The 36th edition of Jazz Middelheim will be held from 3rd through 6th August this year. The festival in the Belgium town Antwerp has a promising program with sixteen top concerts on the main stage. Randy Weston, Bill Frisell, Mingus Big Band, Tony Allen Quartet, Van Morrison, Charles Lloyd & The Marvels, The Cinematic Orchestra, Joshua Redman, Jozef Dumoulin, Matthew Herbert’s Brexit Big Band, Becca Stevens, and artist in residence Mark Guiliana are amongst the artists that will perform.
The 36th edition of Jazz Middelheim will be held slightly earlier in August than previous editions. “In cooperation with several other international festivals, we try to make sure that the public from all around the world can enjoy their favorite acts every year. In order to be assured that we could put the right program together, we moved the festival up a little bit this year’’, explains festival organizer Bertrand Flamang.
On the opening day there are two masters of the tenor on the main stage: Joshua Redman and Charles Lloyd. The latter gave some exciting concerts in recent years in Belgium.
Joshua Redman and his Still Dreaming Quartet will be reinterpreting the historic “Old and New Dreams” Quartet from the 1970s and 1980s. Charles Lloyd & The Marvels will close the first day of the festival. The Marvels quartet players are Bill Frisell (guitar), Greg Leisz (steel guitar), Reuben Rogers (bass) and Eric Harland (drums).
Drummer Mark Guiliana is Artist in Residence at Jazz Middelheim. He performs on the opening day of the festival with his quartet. He will be presenting his most recent album, “Family First”. On Friday, 4 August, the Artist in Residence will be performing under the name Mark Guiliana Beat Music. The concert is said to be an eclectic mix of jazz, soul, rock, electronica, and loads of samples.
The last performance of Mark Guiliana is the coaching project of the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp on the final day of Jazz Middelheim. Every year, the Conservatoire gives a few promising young musicians the opportunity to develop a project together with a renown international artist. This year’s students will be working together with Mark Guiliana under the name Penny Freeman.
On Friday, August 4th the main stage is part British. The Portico Quartet, Matthew Herbert’s Brexit Big Band and The Cinematic Orchestra, the company set up by Jason Swinscoe, will perform.
Saturday, 5 August, is the day of tributes. Randy Weston pays homage to Thelonious Monk to commemorate the 100th birthday of the great pianist. Guitarist Bill Frisell honors John Lennon’s with ‘All We Are Saying’. The famous Mingus Big Band brings the music of the great bassist alive, while Tony Allen Quartet will be bringing the music of Art Blakey’s – one of the most famous and most influential drummers that ever lived – back to this Antwerp park for a while.
On the final day, Van Morrison will end Jazz Middelheim. Last year, Van the Man added his newest album, “Keep Me Singing”, to his almost 50-album-rich oeuvre. Before that final concert, there are performances of rising star singer/guitarist Becca Stevens and the Belgium trio Dans Dans, who are on the edge of an international career.
Info and tickets: www.jazzmiddelheim.be
Text: Peter Beije
Main Image: Van Morrison Facebook
SideBar images: JazzMiddelheim