March 16, 2022

Gent Jazz drops a series of new names with Ibrahim Maalouf, Avishai Cohen Trio, Archie Shepp, Meskerem Mees and many more

Line-up expands with more than 20 names

Ibrahim Maalouf, Avishai Cohen Trio, Melody Gardot, Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas, Archie Shepp & Jason Moran, Gabriel Rios, Syvie Kreusch, Christian McBride, Novastar, Mauro, Meskerem Mees, Judi Jackson, Youn Sun Nah, and many more

Gent Jazz already announced that icons Sting (13/7) and Van Morrison (10/7) will be present again this summer and will travel to the Bijloke site. Kae Tempest (15/7) and Agnes Obel (14/7) have also already been (re)confirmed. Now a host of rising stars, old faithful and established names will join them.

The most popular instrumentalist on the French music scene, Ibrahim Maalouf (7/7), will be back with a spectacular line-up on the opening day of Gent Jazz. The British jazz collective Maisha brings the illustrious American jazz saxophonist Gary Bartz to immerse the audience in the story of the rich black-American musical heritage.

On July 9, living jazz legends storm the stage. American jazz musician Archie Shepp and pianist Jason Moran, who released a new masterpiece last year with Let My People Go, bring with them for the occasion French jazz singer Marion Rampal. A not-to-be-missed magic of understated and mesmerizing collaborative singing. Compagnons de routes Joe Lovano – the sax legend was already there at the first edition of Gent Jazz in 2002 – and trumpeter Dave Douglas present their now third Sound Prints project. The African-American tradition will be further shaped that day by the dream team of saxophonist Charles Lloyd and guitarist Bill Frisell, who unleashed a pearl full of music on the world with their Tone Poem in full pandemic.

As the biggest discovery of Gent Jazz 2019, award-winning vocalist Judi Jackson (10/07) brings a touch of the modern London jazz scene back to Ghent, while the following day both Puerto-Rican Gabriel Rios, whose new record Flore pays tribute to the music from Latin America and the Caribbean and the Norwegian-Brazilian promise Charlotte Dos Santos, pave the way for the versatile Melody Gardot, who in her latest Sunset In The Blue treats us to a summer cocktail of musical genres ranging from blues, gospel, jazz and bossa nova.

Yes, homegrown artists are also frequently on hand: one of Belgium’s best singer-songwriters Joost Zwegers proves with his latest Holler And Shout that Novastar (13/7) never disappoints. Put him together with the boundless melodic pop music of rock royalty Mauro Pawlowski and you get a caravan of energy that Sting – fourth time’s a charm – had better be prepared for.

The female arsenal will be further strengthened on July 14 by the disarming promise of the moment Meskerem Mees, who just like that won the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival Talent at the age of 22. Also multi-instrumentalist Patricia Vanneste, with Sohnarr, will give away additional musical opulence of Scandinavian signature. One of the most impressive and exciting performers in Europe Sylvie Kreusch (15/7) will also join Kae Tempest.

On 16 July, Gent Jazz also has plenty in store for fans of the bass. Avishai Cohen, who lived up to his reputation as one of the best double bass players in the world last year as the closing act at Jazz Middelheim, will be presenting the album Shifting Sands with his new trio. The leading double bass player Christian McBride is back with his Inside Straight project to let the audience enjoy an unparalleled line-up full of grooving tunes. Add to that the South-Korean all-round vocalist Youn Sun Nah, and that’s all it takes to set off the fireworks in this adventurous musical powder keg.

But, as usual, Jong Jazztalent Gent, the most important jazz prize of the country, which determines the most eye-catching jazz project of the moment with the support of the Duvel Moortgat brewery and under the critical assessment of some sixty specialists, cannot be left out either. Nabou Claerhout convinced the jury last year and can now show the audience the results of a year’s hard work with her Trombone Ensemble.

What’s more, the B-Jazz International Contest is coming to Gent Jazz for the first time. The big international contest, which originated in 1979 from the Jazz Hoeilaart competition, has for more than 40 years now been encouraging young jazz (musicians) that are ready to break through on international stages. Organizer Muziekmozaïek presents the laureates in the concert hall of Muziekcentrum De Bijloke. There are also prestigious collaborations with colleges and conservatories on the agenda.

Festival director Bertrand Flamang: “This edition of Gent Jazz will once again be all about the total experience: finally meeting friends again, enjoying live concerts and good food and drinks. Where you can dance together or have fun in our brand new café concept.”

Ticket sales start today via gentjazz.com – the only official sales channel. Enjoy several days of Gent Jazz? You can also combine several days at a cheap price with a multi-day pass.

Tickets from festival editions postponed by corona will not be refunded, but were mailed to ticket buyers in the form of vouchers. Those with vouchers from previous years are urged to redeem them. However, the vouchers will remain valid until the summer of 2023, according to the Ministerial Decree of May 25, 2022. Tickets can be redeemed via ticketswap.com.

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