Brussels Jazz Orchestra: Swinging into the New Year


Brussels Jazz Orchestra is very excited to announce its newest projects.

Finals of the International Composition Contest
On 12 January, during the Brussels Jazz Festival in Flagey (Brussels), Brussels Jazz Orchestra will play the compositions written by the four International Composition Contest finalists. The concert will be the culmination of all their hard work. 

The winner will receive the BJO ICC Award: a cash prize of €2,000 and a professional audio and video recording of their work being played by BJO.

The finalists are Rainer Tempel (DE), Ralf Hesse (DE), Callum Au (GB) and Christopher Zuar (US).

The international jury consists of Pierre Bertrand (FR), Florian Ross (DE) and Vellu Halkosalmi (FI).

More info. Event on the website of Flagey.

World premiere of the documentary ‘Bring it to the People’
Flagey has a second BJO event planned for 12 January: the premiere of the documentary Bring it to the People: the film about the Brussels Jazz Orchestra.

Director Guy Fellemans followed Brussels Jazz Orchestra closely for three years and has created a unique portrait of the orchestra with this film.

How do we make our artistic choices? How do we play so tightly as an ensemble? How do the musicians find the experience of working with international artists? 

Watch the trailer here. Event on the website of Flagey.

BJO & Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra: a tribute to all things big band!
One of the world’s most famous big bands is coming to BOZAR in Brussels. New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra has been a spearhead of big bands and the big band repertoire in jazz for years. Their artistic director may be even more famous than they are: the acclaimed trumpet player and composer Wynton Marsalis already has 9 Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize for Music on his trophy shelf. 

The JLCO and BJO will share one stage in February! 

We don’t only exchange soloists, but also bring two world class creations for double jazz orchestra by Bert Joris and Chris Crenshaw. Together with us, JLCO will present a great ode to the big band: a fantastic double bill, and one for the history books.

More info. Event on the website of BOZAR.


“The Rat Pack Tribute”
“The Rat Pack Tribute,” a new and original jazz concert by six Belgian and international musicians, will be performed on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 6pm at The Music Village jazz club in Brussels located near The Grand Place.

Performed by the Mathieu De Wit & Tom McGuire Sextet, “The Rat Pack Tribute” presents signature jazz songs from the 1950s and 60s made popular by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, the legendary Las Vegas performers. It offers music to be enjoyed by young and senior persons alike.

“We love the Rat Pack’s music and its energy,” said Mathieu De Wit, musical director and pianist. “Rat Pack songs come from a jazz repertoire that is more accessible for people, which appeals to a wide audience. We make it swing, we make it joyful, and we share it.”

“What’s different about our artistic approach is our passion to change our settings, meaning throughout our concert we modify our sound. We make variations in music and mood, and we keep things cool, fresh and surprising,” said De Wit.

“We entertain our audience by offering a more popular impression about jazz music,” said Tom McGuire, vocalist. “After our live performance, it would be great when people go home and listen to the real Rat Pack, and they discover how cool this music sounded sixty years ago.” January 26, 2020.  The Music Village Jazz Club in Brussels

For info and reservations: