Singer Norah Jones is one of the crowd pullers at Gent Jazz Festival 2017. The festival in the Belgian town will be held from 6 to July 15th. The festival was first held in 2002. Since then Gent Jazz has become one of the top festivals in Europe.
Norah Jones released late last year the CD Day Breaks. It is her sixth album. During a summer tour in Europe, she presents music from the album at various jazz festivals. On Sunday, July 9th she’s in Ghent. A day earlier, she performs at the North Sea Jazz Festival (Rotterdam). Later in the month, others concerts include; Jazz Open Stuttgart, Stadt Park Open Air (Hamburg), Marciac Jazz and Cap Roig Festival (Barcelona).
In 2002, Norah Jones was a quickly rising star. The CD Come Away With Me was a worldwide hit some twenty million copies were sold.. The album earned her a Grammy Award in 2003. She is an established artist who can invite musicians of world-class names to play with her. On Day Breaks you hear bassist John Patitucci, drummer Brian Blade and saxophonist Wayne Shorter Party can also be heard. Norah Jones sings and plays piano and guitar.
The great Wayne Shorter also performs at Gent Jazz. Saturday, July 8 Emanon is scheduled. His quartet performs with the Philharmonic Casco this composition. Graphic artist Randy DuBurke (known from Marvel and DC Comics) adds an extra dimension to the music with a comic strip produced to support the performance.
Pianist McCoy Tyner is another star at Gent Jazz. Entitled Echoes with a friend he performs with pianists Geri Allen and Craig Taborn several pieces from his oeuvre. This is an event that should not be missed especially by piano lovers.
Two ‘European Trumpet Legends’ are on the stage on July 8. It is the Enrico Rava and Tomasz Stanko Quintet. A day earlier, one can hear American trumpeter Christian Scott. This virtuoso kicks off the second day off the festival.
On Friday, July 7th pianist and composer Herbie Hancock is one of the big names. It is his third appearance in Ghent – he played at the festival in 2003 and 2008. The maestro is working on a new album and music off the CD will be performed, in addition to his older compositions. That same day, bassist Christian McBride is also featured on the main stage. He presents his latest quartet: Christian McBride’s New Jawn.
On Sunday, July 9th the Omer Avital Quintet is in Ghent. The young bassist’s band performs numbers from his new album Music Abutbul. Sephardic music is one of the ingredients of that album.
The second part of the festival starts on Thursday 13th July. Saxophonist Kamasi Washington, one of the innovators in contemporary jazz, comes for the second year in a row to Ghent. Also keyboardist Robert Glasper is an innovator in jazz. With his band Experiment, he plays neo-soul, in which traditional jazz is avoided.
Singer and guitarist Trixie Whitley plays a home game for the third time during the Gent Jazz. She is the headliner on Friday July 14. That day the Belgian sax dance Blow Trio debuts at the festival.
On Saturday, July 15, the final day of the festival, Chrysta Bell comes to Ghent. The singer and actress (Twin Peaks) is known for her collaboration with composer and filmmaker David Lynch. This summer her new album will be out. This final day the cult groups Einstürzende Neubauten and Archive are also on the stage.
More information and tickets: www.gentjazz.com
Text: Peter Beije
Images: Norah Jones Facebook Page -