Brussels Jazz Orchestra

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The Brussels Jazz Orchestra with singer Tutu Puoane 2014

Brussels Jazz Orchestra is a Belgian big band jazz orchestra founded in 1993 by saxophonist and composer Frank Vaganée and his colleagues Serge Plume , Marc Godfroid and Bo Van Der Werf .


The orchestra initially played every two weeks at The Sounds in Brussels. In the year it was founded, the orchestra performed outside the Belgian capital for the first time, and in 1996 the orchestra played outside Belgium for the first time. In 1997 it recorded its first album, with compositions by Frank Vaganée and Bert Joris . In 1998 Toots Thielemans performed with the orchestra. The Brussels Jazz Orchestra has received financial support from the Flemish Community since 1999 . This enabled it to work regularly with renowned composers such as Bill Holman , Maria Schneider , Kenny Werner , Carlos Franzetti , Michel Herr and Enrico Pieranunzi . It was also possible to invite renowned guest soloists for productions, such as Philip Catherine , Jeanne Lee , David Linx , Bob Mintzer , Phil Woods , Gustavo Bergalli , Dave Liebman , Dave Douglas , Gianluigi Trovesi , McCoy Tyner , Maria João , Kenny Wheeler , Lee Konitz , Richard Galliano and Perico Sambeat .

The programs were not only launched in Brussels, but increasingly also at international festivals such as Jazz Middelheim , Jazz à Vienne , Paris Jazz Festival or the Musikfest Bremen , at the events of the International Association for Jazz Education , at Jazz at Lincoln Center or in Muziekgebouw aan in Amsterdam 't IJ presented. There was also cooperation with the Koninklijke Filharmonie van Vlaanderen and the Brussels Philharmonic . Ludovic Bource used the orchestra for the big band passages in his film music for The Artist .

Prizes and awards

In 1997 the orchestra was awarded the Prix ​​Nicolas d'Or . For the album Mama Africa , the ensemble and the singer received tutu puoane the 2011 South African Music Award in the category "Best Traditional Jazz Album". Michael de Cock's audio book Viegen tot de hemel , for which the orchestra recorded the music under the direction of the composer Frank Vaganée, received the Dutch Zilvernen Griffel in 2011 . The film soundtrack The Artist , which the orchestra was involved in recording, received several awards in 2011 and 2012, including a Golden Globe , BAFTA , César and an Oscar . In December 2013 the Brussels Jazz Orchestra received two nominations for a Grammy Award for the album Wild Beauty , which featured Joe Lovano .

Cast (2017)

BJO at Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York 2015


  • Live (1997)
  • The September Sessions (1999)
  • The Music of Bert Joris (2002)
  • Kenny Werner Plays His Music with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra: Naked in the Cosmos (2003)
  • Meeting Colors with Philip Catherine & Bert Joris (2005)
  • Countermove (2006)
  • Dangerous liaison with Bert Joris and the Koninklijke Filharmonie van Vlaanderen (2006)
  • Changing Faces with David Linx (2007)
  • The Music of Michel Herr (2008)
  • Ten Years Ago with Richard Galliano (2008)
  • BJO 15 (2008, compilation album)
  • Michael de Cock Viegen tot de hemel (2009; book with audio book)
  • Mama Africa with Tutu Puoane (2010)
  • Signs and Signatures with Bert Joris (2010)
  • Guided Dream with Dave Liebman (2011)
  • Institute of Higher Learning (2011)
  • A Different Porgy & Another Bess with David Linx and Maria João (2012)
  • Wild Beauty with Joe Lovano (2013)
  • The Music of Enrico Pieranunzi with Enrico Pieranunzi (2015)
  • David Linx & Brussels Jazz Orchestra Brel (2016)
  • BJO's Finest - Live! (2016, rec. 2013)
  • Bert Joris & Brussels Jazz Orchestra Smooth Shake (2017)
  • Tutu Puoane & Brussels Jazz Orchestra: We Have a Dream (2018)

Web links

Commons : Brussels Jazz Orchestra  - Collection of images, videos and audio files