After we announced a ton of names for Gent Jazz Festival 2017 a while ago, we are proud to present you a new load of names today!
On Saturday, 8 July, we will see a lot of beautiful people coming to the Bijloke Site. After his last visit to Ghent, we will once again be welcoming the iconic jazz sax player and composer Wayne Shorter. Together with the Casco Philharmonic and in cooperation with Gent Festival van Vlaanderen, he will be presenting Emanon. Inspired by Shorter’s lifelong love of science fiction and mythology, Shorter has teamed up with graphic artist Randy DuBurke (famous for his Marvel and DC Comics publications), adding an extra dimension to the music through a comic strip that has been created especially for this piece. As if one pioneer wasn’t enough; McCoy Tyner has also confirmed his attendance. His innovative percussive piano style won him a spot in John Coltrane’s quartet and his influence on a multitude of jazz pianists is unmistakeable. Under the name Echoes With a Friend, he and pianists Geri Allen and Craig Taborn will be playing various pieces from his oeuvre. BassDrumBone will be celebrating their 40th anniversary this summer. They started out stunning friend and foe with their incredibly unconventional cast of characters, consisting of a bass, drums, and a trombone, and are now winning everyone over with their latest double album, The Long Road, with contributions from sax player Joe Lovano and pianist Jason Moran. It’s been quite the experiment for the band since they’ve never fraternised with other musicians during their forty-year career. Some folks who are open to collaboration are Tomasz Stańko/Enrico Rava Quintet. The two European jazz trumpet greats are taking to the stage together with European and American musicians. With Trio Grande, Gent Jazz Festival programmed the smallest big band, which will play three distinct sets. Rêve d'Eléphant Orchestra closes this day on the Garden Stage with their unusual orchestration.
The second part on Thursday, 13 July, opens with a day dedicated to the new sound of jazz. Jazz messiah Kamasi Washington immediately provides one of the highlights. After his much-appreciated visit last year, 2017 will see him still hot, hip, and totally in. Could this be another chance for those who missed this comet’s passing last year? Most definitely! There are also some home-grown bands soaring to new heights within the jazz scene. STUFF. resounds multitudinously through each music lover’s speakers. Two years after their fantastic debut, they are returning to the Bijloke Site this year with their follow-up album, old dreams new planets, and their undisputedly great live reputation. Robert Glasper Experiment only needed to colour outside the lines of classical jazz once to validate their place in the jazz world. Just like Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper can be heard on the future classic To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar, as well as at the Gent Jazz Festival, where he’ll be performing some gracious neo-soul laid down with a hip-hop beat. But it’s Hoera. that will get the honour of opening the Main Stage. As the winner of the 2016 Young Jazz Talent Ghent award, they got the chance to spend a year working on an incredibly special project. The result of this can be seen and experienced for the very first time at this year’s festival. Together with the young electronica producer, Roman Hiele, they are making their debut together as Hoera. feat. Hiele. Musical gourmand Shabaka Hutchings continuously stunned us with his numerous projects, including Sons of Kemet, The Comet is Coming, and Melt Yourself Down, but it will be Shabaka and The Ancestors that he’ll be getting the party started with on the Garden Stage. Forceful musical lines range from Caribbean calypso through to Central African song structures to South African Nguni. Gent Jazz Festival has once again been able to tempt one of Chicago’s most popular drummers, Makaya McCraven, back to its stages. He has shared the stage with numerous greats, including Wu-Tang Clan, The Wailers, and Kamasi Washington, thus completing the circle on 13 July!
On Friday, 14 July, Gent Jazz Festival will be welcoming Trixie Whitley back to her home turf. The Ghent-New Yorker has created a special show for her third visit, and is putting together something that is more vulnerable than she’s ever been. Also planned for 14 July is: BLOW trio, the only sax dance trio to grace our country. After having gotten people to dance to their own pied-piper-like music at the Gentse Feesten, this masked gang is now heading for the Garden Stage. Once again, a guest musician has been requested to develop a coaching project together with a group of students in collaboration with the Conservatorium / School of Arts Ghent so as to shine the spotlight upon them outside of the school walls. This year, no less than three guest musicians have started up three very different projects: Mount Soon, BRAIN//CHILD, and Ivy Falls, the new project by former I will, I swear singer Fien Deman. Gent Jazz Festival is guaranteed to have loads of up-and-coming Belgian talent thanks to this.
Saturday, 15 July, marks the close of the 16th Gent Jazz Festival, and will be showcasing Einstürzende Neubauten and Archive as some of the headliners. But before these two cult groups can take their turns, Gent Jazz Festival has also invited Chrysta Bell, David Lynch’s muse to play in Ghent. In addition to her work as an actress –you’ll be able to see her acting in a highly-praised news season of Twin Peaks– she’s also releasing a new album, which has been produced by John Parish. The Ghent noise band Hypochristmutreefuzz will be kicking this day off to a good start. Fans of Einstürzende Neubauten feel that it is nothing less than a logical addition.
Not only do we introduce our new artists, we also have great news for the festival itself! Gent Jazz Festival will also be introducing cashless payment this year. Instead of paying using drink and food tickets, you can use a personal pass to pay for these things at all of the bars and food stands. The benefits are numerous: no more searching for cash, coins, or tokens, shorter queues, a safe and fast system, plus no hassle at the register. You can load an amount of your choosing on this card, either from home beforehand or once you get to the festival, which you can then safely and securely use to pay just by swiping it over the reader.
Now, there’s no excuse for letting your food go cold. Especially not the food made by the chefs responsible for this year’s catering. Seppe Nobels, of Graanmarkt 13 notoriety, is famous for his innovative, yet healthy recipes and has been named one of the 25 best vegetable restaurants in the world by Gault&Millau. Together with Frank Fol, who has been heading the restaurant Sire Pynnock in Leuven, this year’s festival not only promises to provide musical delights, there’s also going to be culinary climaxes focusing on delicious, season-specific, local products!