Jazz Middelheim celebrates its 50th anniversary with Charles Lloyd, Nubya Garcia, Joe Lovano, Enrico Rava, Kenny Werner, WWWater, Ambrose Akinmusire and STUFF.
On May 17 1969, the late BRT radio producer Elias Gistelinck organised a couple of jazz concerts in the Middelheim Park in Antwerp. What he couldn’t possibly have known then, is that his passion project would become the oldest and – let’s not kid ourselves – most pleasant summer festival in the country.
In 1973, Jazz Middelheim relocated to Park Den Brandt, near the Middelheim Park, and ever since then, it took place over several days. But the heart of the festival still beats fiercely irregularly – from big band to acid jazz to avant-garde. Only the names on the bill have become a little bigger over the years. Especially since 2007, when the city of Antwerp as well as Jazz & Muziek (which also organises the Gent Jazz Festival) became part of the story.
For its fiftieth edition, Jazz Middelheim plays host to various living legends that have now become commonplace, including Charles Lloyd, Joe Lovano, Enrico Rava and Kenny Werner.
Two more legends: slam poet Saul Williams and saxophonist David Murray, who will prove that you don’t have to be fresh around the ears to push the boundaries of jazz. Although there will also be plenty of young wolves who will do just that, like Nubya Garcia, Benny Sings and Ambrose Akinmusire, who is this year’s artist in residence.
Finally, like any other year, there will be a lot of Belgian talent at Jazz Middelheim, including De Beren Gieren, WWWater and STUFF. – the band of drummer Lander Gyselinck, who will also be performing with LABtrio and the one-off project BeraadGeslagen & BondGenoten. Even better: Saturday August 17 is completely curated by BeraadGeslagen, the band of Lander Gyselinck and Fulco Ottervanger.
“Jazz Middelheim has always been the stronghold of Belgian jazz,” says festival director Bertrand Flamang, “and by investing in young talent, we want it to stay that way for the next fifty years.”
Not sure how you feel about this, but for us: 50 is the new 24!
Park Den Brandt, Antwerp
Thursday 15 August – Sunday 18 august 2019
info & tickets: www.jazzmiddelheim.be
Thursday 15 august 2019
Ambrose Akinmusire ‘Origami Harvest’
David Murray Quartet feat. Saul Williams
Friday 16 augustus 2019
Enrico Rava ‘80th Birthday’
Charles Lloyd ‘Kindred Spirits’
Kenny Werner Quartet
Eric Legnini ‘Tribute to Les McCann’
CLUB STAGE (Anneleen Boehme)
Grand Picture Palace
Anneleen Boehme / Bojan Z / Pol Belardi
Saturday 17 augustus 2019
Ambrose Akinmusire ‘Mae Mae’
De Beren Gieren
CLUB STAGE (BeraadGeslagen)
BeraadGeslagen & BondGenoten
Sunday 18 augustus 2019
Joe Lovano Tapestry Trio
Studenten Koninklijk Conseratorium Antwerpen met Ambrose Akinmusire
CLUB STAGE (Manuel Hermia)
Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet
Orchestra Nazionale della Luna
Hermia / Darrifourq / Florent
Tickets and multi-day passes via www.jazzmiddelheim.be or Fnac.
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