Building peace in the minds of men and women

International Jazz Day Brussels

A tribute to jazz music and its fundamental role in uniting people across the globe, promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity.

Join the global movement!

For the 2017 Edition of International Jazz Day, UNESCO Brussels, Visit Brussels and Flagey and many other partners have joined efforts to bring to you a smashing line up that will jazz-up the capital of the European Union! On Saturday, we will honour the Brussels Jazz giant,Toots Thielemans, who would have turned 95 this year, and on Sunday, we will celebrate UNESCO International Jazz Day.

View the line up below, and keep your ears open in the metro during this festive week...

STIB-MIVB Brussels has prepared some tunes for you!

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    Toast Thielmans

    10am, Muntpunt Grand Café, Rue Leopold 2, 1000 Bruxelles 

    On the day before the International Jazz Day, we toast to Toots Thielemans, the Brussels Jazz giant who would have turned 95 this year. What’s planned? Plenty of music, surrounded by the silent black-white testimonies of his collaborations, and the favourite food of the master: “stoemp with sausage” and Bloody Marys.
    This event is free!

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    Expo Toots Thielmans + vinyl market

    11am, Jazz Station, Chaussee de Louvain 193, 1210 Bruxelles

    To honour Toots Thielemans, Jazz Station inaugurates an exhibition with some of his personal artefacts on April 26th. You can stop by at Jazz Station for a visit until May 28th . Jazz Station, once a real train station, was transformed 10 years ago into a lively centre for jazz. Many musicians rehearse and play here on an almost daily basis.
    This event is free!

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    Guided city-walk, Toots birthday

    2pm, Central Station, meeting point by the Queen Elisabeth statue

    Toots Thielemans, born in “De Marollen” got his first instrument in the Hoogstraat/Rue Haute. For his 7th birthday he got a mouth harmonica from a shop in the Rue du Midi and plays his blue notes in almost all the streets of this popular neighbourhood. Toots moved to America to play with the greats, but never forgot his roots. We will walk past the places where once he and his fellow musicians played the jazz till the early morning. This event is 5 euros and will be in Dutch only.
    Reservation required here.

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    Concert David Thomaere Trio

    5pm, Muntpunt Grand Café Rue Leopold 2, 1000 Bruxelles 

    David Thomaere won the Toots Thielemans Award in 2012. For him, performing as a trio is the perfect way to play his compositions in a simple and refined way. Influenced by the ECM label and the modern jazz scene, the trio has a personal and original sound. They mostly play original compositions, alternated with a standard or rearranged pop tune.
    The concert is free!
    Line Up: David Thomaere, piano; Felix Zustrassen, el.bass; Antoine Pierre, drums

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    Concert Letizia Onorati

    7pm, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Rue de Livourne 29, 1000 Bruxelles

    A handful of gems, some drawn from the repertoire of Tin Pan Alley, others from jazz, all rearranged for an intimate chamber trio with a cello. Letizia Onorati studied at the prestigious Elizabeth Guido singing school and with Tiziana Ghiglioni, the lady of Italian Jazz. Paolo Di Sabatino is a pianist, composer and arranger, and Director of the Aquila Conservatory Jazz department. Giovanna Famulari is a cellist, pianist, singer and actress and who has performed on tours around the world.
    This concert is free!
    Line Up: Letizia Onorati (voice), Paul Sabatino (piano), Giovanna Famulari (cello)

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    Concert Jeanfrancois Prins "Happy 95th Birthday Toots"

    8.30pm, The Music Village, Rue des Pierres 50, 1000 Bruxelles

    “To me Toots was my musical godfather, who took me under his wing early on in my musical career and shared so much of his beauty with me, and I am eternally grateful for that.” - Jf Prins
    Toots left us on August 22, 2016. But his music and spirit lives on! So tonight, we are going to celebrate Toots' birthday by playing some of his compositions and some of his favourite music with love and respect, but also with joy and fun, and in Toots' spirit: "between a smile and a tear". 
    Line up: Jeanfrançois Prins: guitar &voice; Johan Clement: piano, Christophe Devisscher : bass

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    Infosession: The life of Toots by Marc van den Hoof (*NL)

    12pm, Jazz Station, Chaussee de Louvain 193, 1210 Bruxelles

    On the occasion of the 100 years of Jazz, the Jazz Station starts a new course: History of Jazz in Dutch. With five sessions of two hours, you will learn a fascinating history of jazz, from the most important musicians, influences to the many different streams. The courses are given by Marc Van Den Hoof in Dutch and start on International Jazz Day!
    This event is free!
    Dates : 30-04 /  13-05 / 27-05 / 10-06 / 24-06, from 12 to 2 p.m. (Free entrance)

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    Concert Jazzstation Big Band vs. Swingalicious Big Band

    2pm, Place de la Bourse, 1000 Bruxelles

    Les Lundis d'Hortense, the Jazz Station and offer you a battle between the Jazz Station Big Band and the Swingalicious Big Band, an opportunity to affirm the links between these important cultural actors of jazz, but also to defend music as synonym of freedom. A concert that promises to be explosive! Don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes!
    This concert is free!

