Denise Vandevoort, alderwoman for culture: "Leuven Jazz is truly a city festival. Just wander the streets and you'll feel the jazz all over town: in grand concert halls, on boats, in movie theatres and living rooms. The festival thus reflects the spirit of Leuven as a music city, with the warm collaboration between 23 partners: besides professional venues such as 30CC, Het Depot or STUK, we also include Appeltuinjazz, Oratoriënhof, La Conserve, Stelplaats and many more. Their combined efforts deliver a multi-layered festival with concerts, exhibitions, movies, family shows and even a jazz quiz!"
7 HIGHLIGHTS IN EDITION 7
1. HAPPY BIRTHDAYS
Leuven Jazz celebrates jazz on three special occasions!
- 40 years Igloo Records, the finest label in Belgian jazz! We commemorate the occasion with a unique band, headed by star guitarist Philip Catherine and keyboardist Éric Legnini, and some exclusive re-releases on vinyl (such as the album of Catherine with Chet Baker).
- 40 years B-Jazz International Contest: besides the annual competition with six young international bands, there will be a tribute concert, expo and a special concert by Milshake Banana 2.0, victor of the very first edition of the Contest in 1979.
- 10 years of AppeltuinJazz equals more than 150 concerts in this exceptional school. The festivities are led by the LG Jazz Collective, a Belgian all star band headed by young guitar virtuoso Guillaume Vierset!
2. GUITARS GALORE
Following the drums in last year's edition, the festival of 2019 focuses on the guitar. Besides the aforementioned Philip Catherine and Guillaume Vierset 'Leuven Jazz' invites Julian Lage, Dans Dans, Jakob Bro & Jesse van Ruller, Fabrizio Graceffa, Albert Vila and many more. The closing concert of IH8 Camera 'Super 9' will even line up eight guitarists on stage!
3. THE HEADLINERS
Get ready for some of the biggest names in contemporary jazz:
- The top evening of this edition features two leading piano virtuosos: Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn. Their eagerly awaited duo album will be released by ECM on March 15, right at the start of the festival. Their exclusive live set is followed by the trio of Julian Lage, thé best American jazz guitarist of this era. They also present their brand new album in this unique concert in Belgium.
- Star guitarists Jakob Bro (DK) and Jesse van Ruller (NL) will team up with two Belgian big bands, filled with young jazz talents.
- British band The Breath sounds like a mini Cinematic Orchestra and presents its second album, packed with soulful songs on first love, childhood summers and grief. They're joined by the fusion-jazz of Vegir, in an exclusive combination with French-Moroccan singer Hindi Zahra!
- The more festive side of jazz will definitely be present in the acid jazz and funk of Incognito, but also in a late party with drum 'n bass legend LTJ Bukem, Joe Armon-Jones and Belgian star dj LeFtO.
4. BELGIUM'S FINEST
As in its previous editions 'Leuven Jazz' presents some of the finest (young) talents from the rich Belgian jazz scene:
- In the ranks of Vierset's LG Jazz Collective you'll discover drummer Antoine Pierre, saxophonist Steven Delannoye and trumpeter Jean-Paul Estiévenart.
- Dans Dans is one of the most exciting live projects in the whole Benelux.
- Guitarist Ruben Machtelinckx composes a brand new quartet and focuses on the steelstring guitar.
- Young bass player Cyrille Obermüller enters the stage in his home town in four different bands: with quintet H A S T, in the trio of Casimir Liberski, in an rare trio with trumpeter Sam Versweyveld and guitarist Roeland Celis and also in the big band of the Antwerp Conservatory, accompanying guitarist Jakob Bro.
5. YOUNG AT HEART
Leuven Jazz warmly welcomes both young musicians and young jazz fans:
- Besides the aformentioned Belgian talents don't miss out on the B-Jazz International Contest, the numerous concerts of the LUCA Jazz department and a mixture of jazz and architecture in Existenz.
- The festival also creates a brand new opening concept, called PRELUDE. Five venues, including two boats, open their doors to a young audience with some promising live bands, guitar doctors, a record fair, jazz paintings and a dance party until early morning.
- Leuven Jazz also presents two programmes for children and their (grand)parents. In 'Glimp' live jazz collides with colourful paintings (for ages 2 to 4) and in 'Thelonious' (ages 6 and up) by Zonzo Compagnie video art is mixed with live jazz by De Beren Gieren.
6. MORE THAN MUSIC
Looking for something else besides these fine concerts?
How about the magical combination of cinema and jazz? As always, Cinema ZED has selected a few gems of the seventh art. 'My Foolish Heart', the brand new biopic on Chet Baker, and the documentary 'The Jazz Ambassadors' are even presented in a Belgian premiere!
Also on offer: a jazz quiz, several exhibitions and a (multilingual) evening of Jazz'n'Words.
7. PRICELESS YET INEXPENSIVE
'Leuven Jazz' will surely deliver some priceless experiences, but the festival is more than budget-friendly. Most concerts cost under € 20 and more than half the programme is even completely free!
They include free lunch and after work concerts, Jazz on Sunday and living room concerts on the closing Sunday (March 24). The latter will feature over fifteen bands in private living rooms all over town. The full line-up will be announced by mid-February, but the participation of Suura, Nicolas Thys/Tim Finoulst, Stefan Bracaval and Nabou has already been confirmed.
THURSDAY 14 until SUNDAY 24 of MARCH 2019
INFO & TICKETS: WWW.LEUVENJAZZ.BE/EN
'Leuven Jazz' is organised by 30CC, Appeltuinjazz, Artkom, C.C. Oratoriënhof, Cinema ZED, De Bib Leuven, De Libertad, Den Tube, Existenz, Het Depot, Het Narrenschip, La Conserve, LUCA Jazz, M-Museum Leuven, Muziekmozaïek, OPEK, Piep!, Radio Scorpio, Spits, Steiner for Life, Stelplaats, STUK (Jazz op Zondag) and Urban Woorden.
The festival is sponsored by Tripel Karmeliet, La Libre Belgique, De Morgen, Deze Week, Jazzism, The Brussels Times, Pentahotel Leuven, the Flemish Community and the city of Leuven.