Gent Jazz Festival celebrates 15th edition with top local bands

Balthazar, Flat Earth Society feat. Mauro Pawlowski, Moondog by Roland & Friends and Nordmann at Gent Jazz Festival

On Saturday 10  July, Gent Jazz Festival is celebrating its 15th birthday with outstanding home-grown bands. Balthazar,Flat Earth Society feat. Mauro PawlowskiMoondog by Roland and friends and Nordmann are the bands that day set to ignite the wonderful Bijloke site. Gent Jazz Festival already announced names last week such as Ibrahim Maalouf, Kamasi Washington, St Germain and Ibeyi.  

10 years ago in 2006 the City of Ghent filed for recognition as a Creative City of Music with UNESCO. Both the City and the Festival would like to take the opportunity provided by Ghent Jazz Festival's Ghentian Day to highlight  this recognition.

According to festival director Bertrand Flamang: “Fifteen years of Gent Jazz Festival, meaning 15 years of eagerly slogging away to draw in top musicians to Ghent; meaning every year once again putting our all into putting on a festival with hundreds of volunteers, partners and sponsors; meaning 15 years of doing our utmost to give the public what they deserve: a festival that’s a great place to be, at a fantastic location and where music is still paramount. It stands to reason we want to celebrate this, and how better to do so than by compiling an amazing line-up made up exclusively of bands with a strong connection with Ghent, at a ticket price – €29 excluding booking fees – almost unheard of these days.”
The bands
Balthazar is a phenomenon. The band of frontmen Maarten Devoldere and Jinte Deprez has been touring around Europe uninterrupted for years now. What’s more, they manage to pack out venues, as well as pulling off recording real gems of records – ‘Thin Walls’ (2015) was their latest feat – scoring hit after hit. Of course, the most relevant Belgian pop band of right now couldn’t be left out of the 15th edition of Gent Jazz Festival.
Flat Earth Society feat. Mauro Pawlowski is something completely different, but at least just as representative of the musical spectrum Gent Jazz Festival has now been successfully involved in for years. Local band leader Peter Vermeersch will this time be performing an homage to Frank Zappa with guitar gods Pierre Vervloesem en Mauro Pawlowski. Don’t expect any covers, but rather a concert whereby the legendary moustache can shine in his grave once more.
With Moondog, together with a select club of top home-grown musicians – including Isolde Lasoen and Patrick Riguelle, Ghent's own blues legend Roland is delivering an ode to the blind New York artist of the same name. Moondog was a poet, composer and musician, building his own instruments, experimenting in his trade-mark Viking outfit with sounds from the subway and city, thus arriving at an insane intersection between jazz, classic and spoken word.

The men of Nordmann got together at the Ghent conservatory. They perform a challenging mix of rock, jazz and improvisation. Their ensemble is daring, at times explosive yet at all times genuine. A top act playing on home turf.
Tickets & info:

Photo:  Balthazar (c) Anton Coene