20,000 jazz fans in Park Den Brandt: JAZZ MIDDELHEIM celebrates a wonderful 37th edition!
20,000 visitors, a first chairless, danceable day in its history and an abundance of Belgian talent: Jazz Middelheim (9-12 August 2018) proudly looks back on its 37th edition. The rain – although more than welcome after the past heatwaves – did not stop the visitors, with the sun making a grand appearance again on Saturday and Sunday. The artists were all highly motivated and passionately explored the full spectrum of jazz. The line-up with among others Black Star, Kamasi Washington, Melanie De Biasio, Philip Catherine Reunion Band, Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Loves Disney, Fred Hersch Trio, Archie Shepp Tribute to John Coltrane and Steve Coleman was highly appreciated by all jazz cats. The festival’s artist in residence Robin Verheyen gave 3 concerts and proved once and for all that our Belgian scene is overflowing with world class talent. The dates for 2019 are already known: 15 to 18 August. www.jazzmiddelheim.be
Bertrand Flamang, an extremely happy festival director
“Every year the festival outsider is usually a more “poppy” band, this year we decided to dedicate a whole day to the musicians of the new vibe. You just have to dance to their music, no way not to. For me, this year was more than ever a series of exciting and sublime concerts, with musicians who outdid themselves with great enthusiasm. Naming just one highlight of the festival is quite frankly impossible. Whether it were the hip-hopers, groove musicians, Fred Hersch in all his subtlety or Robin Verheyen in all his intensity and complexity. Robin was our first Belgian artist in residence ever. It is wonderful and simultaneously completely justified that our national and international public appreciated him as much as any great American name. The Club Stage, with its intergenerational line-up, was undoubtedly as strong as our Main Stage. Among others, the Brussels Jazz Orchestra honoured this stage with four exceptional ensembles that gave an overview of their 25 years of repertoire while also showing us their promising future.”
Jazz talks on the Club Stage
The Jazz Talks tradition continued with Simon Rentner, host and producer of “The Checkout” (WBGO), which promotes and discusses new music from the jazz scene. With over 15 years of solid experience in the scene, he offers intriguing conversations with our talented artists. This year, he welcomed Kamasi Washington, Philip Catherine, Fulco Ottervanger (The Bears’ieren), Robin Verheyen, Marc Copland, Reggie Washington and Randy Brecker onto his stage. You can listen to the podcasts via the WBGO website.
Jazz Middelheim & Klara, sounding great together
Klara broadcast all the concerts from the Main Stage live. There were also interesting conversations between the artists and hosts Bart Vanhoudt, Karel Van Keymeulen and Lies Steppe, who introduced all the concerts. On klara.be/jazzmiddelheim and Klara’s Facebook page, jazz fans can watch videos and interviews.
This summer, there will be more jazz on Klara with Lies Steppe. On Sunday evenings, she invites guests such as Claron McFadden, Mauro Pawlowski and Lander Gyselinck. A number of their favorite records (jazz) are the starting point for a conversation in My Favorite Things.
You’ll hear the most legendary jazz artists Monday through Friday in All That Jazz.
Marc Weyts, musical coordinator/producer at Klara: “This year, thanks to the rich programme, it became clear once again how much musical talent Belgium holds, truly world-class artists. My personal highlights of this edition are Bram Weijters’ Crazy Men’s very strong overture with their refined arrangements, TaxiWars with their strong and lyrical performance, and finally Fred Hersch with his majestic yet subtle piano playing in which the space between the notes tells almost as much as the notes themselves. »