Flanders Arts Institute launches online who’s who of Belgian jazz

To commemorate 100 years of jazz, Flanders Arts Institute is rounding off a year of celebrations by launching belgianjazz.be, an online who’s who of contemporary Belgian jazz with 30 portraits of bands and musicians. Moreover, the website offers an overview of jazz venues in Flanders and Brussels, a critical look at what typifies our jazz scene, a guide to how to listen to jazz and a playlist of contemporary tracks. In 2018, portraits from bands from Wallonia will be added.
 
Belgian jazz is hot, in Belgium and abroad. But who are the acts and artists that seem incontournable and also (can) turn heads on the international scene? As promoters often trust the judgements of respected colleagues to book a band they haven’t seen live yet themselves, Flanders Arts Institute asked our promoters and critics to pick a sample of bands and musicians who represent the pinnacle of the current Belgian jazz scene.
 
The result is belgianjazz.be, an online who’s who that, under the flag of Belgian Jazz, further introduces our bands and musicians to an international audience of promoters and other jazz professionals. The website came into being in close collaboration with JazzLab Series, KAAP, Bozar, Ancienne Belgique, Flagey, Handelsbeurs, and Nona and over the coming years will be regularly updated with new portraits, also from the country’s French-speaking region.
 
Today belgianjazz.be offers 30 portraits of jazz bands and musicians from Flanders and Brussels, such as Joachim Badenhorst, Dans Dans, Bart Maris, De Beren Gieren, Nordmann, Lynn Cassiers, Bert Joris, granvat, Tutu Puoane and Flat Earth Society. Alongside this series of portraits you will also find an overview of venues, a critical ‘outsiders’ look by the Dutch journalist Mischa Andriessen, tips from connoisseurs like Lies Steppe and Guy Peters on how to listen to jazz, as well as a compilation of contemporary tracks.
 
Finally: 2017 marked jazz’ first centenium, with the first ever jazz album, Livery Stable Blues by The Original Dixieland Jass Band being released 100 years prior, in 1917. Moreover, it has also been exactly 90 years since the first Belgian jazz album came out, by Charles 'Chas' Remue and his Stompers, on 27 June 1927.
 
Belgianjazz.be is an initiative by Flanders Arts Institute to attract the attention of international professionals to the Belgian jazz scene. The website was realized in close collaboration with JazzLab Series, KAAP, Bozar, Ancienne Belgique, Flagey, Handelsbeurs and Nona, with the support of the Flemish Government and SABAM For Culture. In 2018 Belgianjazz.be will be updated with other portraits, including artists from the French-speaking region with the help of Wallonie-Bruxelles Musique (WBM). Take a look at the trailer announcing the website.