In January, Flagey, with its Brussels Jazz Festival, will by no means be the only place to enjoy a great jazz concert in Brussels. In keeping with their annual traditions, both the River Jazz Festival and Djangofolllies are showcasing various locations and home-grown jazz that isn’t just about navel-gazing.
The highlights of the third edition of River Jazz are saxophonist and flautist Steve Houben, who seems to have found a new elan with his quartet (20/1, 18.00, Jazz Station), and accordionist Tuur Florizoone who will perform at no fewer than three concert locations with as many projects on the last evening (27/1, 18.00, Jazz Station, 20.00, Senghor & 22.00, Marni).
By that point, Sym saxophonist Nicolas Kummert will have reunited with guitarist Hervé Samb (13/1, 18.00, Jazz Station) and Random House by saxophonist Thomas Champagne will have premièred (18/1, 20.30, Jazz Station).
Guillaume Vierset, the guitarist of Champagne’s quartet, is likewise coming to present new music with LG Jazz Collective (19/1, 20.30, Senghor). Along with his excellent rhythm tandem of Antoine Pierre/Félix Zurstrassen, three winds, and a pianist, his compositions highlight the suppleness of the Brussels scene.
Portuguese singer Magda Mendes and fellow pianists Nathalie Loriers and Ivan Paduart will appear at the 50th birthday party for Anne Wolf (23/1, 20.00, Marni). Guitarist Marc Ribot (24/1, 20.30, Senghor) and bassist Or Bareket (25/1, 20.30, Jazz Station) will be flying in from New York to give the Brussels-coloured programme some international cachet.
The opener of River Jazz, leading French accordionist Richard Galliano (12/1, 20.00, Marni), could just as well have performed at Djangofolllies with his new musette. The festival that is reinvigorating the gipsy swing of Django Reinhardt for the 24th time this year will take place at no fewer than 31 locations, including five in Brussels.
Last year, the film Django gave the Belgian-born guitar genius even more global appeal. An extra screening (14/1, 18.00, Senghor) offers festival participants the ideal chance to be whisked away on a lyrical and swinging voyage of discovery in the company of the Samson Schmitt Trio (14/1, 20.30, Riches-Claires), the Lollo Meier Sextet (19/1, 12.30, Flagey), and the Maurizio Geri Swingtet (25/1, 20.30, La Tentation).
> Djangofollies. 13 > 25/1, various locations