    Line up:

    Jazz Station Big Band 

    Stéphane Mercier, lead, saxophone; Daniel Stokart, Steven Delannoye, Vincent Brijs, saxophones; Olivier Bodson, Michel Paré, Jean-Paul Estévenart,  trumpets; Edouard Wallyn, David De Vrieze, Bart De Lausnay, trombones ; Vincent Bruyninckx, piano; François Decamps, guitare ; Piet Verbist, double bass; Toon Van Dionant, drums

    Swingalicious Big Band

    Rob Spelberg, lead, arrangements, trombone; Francesca Palamidess, voice; Dieter Vaganée, Tom Bourgeois, Filippo Bianchini, Duilio Ingrosso, saxophones; Alexandre Herichon, Thomas Mayade, Pierre-Antoine Savoyat, trumpets; Quinten de Craecker, Jesus Els Verbruggen, trombones; Mathieu de Wit, piano; Victor Foulon, double bass; Armando Luongo, drums

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    Concert Maurice de Clerck Quintet

    5pm, L'Archiduc, Rue Antoine Dansaert 6, 1000 Bruxelles 

    In this legendary art-deco place and in fact the oldest operating jazz club in Brussels, a young quintet will serve you with an intimate jazz concert.
    This concert is free!
    Line up: Maurice de Clerck, saxophone ; Kenzo Voets, piano; Sebastien wrincq, guitar ; Victor Defoort, bass; Constantin Thomas, drums

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    Concert Thunderblender

    8pm, Roskam, Rue de Flandre 9, 1000 Bruxelles

    Thunderblender is a Brussels based trio led by Sam Comerford on sax (Toots Thielemans Award 2015) together with Hendrik Lasureon on piano and Jens Bouttery on drums (Toots Thielemans Award 2011). Thunderblender combines adventurous improvisation, beautiful quiet moments and heavy grooves, tied together in long-form compositions inspired by artists such as Tim Berne and Henry Threadgill. The music is never the same but always thrilling. Thunderblender will release their debut EP in March 2017, and will be touring and recording the debut album in September 2017.
    This concert is free!
    Line up: Sam Comerford: sax; Hendrik Lasure, piano; Jens Boutery, drums

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    Concert Piergiorgio Pirro quartet + jam

    8pm, Bonnefooi, Rue des Pierres 8, 1000 Bruxelles

    Italian pianist Piergiorgio Pirro's first Belgian project features some of the most brilliant musicians of the young Brussels jazz scene. Rooted in the classical and jazz/impro tradition, the quartet's music ranges from some experimentation with synthetic scales to more cantabile ballads.
    This concert is free!
    Line-up : Piergiorgio Pirro, piano;  t.b.c.

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    Film Falstaff on the Moon + Toots Thielmans

    8pm, Cinematek, Rue Baron Horta 9, 1000 Bruxelles

    Toots wrote the soundtrack for Falstaff on the Moon, a short film about the last wish of a former boxer. Followed by a rare portrait of Toots by Jacques Van Koekenbeek.

    Toots Thielemans, the harmonica player of the Marolles, could, almost regardless and parallel to his successful career as jazz musician, claim an international film career that is still very prestigious. He delves effectively in the credits of films of Verhoeven, Peckinpah, Berri, Yves Robert, Schlesinger, Lautner, Spielberg, the Hart ... He played scores of Quincy Jones, Philippe Sarde, John Williams and many other composers. He played (and whistled) in Belgian, French, American, Dutch and Swedish films. As a tribute to this celebrity CINEMATEK explores in a new program this side of his work, one who deserves to be highlighted.
    This event is free!

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    Concert Johan Dupont - Music 4 a While

    8.30pm, La Samaritaine, 16 rue de la Samaritaine, 1000 Bruxelles

    Music 4 A While was born in 2012. It consists of musicians coming from different musical horizons who propose a rereading of baroque and old music with a new look influenced by the aesthetics of jazz.

