Agnes Obel, Michael Kiwanuka, Gabriel Rios, BadBadNotGood and Dez Mona were today added to the Gent Jazz Festival 2014 programme. On 11 July, TaxiWars presents the culmination of a rebellious and intensive collaboration between dEUS front man Tom Barman and Belgian saxophonist Robin Verheyen. Bolstered by Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Dans Dans, Aufgang and Few Bits, the Garden Stage is now also complete.
New names for Gent Jazz Festival
In 2011, at the start of her international career, Denmark's Agnes Obel made a remarkable appearance as Gent Jazz Festival's opening act. The organisation is therefore proud that this amazing singer-songwriter, who has since then become a star and an outstanding live musician, is to headline on 18 July.
Michael Kiwanuka broke through three years ago with the tracks “Tell Me a Tale” and “Home Again”. He performs incredible numbers in a sober line-up, where even more justice is done to his warm vocal timbre and intense interpretation.
Singer Gregory Frateur and bassist Nicolas Rombouts have formed Dex Mona for the last ten years. This group is coming to Gent Jazz Festival with its now well-known blend of rock, jazz, classical, gospel, tango and chanson.
Gabriel Rios will be rounding off the programme on the Gent Jazz Festival closing day. Rios, the Puerto Rican with roots in Ghent, has in recent years developed into a driven and fervent artist, unblinkered in terms of music. For a year now he has unleashed one track onto the world every month, and in October the album will have been released in full. His concert will no doubt be a heart-warming home game.
With TaxiWars, Gent Jazz Festival is serving up a unique partnership that's sure to raise eyebrows. At the festival's request, dEUS front man Tom Barman and Belgian saxophonist Robin Verheyen entered into a rebellious and intensive collaboration resulting in TaxiWars, which came into being following a clash of loose ideas and jamming sessions. JazzNotJazz, Spoken Word, Songs, Rap, Parlando, you name it. Come again, Blakey vs Gainsbourg? MC 900 ft Jesus meets Miles? These gentlemen are proving fireworks.
BadBadNotGood is a trio of young Canadians who brazenly rip off songs of Flying Lotus, Nas, Kanye West, Odd Future or Joy Division, spitting them back out as messed up, electronic jazz versions. An excellent live band with a huge affinity for jazz and hip hop.
Garden Stage: more than just the main stage's little brother
Jon Batiste is providing the Garden Stage sturdy reinforcement. This singer and piano virtuoso is a consummate performer who, along with his band, presents a catchy amalgamation of New Orleans jazz, gospel and blues, brought up to date with bebop loops and funk licks.
From garage jazz, psychedelic blues and ecstatic film noir soundtracks to spacey rock-'n-roll: the labels attached to Dans Dans illustrate their eclectic approach. The band of Bert Dockx, Frederik Lyenn Jacques and Steven Cassiers draws inspiration from, among others, Sun Ra, Nick Drake, Sonny Rollins, Tom Waits, Ennio Morricone, Charles Mingus and Ornette Coleman. Above all live, they dance on the razor’s edge with a great deal of audacious improvisation. Few Bits, the five-piece band around singer-songwriter Karolien Van Ransbeeck, last year delivered a début that captivated the national media and music scene, followed by a storm of superlatives and cheers. Few Bits is flawless music, performed with considerable conviction. Atmospheric, at times restrained and intimate, yet the music also regularly bursts at the seams. This is also a band that is feels at full ease live.
Aufgang is the energy of a rock band, the trance of electro and techno, and the freedom and space of improvisation. This is presented by a duo who set themselves the mission to tear down the barriers between classical and jazz, with the basis formed by the piano, drenched in drums and synthesizers.
The Garden Stage was introduced somewhat cautiously last year, but this year is utilised to the full with four concerts a day. Here visitors will find more musical discoveries, while musicians will find space for exploration and dialogue with the audience. Festival goers can at this stage enjoy Black Flower, the band of Nathan Daems, Zara McFarlane, trumpeter Avishai Cohen with ‘Triveni’, De Beren Gieren, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Julia Holter, Aufgang and Dans Dans. On the closing day of the festival the Garden Stage is presenting an homage to to René De Wever who passed away last year, entitled: GoDeviLLe Remembered.
