Three jazz festivals to kick-start Brussels in January

Three jazz festivals to kick-start Brussels in January

The start of 2020 in Brussels will unfold with a swirl of free-flowing and brassy melodies, with music festival Jazzuary slated to set the tone for the new year as it returns for its fifth consecutive edition.

The major music event will see three different jazz festivals overlap, with both established and blooming talents from Belgium and abroad set to envelop the city in vibrant notes until 25 January.

The Brussels Jazz Festival will set things in motion on 8 January, bringing local and international musicians to venues in Ixelles' bustling Flagey neighbourhood, including American guitarist Jeff Parker and Brussels' own drummer-composer Antoine Pierre.

The festival will run for ten days and will also see jazz singer and Charleroi-native Melanie De Biasio grace the stage for the opening of the festival with two performances.

From 9 January, The River Jazz Festival's sixth edition will bring another batch of artists to the mix, including performances by the seven-man Rêve d'Éléphant Orchestra and "explosive" performances by Belgian duet David Linx and Michel Hatzigeorgiou or Franco-Belgian pair Igor Géhénot and Amaury Faye.

The festival will also feature performances by London's self-taught pianist Alfa Mist, Belgium's Sal La Rocca and his quartet, with a River Jazz Night by Belgian drummer Stephan Galland set to close the festival on the 25th.

Lastly, the legacy of Belgium's legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt will be front and forward in the latest edition of his namesake music festival, the Djangofollies, set to run throughout the last two weeks of January.

"This event brings together top musicians and sparkling musical encounters between generations, tradition and innovation, all honouring the legacy of Django Reinhardt," visit.Brussels wrote in a press release.

A performance by the father and son Jazzy Strings groups will be the open the first night of the festival, which for years has celebrated Reindhard's contributions to music and his creation of a new jazz style known as gipsy or hot swing jazz.

The Djangofollies will also feature the Dan Gharibian trio, a quintet led by Walloon violinist Alexandre Cavalière as well as Belgium's Tcha Limberger, a celebrated Bruges-born multi-instrumentalist who has been blind since birth.

The simultaneous festivals will last from 9 to 25 January, bringing an eclectic mix of music to the capital, offering jazz lovers to choose from a total of 46 concerts in eight different venues.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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