    In the baroque period, the musicians were able to improvise and the interpreters were free to incorporate personal details into their game. This freedom gave Baroque musical works an ever-renewed reputation, as in jazz.
    This concert is free!
    "Music for a while, Deceive all your torments. You will be astonished to see your pain relieved”.
    Line up: Johan Dupont, piano; Muriel Bruno, voice; Martin Lauwers, violin;  Jean-François Foliez, clarinette; André Klenes, double bass

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    Concert Fanfare Remork & Karkaba

    12pm, Place Eugene Flagey, 1050 Ixelles

    REMORK is a unique brassband that spices up any kind of urban event, festival or happening. These master musicians know very well how to entertain a crowd on any street corner with their cocktail of catchy riffs and melodies that interact with pounding percussion grooves. Their performance is a real treat for any audience, no matter what age or background. It's a generous and carnal mix of Gnaoua percussion and dance. 
    This concert is free!

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    Music Workshop by Youth Orchestra ZWAP

    2pm , Place Eugene Flagey, 1050 Ixelles

    ZWAP is a unique youth orchestra. During this workshop, two leading jazz musicians let you play and improvise on the most diverse music styles in an easy and playful way together with some of the regular ZWAP-crew. You will recognize a lot of well-known rhythms and melodies, including the music by famous Belgian jazz legend Toots Thielemans. At the end of the workshop, participants are invited to show the audience what they’ve learned. Waste no time, make sure you are part of it! No prior musical knowledge required. Participants without instrument are welcome too!
    This event is free!
    Booking required : (limited number of participants)

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    Concert Maâk Quintet

    5pm, Place Sainte Croix, 1050 Ixelles

    Mâäk, one of Belgium's oldest and most active avant-gardist jazz collective which now presents on this occasion a quintet that brings original songs collected during their  travels in West Africa. Privileging sonic quality and intimacy with the audience, Mâäk chooses to play acoustically. 

    The quintet presents original compositions influenced by its diverse artistic encounters. This collaboration with musicians from totally different cultures, gives the music a new dimension. Aside the improvisatory nature of jazz, you can sense African origins in their music too.

    This group never slips into a routine and renews itself constantly. Everything is centered around vitality, dynamism and musical freedom but in a clearly defined framework. The music is sophisticated, fascinating, magnetic, sensual. The musicians always look for new sonic, rhythmic and harmonic possibilities, and show us that jazz can be synonymous for freedom, progress, discovery and adventure!

    This concert is free!

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    Concert Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra feat. Dwight Trible

    8.15pm, Flagey, Rue du Belvedere 27, 1050 Ixelles
    Manchester based trumpeter, composer, arranger and band-leader Matthew Halsall is one of the rising stars of European Jazz. His eastern-influenced sound draws on the modal jazz of Pharoah Sanders and John Coltrane alongside contemporary dance music and his uniquely life-affirming music has been championed by the likes of Gilles Peterson and Patrick Forge. His latest project finds him working with legendary LA vocalist Dwight Trible whose deeply soulful voice has seen him compared to the likes of Leon Thomas and Andy Bey and who brings a vibrant energy to everything he sings. Expect deep spiritual jazz, funky soul-jazz classics and beautiful ballads from John Coltrane and Nina Simone to Donny Hathaway and beyond as heard on their forthcoming Gondwana Records release, Inspiration.

    Get your tickets here.

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    Concert Kearo Zenn

    3pm, Place de Saint Job, 1180 Uccle

    Kenzo Nera is a chromatic harmonica player living in Brussels. It is on the benches of the French-speaking Royal Conservatory of Brussels that he meets the future members of his quartet. The compositions are influenced by artists as Snarky Puppy, Robert Glasper, but also Radiohead or Pink Floyd, or even DJ Premier or Jay Dilla.
    This concert is free!
    Line up: Kenzo Nera, harmonica and compositions; Matteo Mazzu, bass; Nils Hilhorst, guitar; Victor Goldschmidt, drums

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    Concert Super Ska

    5pm, Place de Saint Job, 1180 Uccle
    Between skillful improvisations and catchy themes, the universe of the group is spontaneous, festive and funny. On stage, the conveyed enjoyment is contagious. Good-humoured distributor, Super Ska, departs to aid your overflowing envy to dance at the sound of an irresistibly energetic music.
    This concert is free!

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    Concert Banda Bruselas

    7pm, Place de Saint Job, 1180 Uccle
    Banda Bruselas is the salsa group of the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel. The group, supervised by Peter Van Marle, plays a repertoire of classic and modern salsa themes. The set of 14 musicians proposes a repertoire of the "Fania" period as well as the Cuban repertoire of very well-known groups. Banda Bruselas already played several times in Brussels Jazz marathon.
    This concert is free!


Organized by

Brussels Liaison Office
Jazz Brussels
Visit Brussels

Supported by

Banca Monte Pashi Belgio

In Partnership with

Les lundis d'Hortense
Jazz Station
The music village
Instituto Italiano di Cultura
UN Togheter campaign
Dag van de dans
Piola libri