussels Chamber Orchestra is a highly successful stylistic exercise where jazz and strings perfectly complement and mainly enrich each other.

Even so, he regularly returns to more classical jazz precepts as can be heard on ‘Union Match’, his collaboration with saxophonist Tom Van Dijck.

The link between classical music, jazz and Latin is currently revealed in a unique way in his duo with flutist Stefan Bracaval and the recently released ‘Woodworks’.

In addition, there is also 74 Miles Away. With this electronically tinged project, he ventures down in the trendy world of crossovers between jazz and dance, including remixes and influences from the eighties. But that is another story altogether.

What is…

... your favourite spot in Brussels?

That is definitely the Helmet district in Schaerbeek. As I lived there for seven years, I know this part of town pretty well. It is a typical so-called “settlers’” district with numerous newcomers from around the world, attempting to integrate e.g. by setting up a shop. A bit further, there is the “swankier” part along Square de Riga and avenue Eugène Demolder where many Flemish families have taken up residence. Finally, there is the Foyer Schaerbeekois which plays a socially cohesive role. In one way or another, this colourful mix generates an exceptional dynamic. It really feels like a cosmopolitan village in the heart of Brussels. What’s more, the district offers a wide selection of typical pubs where locals and Spanish pensioners enjoy a good pint of beer together.

… the last CD or album you bought for yourself?

I paid my parents a visit last week and they were watching the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Later on, my father started zapping and we accidentally stumbled on a TV channel broadcasting a concert by two singing guitarists. They brought an American folk repertoire. Their close harmony singing and musicality were amazing. I did not know them at all. In the credits, I saw that it was “Another Day/Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis”, a concert film by the Coen brothers and that the duo in question was called Milk Carton Kids. I also found out that the concert took place in the New York Town Hall where Bill Evans recorded his legendary live album ‘Bill Evans at Town Hall’. I have not been blown away in such a manner for quite some time. I ordered their album ‘The Ash & Clay’ on the internet straightaway. What struck me most was not only their respect for tradition but at the same time the way in which they venture outside the usual framework. It is an approach which I am also committed to. I love all sorts of traditional music and they are often a source of inspiration for my music.

… your fondest memory of a recent concert?

Since you ask me to mention a recent concert, I would go for a performance by Gary Peacock, Joey Baron and Marc Copland in ‘De Roma’ (Antwerp) a few weeks ago. I am a big fan of piano player Copland but I had never heard him play on stage. What I admire about him, is the way in which he intuitively plays different scenarios in parallel whilst probably being a very rational person. At least that is how he comes across to me.
I was sitting at the back of the theatre. De Roma is not an ideal venue in terms of acoustics. These three guys however managed to turn this disadvantage to their advantage. They left their traditional concept behind and really played with the acoustic aspect. Especially drummer Joey Baron excelled at it. The manner in which he made his cymbals sound, commanded respect. I have never seen a band play with such intensity and at such a level in these circumstances.

… your favourite quote of the moment?


“Work in Progress”. That is more or less my personal motto. A few years ago I took an important decision that led me to be confronted with a whole series of deadlines. I decided to handle everything at my own pace and in my own way. Still today, I work on several projects at the same time. That is just the way I am. But I am doing all of it at my own pace, without external pressure. No need to tell you, there is always some work in progress as far as I am concerned. To top it all, my girlfriend sometimes describes me as a “work in progress”.