Summary of artists, Gent Jazz Festival 2014
A large portion of the programme was already announced previously, with a great many international top names from the jazz scene. These include Chick Corea & Stanley Clarke Duet, Ibrahim Maalouf ‘Illusions’, Dave Holland ‘Prism’, Mehliana feat. Brad Mehldau en Mark Guiliana, Joshua Redman Quartet with Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers & Gregory Hutchinson and the special quartet with Manu Katché, Richard Bona, Eric Legnini and Stefano Di Battista.
Gent Jazz Festival does more than present seasoned stars; the cream of the younger generation also features prominently in the programme. Thus, for instance, there are: Hiromi: The Trio Project, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Tigran Shadow Theater, BadBadNotGood and Plaistow and from Belgium 3|4 Peace, LABtrio, OakTree and the conservatoire project Graaf led by Tineke Postma.
To this series has now been added TaxiWars project, especially created for Gent Jazz Festival. One of Belgium's sharpest jazz musicians, Robin Verheyen, is heading for a full-on confrontation with our rock scene's figurehead and jazz fanatic Tom Barman.
This year also includes a great deal of special vocalists from various genres: Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Bobby McFerrin: spirityouall, Melanie De Biasio, José James, Zara McFarlane, Kellylee Evans, Delv!s and by no means least the recently announced Agnes Obel, Michael Kiwanuka, Gabriel Rios and Dez Mona.
On 17 July, Gent Jazz Festival is seeking out tension with minimalistic and even classical music, with Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi on stage that day, and the enigmatic Ólafur Arnalds is performing his stunning, filmic music.
Lunch concerts in Lof restaurant
Gent Jazz Festival is also organising lunchtime concerts in Lof, the restaurant of the Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof Gent, the festival hotel on Hoogstraat in Ghent. Among others, performing there will be Linus met Ruben Machtelinckx & Thomas Jillings, Bart Maris & Stijn Bettens, Bram Weijters & Koen Nys, Carlo Nardozza & Michel Bisceglia, Guillaume Vierset, Yannick Peeters & Steven Delannoye. One more group is to be added to this programme.
Open call SABAM & Jeugd en Muziek Jazz Award
SABAM and Jeugd en Muziek are for the fourth year jointly presenting an Award to the sum of €5,000 to a promising young jazz musician, as a crowning and encouragement for his/her work. Previous winners of the Award include Lander Gyselinck (2012), Janos Bruneel (2010) and Robin Verheyen (2008).
Young jazz musicians, who were not yet 27 on 1 January 2014 and have been active on their local music scene for at least 3 years, are invited to send in their portfolios. In consultation with Jeugd en Muziek, the winner will map out a route for using the corresponding cash price as usefully as possible. SABAM and Jeugd en Muziek hereby hope to make a significant contribution to the further expansion of the crowned musician's career.
Judging will take place in June, and on Thursday 10 July the Award will be ceremoniously presented together with the SABAM Jazz Award during the Gent Jazz Festival. Musicians are warmly invited to apply up to and including 11 May 2014 through email@example.com. A CV (max. 2 x A4) and a brief motivation letter are expected.
Gent Jazz Festival (10 – 19 July 2014)
Tickets Gent Jazz Festival: via gentjazz.com.
Pre-sale day ticket: € 39 *
Voucher: € 39 *
Pre-sale two-day pass: € 69 *, three-day pass: € 87 *, seven-day pass: € 195 *
Pre-sale young person’s ticket (up to the age of 26 on the day of the concert): € 29 *
Group ticket € 290 * (maximum 10 persons)
* Pre-sale channels charge a handling fee of € 3.50 per ticket or pass. Passes and vouchers are limited in number.