The first day of the festival on 6 July is a day of celebration thanks to the arrival of the icon of pop herself and diva par excellence, Grace Jones. GoGo Penguin, Miles Mosley, Kadhja Bonet, and United Vibrations have also confirmed their attendance for the same day. The arrival of enfant terrible Peter Doherty will turn Friday, 14 July, for which singer Trixie Whitley (a native of both Ghent and New York) had already confirmed, into a rocking party. Stadt will be opening the Main Stage that same day.
The first day of the festival on Thursday, 6 July, is a day of celebration thanks to the arrival of the icon of pop herself and diva par excellence, Grace Jones! Amazing Grace, the diva who turned her androgynous and extreme look into her trademark, the model celebrated from Paris to New York, and the Bond Girl to Roger Moore’s James Bond, among other big screen performances, has confirmed her appearance at Gent Jazz Festival. Known for her hits “My Jamaican Guy”, “Slave to the Rhythm”, and “I’ve Seen That Face Before”, which are rightly included in many timeless lists, she effortlessly segued from disco to dub reggae, into new wave, avant garde, and pop. Nearly a decade after her last album, Hurricane, she will be transforming the Bijloke Site into New York City’s infamous Studio 54 night club for just one special night, as an unforgettable close to the very first day of the festival’s sixteenth edition!
But before Grace Jones takes to the stage, GoGo Penguin will perform their latest album, Man Made Object. After their last visit to Gent Jazz Festival in 2015, these three Brits from Manchester had the rides of their lives for two amazing years, including a nomination for the Mercury Prize short list, and a deal with one of the three major jazz labels, Blue Note Records. Now, these three musical elites and ambassadors of the new school of jazz are being compared to the likes of Kamasi Washington and BadBadNotGood. Honest-to-goodness music! Plus, Miles Mosley, the Jimi Hendrix of the string bass, has also promised to be there on 6 July. This man is the founder of the West Coast Get Down band, and has also performed and recorded with, and produced artists such as Mos Def and Cee Lo Green. He’s also signed up to collaborate on three numbers on Kendrick Lamar’s album, To Pimp a Butterfly, and agreed to be the contrabassist on Kamasi Washington’s triple album, The Epic. Kadhja Bonet, whose debut LP, The Visitor, got all the attention last year and whose velvety vocals are splendidly evocative of Shirley Bassey and Roberta Flack, will be opening the day. United Vibrations, the band created around drummer Yussef Dayes, from previous Yussef Kamaal band fame, and bassist Kareem Dayes, will be taking to the Garden Stage.
The arrival of famed British musician Peter Doherty will turn Friday, 14 July, for which singer Trixie Whitley (a native of both Ghent and New York) had already confirmed, into a rocking party. Known as the founder of The Libertines and as Babyshambles’ front man, he made his solo debut in 2009. After Grace/Wastelands, we had to wait a while for new solo work, but last year, the British enfant terrible made a great comeback with Hamburg Demonstrations. When Doherty performs solo, he steps away from The Libertines’ punk vibe and all the controlled chaos that is Babyshambles, and brings the innermost feelings of his poetic universe out into the open. The tormented artist is known by his song, and this promises to be a passionate one! Stadt, the grand cru of the Ghent music scene, has a love for elaborate rock songs and improv, and will be opening the Main Stage on 14 July.